Aumazo – #GivingTuesday

Many of you know that I was in Cameroon in August 2016 doing teacher training for the launch of a tutoring program for middle-school girls in in Bankondji, Cameroon. (The picture above is of the teachers, students, and me!) You can read about that experience by scrolling down to the end of this blog here–if you’re interested, it’s best to read the entries in reverse chronological order.)

The program was very successful in its first year. We are now in year 2, with the hope and expectation that the Aumazo high school (the true goal of the program) will be able to open its doors next August and welcome the tutoring program graduates and other high school girls from the area.

I will be donating to the AUMAZO, INC. matching campaign that starts tomorrow #GivingTuesday, November 28, 2017. I hope you will consider doing so too!

Here is more information:

GlobalGiving is rewarding all organizations and all donors all day.

There will be a $75,000 Incentive Fund where GlobalGiving is looking at how much Aumazo raises in comparison to the whole. The percentage of the total funds Aumazo raises on #GivingTuesday will be the percentage of the Incentive Fund Aumazo takes home. (So, if we are able to raise 7% of the total, we will get 7% of the $75,000 = $5,250; if we raise 10% of the total raised, we will get $7,500; etc.)

The #GivingTuesday Campaign starts at 00:00:01 EST and ends at 23:59:59 EST tomorrow, Tuesday, November 28th, 2017.

The matching campaign ends with the Year-End Campaign on December 31st.

Please consider joining me in donating here and helping this important organization reach the very reachable goal of $9,500. The money raised starting Nov. 28th through December 31st will provide crucial funds to the Tutoring Program “It Makes Good / Ça Fait Du Bien” that AUMAZO, INC launched last year.

Aumazo’s goal is to increase the 35% success rate that girls in the village achieved on the high school entrance exam this past academic year. The program had a positive impact on 34 girls enrolled in Bankondji Cameroon. Many of these girls attending this school year continue to pray and wish every day for better opportunity to go and stay in school. As a result of continued support from people like you, their educational worries are slowly becoming a thing of the past.

If you can’t give tomorrow, consider doing so before December 31, 2017. I’d really appreciate if you’d share the news of this special matching day with others. Please share the following link on your social network:

Thank you and much love,



Beginning French preview class on Monday 11/6 10-11 am!

Does your life need a breath of fresh air? Come have fun and learn French at the same time!

Did you know that, no matter how old or young you are, your brain can learn a language? You don’t need any special talent–if you understand what is being said and you’re enjoying yourself, your unconscious brain acquires the language without further effort on your part.
I’ve got a new Beginning French class on Mondays from 10-11 am starting 11/6 (for tweens through adults), and there are a few spots left.
This will be a short session of just six weeks total, from 11/6-12/11, so it’s a great time to get your feet wet and see if you like it!
Class on 11/6 is a one-hour preview class for $40 with no obligation. Tuition for the full 6 weeks is $216 ($176 after preview class; minimum of 6 students).
Fill out the contact form here to let me know that you’re planning to join us (or for any questions). You’ll be delighted to find how quickly and easily you can acquire French. You can read more about me, other classes I offer, and my approach, on my website:


The picture above was drawn in another of my adult classes — you can read the silly story we created together here about Fleur Francine, the very large bottle of ink who wants to be useful…. You’ll already be able to read stories like this by the end of the first six-week session!

French classes starting after Labor Day!

I have two adult classes beginning September 5th. Improve your French while you relax and have fun—your unconscious brain does the work. (Really!)

Both classes already have a core group enrolled and we want to be sure to have at least six students.

(for those who have had at least a little bit of French already–appropriate for those who have more background but are rusty)
Mondays 12-1 pm
Register here
Cost $504 for 14 classes (minimum 6 students)
(emphasis on conversation + reading and writing in a relaxed and friendly environment)
Day/time TBD — either Tuesdays 10-11 am or Wednesdays 10:15-11:15 am
Express your interest and day/time preference here
Cost $504 for 14 classes (minimum 6 students)

I’m a nationally recognized French teacher and presenter on teaching world languages. See my website:

Questions? Fill out the contact form here.

I also have one homeschool class that’s looking for other participants! I’ve copied the announcement below.

High School Pre-AP French Language and Culture

M/W 8-9:30 am at Panera on Tech Rd. in Silver Spring

Students will improve their French linguistic, cultural, and literary proficiency in a relaxed and fun environment. Dr. Anna Gilcher is a nationally known French teacher and teacher trainer who has been an AP French exam grader since 2014.


This class is a go! It already has one enthusiastic student and we are looking for at least one other student to join. Special rate for this class: $45/hour for up to 5 students (usually $75-$55/hour for 2-4 students) and $35/hour for 6 or more students. (Rate includes 10% discount for semester-long contract.)

Contact Anna here to register or for more information. Learn more on my

Cameroon update!

As many of you know, I went to Bankondji, Cameroon last August (2016) to lead a teacher training for the Aumazo tutoring program, a program designed to bring up the academic level of middle-school girls in the village to allow them to pass the high school entrance exam (I blogged about it day by day—you can go to the beginning of this blog and read upwards to learn what I was doing and my experience of it). For much of this past school year I worked with the head of the Aumazo program, Jacqueline Audigé, to support the teachers from afar. My involvement lessened in the spring, as the teachers grew more comfortable and the program was running smoothly.


After a whirlwind month of travel and conferences in June (the AP French reading in Cincinnati; the IGNITE conference sponsored by the Cherokee Nation in Talequah, OK; and the Comprehensible Cascadia conference in Portland, OR), I finally had the chance on Monday to sit down with Jacqueline and her son Olivier, who lives in Bafang and oversees the program on site.


After a tough winter in which Aumazo was confronting obstacle after obstacle, including a continued lack of regular funding, I was delighted to hear several pieces of extremely good news:

  1. Six girls in the village who took the BEPC (Brevet d’études du premier cycle), the high school entrance exam, passed. Of these six girls, five were in our tutoring program. (Last year, only three passed.)
  2. After a ten-year wait, Aumazo has finally received the ministerial decree giving official authorization to open the Aumazo high school.
  3. A funder has committed to raise the $11,000 needed to bring water to the school site, which will enable Aumazo to build the sanitation facilities needed to start using the one building that has already been built. Together with the official authorization that Aumazo received, this means that the Aumazo school will be able to open in September 2018.
  4. The tutoring program will operate for one more year as a continued bridge program as we await the school’s opening. The teachers that I trained last year will continue to run the program.
  5. Jacqueline plans to have me back in Cameroon next summer to train the teachers for the school as it opens. As much as I would have liked to be back this summer to do a follow-up training for the tutoring program, I agree that the money is better spent concentrating on the school itself. The tutoring program is only a bridge program as we awaited the paperwork and funding to make the school a reality.


Today, July 12th, is a Global Giving matching day. Please consider donating now—starting at 9 am EDT. Donations will be matched at 50%. The money will run out quickly, so the earlier you donate, the better chance you have to have your donation increased. You can donate here.

IGNITE and Comprehensible Cascadia!

Rachelle and I will be core staff at two brand-new CI conferences this month: IGNITE and Comprehensible Cascadia!

IGNITE (June 19-21) is the first-ever CI language conference for teachers of Indigenous languages here in the US. It stands for Indigenous Gathering of Native language Instructional Techniques for Educators. A few months ago, Wade Blevins of the Cherokee Nation’s Education Department asked Tina Hargaden and Ben Slavic to help him form a team of trainers, and we are truly privileged to be heading to Oklahoma with some amazing people, including ACTFL Teacher-of-the-Year nominee Darcy Pippins, and blogger and teacher extraordinaire Mike Peto.

Comprehensible Cascadia (June 26-28) is the first-ever CI conference with an emphasis on EQUITY and on non-targeted instruction. The team of trainers at this conference is thrilling: Ben Slavic, Tina Hargaden, Mike Peto, Wade Blevins, Fadi Abughoush,Annabelle Allen, Jon Cowart, Haydee Taylor-Arnold, Elissa McLean, and Janet Kyung.

At Comprehensible Cascadia, you can participate in a beginning language class for Cherokee, Arabic, or Korean (while watching coaching happen in real time), observe real kids learning Spanish or French, and learn how to make your teaching EASIER and MORE EQUITABLE.

I’ll be teaching French to a group of intermediate/advanced-level secondary students while conference participants observe; Rachelle and I will be leading a three-hour workshop “Multilingual ≠ Multicultural: Challenging Assumptions in the World Language Classroom”; and Rachelle will be giving a workshop on teaching culture without stereotyping. Rachelle will also be on the equity roundtables and the coaching team. See the full schedule here. It’s a smaller conference than iFLT or NTPRS and a great opportunity to really dive in deep and be at the forefront of justice work in language classes.

Rachelle and I will also be presenting at NTPRS in July, so if that’s where you’re headed, we look forward to seeing you there.