Yoga en español! Bilingual yoga fundraiser this Saturday – in person or online

I met Julio just about two years ago. I had just finished my training at Sanctuary DMV —training to accompany people as they went to their ICE or ISAP appointments. This was the first request that fit into my schedule. Once I’d gone on the first trip to Baltimore with Anna Goldman as driver and Julio as passenger, I knew I could go on a second, a month later. Well, the rest is history. Anna, Julio, Milagro (Julio’s wife), Belén (their daughter who was 4 at the time), Axel (who was born soon after our first meeting), and I have become dear friends and a really fantastic team.

The team of friends now also includes the magnificent María Elena Montero, who’s going to be teaching this really wonderful & special bilingual yoga class.

This is our fourth bilingual yoga fundraiser —and the first that we’re offering in person (+ online for those who can’t come in person).

The richness of experience is quite phenomenal – linguistically, culturally, emotionally, and physically. Please come! Please share! Please donate!

The last fundraisers have raised enough money to pay for the family’s legal fees through this summer – which is amazing. Now we want to help them get up to date on their rent, so that they can sleep better at night. During the pandemic they’ve managed to stay afloat – they’re just a bit behind. Our goal is just $2000. We can do this!

Saturday, July 17 1-2:30 pm ET

Register to attend in person here at Willow Street Yoga Center – Takoma Park, MD

Register to attend virtually (via Zoom) here (link will be sent to you upon registration)

And please DONATE HERE… even if you can’t attend.

Anna Goldman with Axel – when he was still a little baby!
Wedding day – February 17, 2020! I officiated in my living room. Anna Goldman blessed us with her beautiful spirit & presence.. and also brought the cake! My husband George played the piano and took this picture. I’m so glad we were able to do this before everything shut down.


Are you lonely, nervous, or stagnating because you only talk with your students?

Dear teachers of French, Spanish, German, and Mandarin,

Can you say “yes” to any of the following questions?

  • Is your own French, German, Spanish, or Chinese (Mandarin) stagnating because you’re only talking with your students?
  • Are you lonely because you don’t get to have intellectual conversations?
  • Are you nervous because your language level isn’t as good as you wish it were?


  • Would you like to have better, more interesting, and more diverse resources for your classes?

Join us for friendly, engaging, 6-session online classes for teachers (via Zoom). In these classes, you will have a chance to use your language in a richer way, connect with other teachers, and experience what it’s like to be receiving culturally responsive Comprehensible Input at an intermediate/advanced level. What a great way to boost your own proficiency, gain confidence, and make new friends. All sessions will be recorded and available to you to come back to! And we now offer grad-level credits from the University of the Pacific for these classes!

French for French Teachers – taught by Marianne Gomis and me Mondays & Wednesdays 1:30-2:30 pm ET: July 12, July 14, July 19, July 21, July 26, July 28 Those of you who came to our Club de lecture discussions last spring and summer will remember how fantastic Marianne is and how much we enjoy working together. I’ve taught this class for four or five years now, and I invited Marianne to join me this year because 1) she’s amazing!; and 2) I’m going to be presenting at the Agen Workshop in Agen, France during the last week of the series. So- I needed help! Lucky me to get to work with Marianne again… and lucky you!

German for German Teachers – taught by Margrit Lauffer Wong Tuesdays & Thursdays 1-2 pm ET: July 13, July 15, July 20, July 22, July 27, July 29 I’m taking this class! So looking forward to it! Margrit is an incredible teacher – not only a skilled language teacher, but also a trained theater educator and life coach. I asked her to teach for us after taking classes with her myself for four years! Check out her website:

Spanish for Spanish Teachers – taught by Laura Lugo Cotter Mondays & Wednesdays 12-1 pm ET: July 12, July 14, July 19, July 21, July 26, July 28 Laura is a treasure of a teacher – with beautiful Spanish, a generous heart, a wise soul, and a sharp intellect. I wish I could take this class… but it’s right before I teach and I can’t do everything. Laura has been teaching for Elevate this whole year… and we couldn’t be more delighted. I’ll be scheduling myself as a student in one of her classes this coming school year.

Chinese for Chinese Teachers – taught by Amanda Hsiung Blodgett Tuesdays & Thursdays 1-2 pm ET: July 13, July 15, July 20, July 22, July 27, July 29 Have you ever seen Miss Panda Chinese on Amazon or on YouTube? (Click and see right now if you haven’t…) She’s incredible, right? Well, she’s a PHENOMENAL teacher for adults as well! Amanda has deep practice, knowledge, and experience in delivering culturally responsive comprehensible input. Plus, she’s got incredible command of both Mandarin (her native language) and English (I forget it’s not her native language). She’s kind, fun, brilliant, and delightful. Do yourself a favor and sign up for this class. (I wish I could…!)

Read more about the classes here:

Register here:

Summer French Classes!

French classes resume/begin next week, both here at Elevate and at Bonjour Books. Our classes continue to be online, so no commuting and no germs to worry about!

The six-week summer session runs from June 22-August 7, with no classes week of July 27. Cost is $210 for the six weeks with discounts for multiple members of the same household taking classes. As always, feel free to try out a first class for the $40 drop-in rate which will be applied to your tuition if you decide to register. **Scholarships are also available.**

I’m excited to announce that we are in conversation with a couple of other teachers about adding in some additional classes! I’ll be sending out another email with that information as soon as I have it.

Here is an overview of the summer schedule as it currently stands.*  


  • 9:45-10:45 am Advanced Beginning French
  • 12:30-1:30 pm Advanced Beginning/Intermediate French
  • 6:30-7:30 pm Advanced Beginning French


  • 1:30-2:30 pm Speak & Write with Savoir Faire: Refining Your French (Advanced)
  • 4:30-5:30 pm French for French Teachers (advanced)


  • 10-11 am Intermediate/Advanced French conversation
  • 1:30-2:30 pm French for French Teachers (advanced) – FULL

Thursdays – via Bonjour Books – register at and support this wonderful, local French bookstore!

  • 6-7 pm Beginning French
  • 7:15-8:15 pm Advanced Beginning French
  • 8:30-9:30 pm Intermediate/Advanced French

*this schedule does not include classes for SCES French immersion students – see for that schedule.

Fun French Fridays!

New Friday opportunities for French! A book discussion for those who like to read… 📖
…. & a conversation class based on a TV show for those who prefer Netflix 📺

Club de lecture Join Marianne Gomis-Bentho and me this Friday, May 1 at 6:30 pm ET (3:30 pm PT) for the second installment of our biweekly Club de lecture book discussions. We had great fun two weeks ago talking about part 1 of La Peste; this time we’ll be discussing Une si longue lettre by Senegalese writer Mariama Bâ. Cost $10-$20 or pay what you can. Register here
–> You can join us even if you haven’t read the book—maybe you’ll decide that you want to read it after hearing the discussion. Marianne is Senegalese herself and is sure to have lots of great insights… plus she’s a lot of fun… you won’t be sorry you came! 

Fun French Fridays 📺

Do you like to watch TV? Want to improve your French language skills and deepen your cultural understanding? Come have fun & learn lots by discussing the six episodes season 1 of Call My Agent, a delightful French series available on Netflix.

–> In class Anna will present screen shots of the episode and lead conversations designed to improve your functional fluency in the French language. You contribute to the conversation according to your level, but since you have already seen the episode you’ll be able to understand a lot regardless of level!

Click here to read more and register.

Every other Friday at 6:30 pm ET/ 3:30 pm PT starting May 8.

Une si longue lettre (Mariama Bâ) pour notre prochain club de lecture !

Come join Marianne Gomis-Bentho and me for a 1-hour discussion (in French) of Mariama Bâ’s Une si longue lettre on Friday, May 1 at 6:30 pm ET/3:30 pm PT. Register here.

This is the second in a biweekly series of book discussions with Anna and Marianne.

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Marianne, who was born and raised in Dakar, Senegal, teaches French in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She is currently working on her doctorate in Educational Organization and Global Studies at Pepperdine University. (You can read more about me on my website:

Cost for the 1-hour discussion is $10-$20 (sliding scale). If you’ve been hit hard financially by COVID-19 and you can’t afford $10-$20, pay what you can or take it as a gift.

Payment can be made by Venmo (@Anna-Gilcher), Google Pay ( or Paypal ( – Friends & Family – no credit cards please)

Book available on Kindle for only $3 if you don’t have a paper copy. (You don’t need to have a Kindle — you can read on your phone, tablet, or computer).

Register here.


Club de lecture & cours de français!

New and continued opportunities for French learning!

NEW! Book club discussion of part 1 of La Peste

Come join the fabulous Marianne Gomis-Bentho* and me (preview video here, picture above) for a 1-hour discussion, in French, of Albert Camus’ La Peste on Tuesday, April 14 at 2 pm ET/5 pm PT. We’ll be discussing PARTIE I. Book available here. Cost for the 1-hour discussion is $10-$20 (sliding scale). If you’ve been hit hard financially by COVID-19 and you can’t afford $10-$20, pay what you can or take it as a giftRegister here

This is the first in what will be a biweekly series of book discussions on texts from Francophone Africa and other parts of the French-speaking world.

*Marianne was born and raised in Dakar, Senegal and teaches French in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She is currently working on her doctorate in Educational Organization and Global Studies at Pepperdine University. 

NEW! French immersion kids’ class starts April 15

A special 4-week class for 1st-3rd graders in French immersion (or who speak French in other contexts) starts Wednesday, April 15 – 4:30-5:30 pm. Register at

Registration for Spring II session of French classes now open

Spring II session classes begin April 20. There are lots and lots of classes, all currently online! There’s definitely one for you. Remember, your brain can learn French. It really can. See the full schedule (and register) at or register directly at


I’m doing a French class open house at Bonjour Books – Kensington, MD!

Come to the French class open house at Bonjour Books DC & try out a sample class on Thursday, January 23. Cost is just $20.

Space is limited—reserve your spot in advance at

  • Beginning class (novice low-novice mid) 6:30-7:00 pm
  • Advanced Beginning class (novice mid-novice high) 7:15-7:45
  • Intermediate class (intermediate low-intermediate high) 8-8:30 pm

Not sure which level to sign up for?  Come and I will help you figure that out!

—> Can’t come to the sample class?

—> Are you ready to register for the six-week session?

Six-week session begins February 6 at Bonjour Books

$210 for six classes; $40 drop-in

  • Beginning French, Thursdays 6-7 pm
  • Advanced Beginning French, Thursdays 7:15-8:15 pm
  • Intermediate French, Thursdays 8:30-9:30 pm

Register at

Don’t “pose a rabbit”! Join us for online & in-person classes starting Monday 1/20!

Ne nous posez pas un lapin! Venez nombreux!*

FRENCH CLASSES START ON MONDAY—in person and online.

*Don’t stand us up (literally, don’t “pose us a rabbit”)! Come one, come all!

Register now to reserve your spot.

Also, I’ve got NEW classes at Bonjour Books in Kensington on Thursdays. 
—> See below for more information & check out the French class open house on January 23


Monday classes
  • Advanced Beginning French 9:45-10:45 am
  • Advanced Beginning/Intermediate French 12:30-1:30 pm
  • Advanced Beginning French ONLINE 6:30-7:30 pm ET
Tuesday classes
  • Advanced – Speak & Write with Savoir Faire: Refining Your French 1:30-2:30 pm
  • Intermediate French ONLINE 6:30-7:30 pm ET
+ French for French Teachers classes begin February 4 – six-week session ONLINE
—> 4:30-5:30 pm ET
—> 7:45-8:45 pm ET
Wednesday classes
  • Intermediate/Advanced French conversation 10-11 am
Thursday classes at Bonjour Books, Kensington MD
*NEW* 6-week sessions at Bonjour Books starting Feb 4!
—> Try out a sample class on January 23 for just $20—register at
  • Beginning French 6-7 pm
  • Advanced Beginning French 7:15-8:15 pm
  • Intermediate French 8:30-9:30 pm

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Come to southwest France with me in 2020! (Come on pilgrimage, or for yoga & language immersion, or for both)

Pilgrimage to SW France – April 23-30

I’m leading a pilgrimage to southwest France this April, together with the Rev. David Wacaster, Rector of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, and John Spencer of Wonder Voyage.

You may not know that in addition to being a French teacher, I was a longtime spiritual director and am a graduate of Shalem’s Spiritual Guidance Program. It is a true honor and delight for me to be collaborating in the planning and leadership of this pilgrimage.

Join us for a fun, prayerful, discovery-rich time of shared experience. From Toulouse & Bordeaux to the Chemin de Saint-Jacques (el Camino de Santiago de Compostela) and Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges, Plum Village & Saint-Just-de-Valcabrère, we’ll be opening ourselves up the sacred in the places we visit as well as in ourselves and each other.

To learn more & to register, go to


2nd Annual Yoga & Dual-Language Immersion in Agen, France – May 2-8

Last year was such a blast—and so successful in terms of language & cultural exchange—that we absolutely had to do it again. Half of our participants are French and the other half are American. It’s dual immersion for grown-ups with yoga to support and integrate the learning and acquisition. Such fun! Yoga teacher Galen Tromble, English teacher Judy Dubois and I are thrilled to be offering this again, with the help of local yoga teacher Sophie Coat and massage therapist Susan Barg. Learn more and register at


Join our 2019-20 cohort – “Teaching with Culturally Responsive CI”

Deadline for registration is TONIGHT – 11:59 pm PT. Don’t miss out on excellent, extremely affordable, professional development that takes you step by step through the whole school year!

Anna Gilcher, PhD - Changing (My) Life with French

Rachelle and I are so excited to have launched a credit-bearing online course for language teachers!

We take you step by step along a success path to develop your Culturally Responsive CI teaching practice.

Content is shared weekly over 12 months. Each week’s instruction only takes an average of 20 minutes.

Through crystallized learning modules, curated resources, concrete
actions you can take in your classroom, and guided reflection, we walk
you through the 5 stages of Teaching with Culturally Responsive
Comprehensible Input:
1. Understanding CI
2. Providing CI
3. Witnessing Progress
4. Trusting the Process
5. Deepening Your Culturally Responsive CI Practice

Course Cost – $250 (less than $5/week!)
…or 4 payments of $62.50
1-4 Graduate-level credits available from University of the Pacific.

  • Engaging with the modules over the course of the year earns you one
    graduate-level credit with no additional work required.
  • Each additional graduate-level credit requires a 3-page…

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