Testimonials

We discovered Clare on the internet whilst looking for a French teacher that could specifically work via Skype.

 

Clare was pleasant form the start and very accommodating, giving very clear advice as to how her teaching methods work.

 

We have been tutored by Clare now for over six months and we can clearly state that we have learned an enormous amount with her guidance. Clare is structured in her approach to classes but is always capable of changing direction if she feels we can learn from a spontaneous discussion about our French experiences.

 

It was our hope that we would find someone who could tutor us into a complete understanding of the French language – no small ask – in Clare we feel we have found that, and we look forward to speaking French fluently.

 

Brian and Jo Simpson,

Aylesford, Kent

July 2017

 

 

I should like to recommend Clare & 'figureoutfrench' to anyone wanting to be mentored towards a good grasp of the French language. I had but  few words & little grasp of grammar when I started her classes, but she rapidly 'figured out' how to engage my abilities and enthusiasms. I have, quite painlessly, progressed to being able to follow French films, read French news and appreciate something of the culture, and, it has taken only an hour per week, generally, for less than half a year. I am a mature student, to say the least, and French at school was my worst subject. Now I feel quite confident that when next I visit France, I shall be understood, and that, in a few more months, I shall be able to engage in conversation with Parisiennes, one of my goals. I would add that Clare's book about 'dying less stupid' is amusing and an interesting insight. In my view, anyone of any age or ability, could learn French under Clare's empathetic tutelage. Thank you.

John Cartwright,

Twywell, March 2017

 



My husband and I have been having French lessons with Clare for nine weeks. It was our hope that our very rudimentary French learnt at school would be much improved so that we could have conversations and understand spoken French when we travel to France or Quebec City where our son and grand daughter live and where French is the main spoken language. We have found Clare to be very friendly, patient and efficient and we have learnt much in that time. We visit Clare every week at her home to practise speaking and listening and we have been working through a French book with cds that she has recommended to help us. Links to French language websites and work sheets suggested by Clare have also supported our learning. We would certainly recommend Clare for French tuition, she is very experienced and helps us feel confident in speaking French even when we are little unsure and we feel that our French has really improved because of her encouragement. We look forward to continuing to learn with her.

Hilary Hamilton,

Wollaston, February 2017


Clare Jones is an excellent teacher, and in a few short months has helped me dramatically improve my spoken French. She is always well prepared for our lessons, has a very good approach, and makes me feel relaxed and so able to learn. Having a regular tutor really helps keep me motivated too, especially as Clare is a great teacher. I live close to her, but we do our lessons via Skype, which works really well. I would recommend Clare to anyone who wants to build up their confidence in French.

 

Paul Jackson, Northampton, September 2016



I have found all of our lessons both immensely enjoyable and rewarding in equal measure, and shall certainly recommend you wherever possible.

Andrew Hunt

Clopton, Northants, September, 2016


Hi Clare

 

I hope you are keeping well and enjoying life in Oundle.  Milly asked me to let you know that she got an A* in French, the first time anyone from set 3 has ever done this.

 

Thank you so much for all the help you provided, I'm sure you've made the difference of at least 2 grades!

 

very best wishes

 

Phoebe

Lowick, Kettering, August, 2016


You are a fantastic tutor Clare.  The girls think you are lovely and most of all they enjoy coming to you.  I never have to bribe or cajole them into going to their French.  You inspire and you have a very good method of getting your points across.  I am so glad we found you.

 Shirley

Hargrave, June 2016


My lessons with Clare were very well organised and stress free. I had French lessons at school and wanted to improve upon what I had learnt, I felt that I could learn at my own pace with no pressure to move on to a new topic without understanding the previous lessons. Clare's knowledge about the French language and culture was invaluable and allowed me to ask her a range of questions about the French way of life. It wasn't long before I had recollected the vocabulary I had learnt from school and with Clare's teaching I was quickly learning and more importantly remembering new vocabulary.
Charlie Woodford, Finedon, February, 2016


I took lessons with Clare in preparation to live and work with a French family for 6 weeks. In the lead up to my trip (and after), Clare's teaching was expertly and very thoughtfully tailored to my specific needs and blended language learning with cultural advice. From the moment that I arrived in France, I heard and saw many things exactly as they had been described and taught and immediately felt more confident, knowing that I really had been armed with some very reliable 'insider knowledge'! By the end of my trip, I couldn't believe how far my confidence and ability had come and this was primarily thanks to the excellent starting point that the lessons had provided. 
Jessica Woodford, Higham Ferrers, November, 2015

Clare is really helping my daughter improve her results in the run up to her French GCSE.  She has taken time to understand where the potential weaknesses are and researched appropriate tests papers and exercises which have really improved my daughter's confidence and ability.  I would thoroughly recommend her.
Phoebe Edwards, Lowick, Kettering, November, 2015


I got a D grade in my mock GCSE French exam but after twice-weekly lessons with Clare, I managed to turn this into a grade A. I was over the moon with this result and would highly recommend Clare as a tutor.

Emily Wright, Hargrave, September 2015.

This isn't really a testimonial but Karen recently came back from a holiday in France and wrote this lovely piece about her trip in French using much of the language we have been studying together. I have made a few corrections but not many.

Bonsoir Clare

Nous avons passé de bonnes vacances en France et nous sommes arrivés à la maison samedi nuit.  Notre séjour  au Château Fort Sedan était intéressant et le lit dans notre chambre était  très,  très confortable.  Je voulais le ramener à la maison!

Nous avons traversé la campagne sur les routes  sinueuses et nous avons regardé beaucoup  de beaux villages.  Le soleil brillait  tous les jours avec les températures très chaudes – 33 à 38  degrés!

Nous avons visité Troyes et nous avons vu beaucoup de vieux bâtiments.  Nous avons visité aussi Reims pour visiter la cathédrale.  C’est  très grand et majestueux.

J’espère que vous  avez passé de bonnes vacances aussi.

À jeudi!

 

Karen Beasley,

Daventry, Northants, September, 2015



I was very lucky to find Clare's details online and having several months of lessons under my belt now, I've been impressed with the depth of Clare's knowledge and her ability to tailor the classes to my needs and learning style. Having one-to-one classes every week has really worked for me by being able to ask questions on the smallest details without holding up the rest of the class and Clare is always happy to explore the tangents that my questions inevitably bring. If you are thinking about taking classes but are a little apprehensive, then I can't recommend Clare enough for giving you the confidence to tackle the language and challenge you enough to progress at a pace that may surprise you.
Dan Orchard
Thrapston, July, 2015


We are both so enjoying learning French with Clare.

Our daughter lives in France with her French partner, so it's important for us to learn conversational French. We tried Adult Ed classes, which,as a complete beginner, left me feeling swamped and lacking in confidence.

Being taught as a couple means that Clare can tailor the course to our needs.Clare copes well with our different abilities and we both feel we are learning a great deal. It has become quite a highlight of our week and my confidence has massively improved!! A recommendation in itself! 

Eddie and Alan Butterworth

Oundle, March, 2015


I started to study french at evening classes many years ago to use in my work. I wish Clare was available then, I'm sure I would have been more competant communicating with french companies. More or less all conversations were in pidgin french and franglais. Thanks to Clare I can now use a combination of different tenses and a range of vocab. I am resigned to the fact that at my advanced age I am never going to become fluent. For me it is a question of use it or lose it and living in France is not really a "use it" option so thank you Clare for your continuing help, ecouragement and patience.
Dave HOYLE
Rainford, Merseyside, February, 2015

And here is Dave's testimonial in French which Clare has added a few corrections to:
J’ai commencé à étudier le français dans des cours du soir il y a beaucoup d’années, pour mon travail. J’aurais aimé que Clare ait été disponible à ce moment-là, Je suis certain que j’aurais été plus compétent avec mes homologues en France. Mes conversations étaient en français basique ou en franglais. Grâce à Clare je peux ­combiner des temps différents et j’ai du vocabulaire. Maintenant je me suis résigné au fait que je ne parlerai jamais couramment le français. Pour moi il s’agit de « use it or lose it » et habiter en France n’est pas vraiment une option « use it ». Donc merci beaucoup, Clare, pour vos encouragements et votre patience.

 

We last studied French at school some 40 years ago, and both of us have forgotten all but the very basics (and as has been shown, we'd forgotten some of that as well!). But having taken a few holidays in France in recent years, we decided we would like to renew our acquaintance with the language, in the hope that our initial conversations with the locals would not begin by asking "Parlez vous Anglais?".

We decided to seek out some local lessons in the form of college evening classes etc, but nothing on offer appeared suitable. A Google search came up with a few possibilities, including Clare's website. We contacted her and were delighted to see that she could provide lessons via Skype. After initial contact it was clear that she was "just what the doctor ordered"!

We have now been having weekly sessions for about six months and we both feel that we are making progress. Clare has shown herself to be very patient and always appears able to pitch her lessons at just the right level regardless of how well (or how badly!) we are doing. In addition to her obvious technical ability with the language, she also has provided excellent guidance to French culture and customs.

We both look forward to our next lessons, and to the Summer when we expect to be trying out our new-found skills!

We would not hesitate to recommend Clare to anyone seeking to learn French.

Karen & Roy Beasley
Daventry, Northants, February 2015.

Hi Claire, 
Kirsty got her AS results today and she wanted me to let you know that she got an A in french,     so thank you very much for all your help and patience with her.
She also got A's in maths, biology and chemistry, we are so very proud of her.
Thanks again, 
Teresa Teahan
Higham Ferrers, August, 2014

Dear Clare,
Thank you for teaching me over the last two years. I enjoyed our lessons very much. At times they were the highlight of my week. You helped me lots with my French and without you I'm sure my grades would not be as good. I will let you know my results when I get them. Please continue to stay in contact and send me useful and current French links.
Thank you again,
Harriet.
H. Igo, Wellingborough, July, 2014
AS/A2 French support


I love France, speaking the language would be a real advantage. In the past I have tried evening classes, but found I did not enjoy this kind of learning. I have been taking lessons with Clare for around four months and I am enjoying the experience. Clare tailors the learning to my needs and I feel that I am learning at a pace that is good for me. La vie est une aventure. I'm looking forward to my next visit to France. 
Ray Martin
Lutton, Peterborough, May, 2014


After studying French O'level almost 50 years ago it has been a real source of irritation not to be able to speak anything other than the odd word when holidaying in France. There has always been lots of knowledge locked away somewhere in the old grey matter but until now it has been totally inaccessible in any useful way. After less than a dozen lessons with Clare that has changed. I now feel I have the wherewithal and confidence to " get stuck into a conversation with someone in french".  I thoroughly enjoy the lessons and can't wait for my next holiday in France.

Brian Arnold,

Northampton, May, 2014


Dear Clare,

 I wanted to tell you that I spoke in French most of the time I was in Lille.  I asked for directions and understood the answers! sorted out my car hire, checked in the hotel and asked for food and drink all in French.  My Auntie was very impressed and thought I was fluent.  I guess to someone who hardly knows any words in French I might have sounded like that but I held my own and I’m pleased about that.

 The cemetery in Morchies was well tended by the war graves commission, but it was so sad to see that on the day Grandad died 27th September 1914, there were 9 young men from his regiment who also died that day, probably in the same battle.  And 2 days before that 4 died and 2 days prior to that another 2 died.  All his mates wiped out.  18 and 19 years old only.  Very tragic.  And elsewhere in the cemetery you could spot dates where huge numbers of people died on the same day from the same regiments.  We planted poppies and left a vase of lilies.  I’m glad I went.

 Thank you for teaching me.  My knowledge is OK my vocabulary larger than I realised (it’s amazing how you can drag things from the back of your mind when you have to), but my pronunciation let me down.  With your help I was able to pronounce things correctly and it helped me be better understood.

 Kind regards,

 Angela Parker

Meers Ashby, March, 2014


I can thoroughly recommend tuition with Clare – just wish I had found her years ago! Although able to speak French well enough to hold a conversation, I wanted to feel more confident and improve my grammar. Clare makes learning fun and interesting, but keeps me on my toes. Since having weekly one-to-one sessions with her French friends have commented on the improvement in my conversational skills. Thanks Clare.

Jane Clemence       

Raunds, March, 2014


I am delighted to be able to learn French via Skype with Clare. 
The one-to-one lessons are far better than anything  a group class could possibly offer because the level of tuition is personalised and therefore pitched at the right level for the individual.
Whilst I learnt French as a schoolgirl, I never had cause to use it until some 40 odd years later when I (together with my husband) made friends with a French couple we met on holiday. I find it very rewarding to be able to speak to them in their own language.
Clare is extremely knowledgeable, thorough and very patient but above all makes learning an absolute pleasure.
Judi Carr
Northampton, March, 2014

Alastair was really pleased with the result as were we, first time he has had a B in French! I think it has given him the incentive and push he needed.Thank you Clare and we will see you next Wednesday.
K. Low, 
Raunds, February, 2014 (referring to G.C.S.E. French oral)

I have been having lessons with Clare for a few weeks now. Having recently moved to France I find our Skype lessons very convenient as I am still settling down here, but can have lessons from the comfort of my home without having to drive anywhere. I love the fact that Clare tailors our lessons towards everyday scenarios that do actually crop up in my life now. Our lessons have given me the confidence to hold conversations with people knowing that they understand what I am saying, whereas before I would only stick to basic French. Thank you Clare, your help has been invaluable.  
Chenesai Mujati
Paris region, October, 2013

Bonjour Clare,
 
I just thought I would drop you a line to express my appreciation for
your excellent patience in me learning the French language.
Whilst on holiday in France we meet a French couple which
encouraged me to learn the language.As you know my school
days are long gone and your knowledge is very welcome indeed.
 
Our SKYPE system works extremely well together with pronunciation
and recordings.
However distance is not a problem as their is no travelling time or
cost involved.I even SKYPE our friends in France every two weeks to
become familiar with the language.
 
Kind Regards,
Derek
Derek Carr, Northampton, October, 2013

Thanks for helping Jess, she got an ‘A’ in her speaking (from an E last time!) – they even gave her name out in assembly for progress.
 Lynn Harris,
Ringstead, May, 2013

For me as a beginner Clare has been a great teacher. I've enjoyed the convenience of learning online using Skype. The lessons have gone very well and within a few weeks my French has improved dramatically all from the comfort of my own home. She's been very patient with me and the lessons have been both productive and enjoyable. She's a fantastic teacher. I strongly recommend her.

Brian Mujati,
Northampton Saints Rugby Club, April, 2013, transferring to Racing Metro 92, Paris, in June, 2013.


Hi Clare,
Rebecca has had her last French assessment marked and said her teacher has told her she has got a B although it needs to be moderated. Mrs R was really pleased with her and said it was much better than her first attempt.
Jayne Giles,
Ringstead, February, 2013

Clare is a good teacher and I am indebted to her for the progress I have made over the last 3 years. She tailors her teaching to the needs of every student and makes learning a joy. Merci! 
Peter Browning 
Rushden, February, 2013

Clare is enthusiastic about all things French and is particularly keen on French idioms.  She uses a wide variety of course material, making her lessons lively and fun.
Caroline Stratford
Raunds, February, 2013

I have been having lessons with Clare once a week for nearly a year now, the 45 minutes go so quickly and I can surprise myself with the French I can now speak especially as I am / was a beginner!  She makes the lessons interesting and is extremely patient, I would highly recommend.
Lorraine Scanes
Higham Ferrers, February, 2013

Clare makes learning French enjoyable whilst at the same time instilling a confidence to progress remarkably quickly. We thoroughly enjoy our lessons with Clare and would highly recommend her to anyone wishing to learn the language.
Mariane and Matt Phillips
Ringstead, February, 2013

Hannah says thank you for her lesson she got a score of 30 out of 30 best in year.
John Carress, Raunds, February, 2013

Clare is a very patient and understanding teacher who instantly makes you feel relaxed and welcome.  I have always feared and avoided the subjunctive but Clare explained it slowly and simply and I soon found it easy to understand.
Chrissie Hewson,
Irthlingborough, September, 2012
 

Having tried group lessons with friends, I opted for one on one lessons with Clare.

An hour spent with Clare is probably worth 5 Hours in a group and therefore good value. 

Clare has a friendly but confident approach to teaching and I delighted to now be making progress with the language. 

Clare's teaching approach would suit the newcomer, intermediate or confident French language student.

 

I have recommended Clare to Friends and Colleagues without  hesitation.

John Carress

Raunds, June, 2012



So we had his great idea to buy a house in Northern France but didn't speak French.  A friend referred us to Clare and in the first lesson she had us using talking in French.  Now a couple of month's on we are able to conduct basic conversations whilst in France with some confidence.  Clare makes learning fun and nothing like being at school, working at our pace.  We would strongly recommend anyone try her.
Rob Weall
Poddington, June, 2012


Re year 2 course in Rushden Community College

Excellent course, excellent teacher. I feel more confident using French and better equipped to learn more.

David East

Wellingborough, November, 2011


I was very anxious about this course, but found the tutoring sensitive and appropriate, with a caring, sensitive teacher. I have begun to relax and am able to structure simple conversation. Thank you.

Geofff Dean

Great Doddington, November, 2011


Fantastic teacher- Clare is such good fun and I feel confident that I'm doing really well with my studies.

Clare, Yes of course, please do use my words.  Regarding your colleague who spoke to us on Wednesday - I can't tell you how pleased I was that each of my student colleagues felt the same genuine admiration, respect and affection for you as a truly brill tutor. A couple of them had obviously not had such happy experiences in their previous classes.  
I've told loads of people where I work, about you.  Unfortunately none of them come from around here and even fewer are trying to rekindle their school-day French, but hey, they may know someone who does. 

Hazel Wade,

Rushden, November, 2011


Hi Clare

We just got home from holiday today and received Sophie’s results. We were delighted with her B in French. The extra tuition certainly helped her to achieve this – thank you for your hard work with her! Sophie would not have achieved her B without your support.

Best wishes,

Sarah
Sarah Stopps, Chelveston, August, 2011

 

Hi Clare,

 I am just writing to say I recieved my GCSE French result today. I got a B, a whole grade higher that what I was predicted at Christmas last year.

 Thank you so much for the help you gave me during the lessons. I couldn't have done it without you.

 Thank you again,

 Rebecca
Rebecca Lee, Thrapston, August, 2011
 
 
Clare has helped me considerably to improve both my speaking and writing skills in French.  I feel much more confident as a result of her efforts.  Her lessons are well structured but she allows a degree of flexibility in willingly discussing some of the issues current in France.  In essence, she successfully adapts her approach to meet the needs of the individual student.
Richard Miller, Brampton
 

Hello Clare

 I thought it was about time I thanked you for the help you have given me so far with my weekly French lessons.

It is amazing to me what I have learnt in the 45minute lessons, which I can't believe I only started last May.

As a mature student what I do really thank you for is your patience when I haven't grasped something and how you don't mind going over things again and again.

My holiday in France this September was so much more enjoyable having been able to ask a few questions in French and also respond to questions directed at me.

 Jo

Jo Wookey, Higham Ferrers

 

Recently, to improve my knowledge and abilities I have undertaken two courses of French tutored by Clare Jones. She is knowledgeable, approachable and has a varied and adaptable style of teaching that stimulates and sustains interest; and this without making the student feel under any undue pressure. Certainly my understanding of the French language, ability to find the correct words, and confidence to speak in French is much improved. She comes highly recommended not only for beginners, but those wishing to build on basic skills (that's me) and those who are at a more advanced level.

Richard Vert, Rushden

 

 

Clare gives ......   Professional tutoring /  Wide Range of subjects covered /   Great fun in the classes.

Christine Rushton, Sharnbrook

 

 

At a fairly ripe age, never had a reason to study French before but with a husband who has studied for several years (at a not so ripe age…), Clare has been our private tutor fore some time now.

 

Having two so different students in the same class never seems to faze Clare and she effortlessly switches between the traditional teaching format and custom made lessons, depending on the needs at the moment and what we request. This has been anything from role playing phoning up a stone mason to get quotes to fix a wall, to discussing the electoral results and reading poetry.

 

We always have a good laugh together but at the same time both of us have progressed no end under Clare’s tutelage.

 

I can warmly recommend Clare to anybody, regardless if they want to learn French from scratch, or wants to hone their conversational skills or anything in between.

 

Did I mention she’s got the patience of a saint?

Stephanie Dyson Heidrich, Keyston

 

Re. Year 1 French at Rushden Community College

Very enjoyable course with high quality teaching. Materials prepared all good quality. Clare kept us all motivated throughout. Will continue next course.

Steve Elliott, Rushden
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