Adult Tutoring Testimonials

If you want to make substantive gains in your French language skills, commit to tutoring with Melissa! I’ve taken classes at three language schools in Washington, DC and one-on-one tutoring is hands down the best option. Melissa offers complete immersion in the language during every lesson. Even though you may not understand everything during the lesson (since it’s all in French), Melissa finds a way to facilitate the learning process. Basically she has a natural gift for teaching. So far, I’ve taken five lessons with her and my French has radically improved since I started tutoring. She tailors my lessons to my line of work (public health) and she has been very flexible with my work schedule. ~ Frankie

I found Melissa on the Internet while I was searching for the best French language tutor in the DC-NOVA metro area. After researching and speaking with several potential French instructors, I chose Melissa. I have never regretted that choice, and here’s why: Melissa knows her stuff. She is personable, friendly, and committed–a consummate professional who truly cares. I particularly like Melissa’s approach/technique: she combines grammar, vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation, conversation (speaking, listening and comprehension) and dictation (writing, listening and comprehension), making sure that the learning experience is both educational and enjoyable. Her technique is immersive, and she spends time making you understand grammatical, spelling and pronunciation nuances. The process is not superficial, and it’s not rote memorization (although part of any language learning is memorization). It is transformative. After a few sessions, I was  pleasantly surprised that I was able to understand, and converse in, basic French. A few more sessions hence, I’m now able to construct and deconstruct relatively complex sentences and phrases–and my confidence is growing with each session! I am so pleased with Melissa that I intend to continue my French tutoring for as long as my professional and personal circumstances permit. I would highly recommend Melissa to people who are interested in learning French. Whether French is your first foreign language or your sixth, or whether it’s for work or for sheer personal pleasure, I strongly believe from my personal experience with Melissa that she can help you learn it–and learn it fast. This is my 4th language, and I’m exceedingly happy to have found Melissa who makes learning French such a joy. ~ Erick

I have been taking private French lessons with Dr. Kerley for nearly two years and with her help my French has dramatically improved. We discuss grammar, French novels, and practice general conversation. I also write brief compositions and grammar exercises, which I then review with Dr. Kerley. All of this has led me to be more comfortable and confident in my French skills, which I now use at work in written communications and also used during a recent work trip to West Africa. Dr. Kerley est une prof formidable!! ~ Courtney (Chemonics)

It has been an absolute pleasure working on French with Dr. Melissa Kerley’s guidance the last few years. Melissa uses her broad understanding of French grammar, culture and literature to help you meet whatever goals you have. My goal was to take my academic French and concentrate on improving my oral and written communication skills. Melissa, a very passionate and energetic teacher, is both encouraging and challenging. She adapts to my needs and whims whether it is a period of reading books and discussing them, working on conversational skills, making oral presentations or writing essays – all with her expert critique. For example, in 2016, we read 16 books in French and discussed them in our Club de lecture. As a result of Melissa’s instruction, my oral, written and reading abilities have greatly improved. When held my own in a conversation with a French man in Paris discussing French v. American labor laws, I was quietly thanking Melissa for helping me gain the confidence and skills to make that happen. Melissa is an amazing, selfless teacher who loves teaching French, goes beyond what is expected of her and creates an exciting, fun environment for improving French. I consider myself fortunate to have met her. Je vous souhaite bonne chance dans vos études de français et j’espère que vous réussirez brillamment. Avec Melissa, c’est sûr! ~ Joanne

Melissa is not only creative and smart, but above all she is fun and delightful. She is a superb language teacher because she loves to see her students learn. I took French lessons from her and she made each class a memorable experience. I highly recommend her. ~ Maria Elena

My fiance (now husband) surprised me with “Survival French” lessons in preparation for our honeymoon in Paris last fall. He had me to meet him for a cocktail in Shirlington and when I got there he told me to go say hello to this pretty lady sitting on a bench outside the restaurant…Little did I know how fortunate we would be in meeting such a wonderful, talented and lovely French instructor. Melissa is a delight and made learning French something we looked forward to each week. Her effective technique, genuine patience, intelligent skill and encouraging attitude make her a French instructor that I would recommend to everyone I know! My husband and I had the time of our lives on our honeymoon in Paris because of all the preparation Melissa gave us before our trip. On top of it all, she is the nicest, most kind individual you will ever meet. We love Melissa and know you will too! ~ Mona

I took French lessons from Melissa in Vero Beach before she moved to DC and must say that she has a unique and adaptive style of teaching. It’s great for kids and adults and she taught what I needed to help me in my travels in France. My focus was conversational and I wanted to be able to get around and order a good meal. I learned a lot and wish she was back in Vero so I could continue. ~ Boris

I have been lucky to receive French lessons with Melissa through gifts that my husband got for me for Christmas, and then again for my birthday, and have been thrilled to speak and learn with her.  It’s a great way to improve French and have fun while doing it!  Also, the gift certificates are always beautifully packaged inside other things – most recently an adorable, ceramic penguin cookie jar! ~ Sandy

Never too late to learn another language. My first encounter with learning French dates back to college days.   I took the requisite number of language credits unfortunately fluency was not required. As with any skill if you don’t keep in practice it goes stale without use. Twenty five years after collage I vacationed in France for 3 weeks. Some of my French was awakened as I spent most of the time bicycling though southwestern France from Paris to Bordeaux and back along the Atlantic coast.  I was able to book hotels, order dinner and ask directions mostly in French. Again there was a long gap, until the summer of 2014 when I was preparing for a trip to Montreal. This time I wanted to have a better understating of French.  I hopped to be able engage in a least simple conversation.  An internet search led me to Dr. Melissa Kerley who said that she specializes in teaching a lot of French quickly (that turned out to be very true). My original intent was to take  5 or 6 lessons to bring back and improve on my long lost French before heading off to Quebec. Thanks to Melissa’s skill as a teacher and patience, the lessons were tailored directly to my needs, plus her enthusiasm for French the 5 or 6 lessons have now continued for 4 years and still going. My goal is to be bilingual not just translate as I speak but to think in French. Benefits: There is the joy of learning the culture as well as the language as they not separate.   In addition my  general  awareness  has improved ,  I don’t forget where I left my coffee as often as I used to. I can go to the grocery store for few items without a list and get everything I needed. Most important learning has added to my self- esteem at age 75 I don’t feel so old after all. To keep the mind and body limber stretching and exercise is essential. ~ Rick

I was the editor of a regional general-interest magazine in 2002 when I first became familiar with Dr. Melissa Kerley’s unique teaching style. One of my freelance writers wrote a story about Speak Abroad, the institution Dr. Kerley created in Vero Beach, Florida, that not only offered instruction in French, but also immersed students in the French culture. A few years later I had the opportunity to travel to Paris. Realizing my enjoyment would be greatly enhanced by having a grasp of the language, I asked for Dr. Kerley’s help. The experience was exceptional on several levels. Her thorough – and patient – method of instruction was tremendously effective. She gave me a strong foundation of that allowed me to feel comfortable with conversational French in a very short time. Dr. Kerley’s talent as a French instructor goes beyond her knowledge of the language or ability to teach. Her vivacious personality – full of warmth, humor, sincerity, politeness, caring – make the learning experience a pleasure. She is one of those trusted people who make you feel you’ve known them forever – a tremendous joy to be around. Dr. Kerley will teach you French – and do it more effectively than anyone else. ~ Peter