Catherine Cantin

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Fun facts:

I am possibly the UK’s biggest chocoholic. I can fit an unsightly number of Maltesers into my mouth. I have also mastered the technique of unwrapping and eating a KitKat in complete stealth ninja mode, so that my children and husband don’t notice. Skills.

I lived in Norway from the age of 12-15. During these three years, I went to a British International School and an American International School. Mixing with children from 30 different countries and a variety of religious and cultural backgrounds was one of the best experiences of my life and really broadened my horizons. This is where the love of travelling, learning languages and meeting people from other countries really began. When I got married in 2011, one of my bridesmaids was a friend from Norway who had grown up in Spain, another was a friend from Holland whom I had met whilst working on a campsite in Brittany, and the third was a friend from university who I then went on to a share a flat with in Paris.

Before becoming a teacher, I worked in Paris for five years. I held various positions, including PA to Jacques Garcia, the internationally renowned Interior Designer. If you ever visit the Château du Champ de Bataille in Normandy, owned by Jacques Garcia, it’s my voice that you will hear guiding you around the castle and telling you about its history and architecture.

One of my more expensive spontaneous lockdown purchases was a stand-up paddleboard. Paddle-boarding has now become one of my favourite hobbies. My first adventures on my paddleboard took place in Devon, in a lovely village called Newton Ferrers. My eldest son therefore decided that the paddleboard should be called Isaac (after Isaac Newton). The name has stuck and now Isaac and I spend many an hour on the Cotswolds lakes or on the river Avon, channelling our inner Moana!

I am a massive Musicals fan and I can recite perfectly a number of musicals from start to finish, including Phantom of the Opera, Little Shop of Horrors, Les Misérables (évidemment) and Jesus Christ Superstar. During the summers of my Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth Years at Secondary school, I worked three jobs; Sales Assistant at Mothercare at the weekends, shift worker at Wrigleys Chewing Gum Factory during the week and Usherette at the theatre on Friday and Saturday nights. Working as an Usherette was the least paid, but the most rewarding job by miles, although I almost got sacked as I always ended up crying during the musicals (especially at the end of Phantom)!

More about Catherine:
Catherine Cantin obtained her First-Class Honours degree in English and French from the University of Warwick in 2003. She then moved to Paris where she worked for five years, before carrying out her PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages at the University of Exeter.

After obtaining her PGCE, she worked for five years as a secondary teacher of French and Spanish, before taking a break to have children. After her second child was born, she set up her own business teaching French to babies, toddlers and their parents and grandparents.

Teaching French through singing and dancing was a fantastic and transformative experience, and this led to Catherine’s current role teaching French to nursery and primary school children, aged 2 – 11 years old.

Making the most of children’s natural enjoyment and enthusiasm for singing and dancing, Catherine has been able to hone her craft and create songs, poems and raps that capture the children’s imagination and embed French vocabulary, phonics and grammar into their long term memories.

Through the songs, gestures, videos and worksheets provided in 21 Fun Songs to Teach French Phonics, Catherine hopes to pass on the flame of her passion and life-long love of learning languages.