You could never guess from my name that I am French with Italian origins. My passion for languages started very young as I was bilingual from birth with French and Italian. My Italian teacher at school (a school in Paris), one day, when I was about 13, asked me to do the lesson on her behalf as she had lost her voice. I still remember my classmates looking at me amused as it wasn’t common for a friend to do the lesson. But Mrs Boursin carried on and I taught the best I could, with her sat next to me. I loved it and at the end of my first lesson, I could see from Mrs Boursin’s smile and smiling eyes that she was so pleased. As you can see, our first language is our smile and our face expression. Mrs Boursin gave me so much confidence and always encouraged me to become a language teacher and after studying at the Sorbonne for 5 years I became a language teacher. I am so grateful Mrs Boursin believed in me. And now, thanks to her, I believe in my students. I do my best to facilitate their learning because I want them to feel they can do it. This feeling of satisfaction is just great.
When you speak another language you learn about yourself. If you are shy or scared you become less shy and more confident. I find that wonderful. Learning a new language or a new skill gives us a new dimension in life. I am very creative and making things with my hands or creating new ideas and memory tricks is a way of living for me.
I find people fascinating and when I teach we talk about life. I read biographies as a way of understanding the life of others and I love reading the dictionary to understand words. I always like helping and this is what I try to do in my daily life with my family and friends and with people in need like homeless people. As I said before, we all smile in the same language and even a smile can help someone. We have all smiled at a stranger in the street and the feeling it gives us is just amazing.
I am married to an English man who speaks more languages than me as he speaks 4 languages fluently and we have a daughter and a son both speaking at least 2 languages.
I hope you will be curious to look at my books where I present the French language in a logical and simple way. I make it approachable and attainable. I have created stories where the language becomes alive and memory tricks to make your learning easier and fun. You will become confident with my method and you will learn so much about the French, France and yourself. Promised! Enjoy this trip with me!
Maria Rice-Jones is a French language teacher, who knows that to achieve tangible results requires pupils to be motivated, confident and efficient learners. In her books Unforgettable French and Hexagonie, she shows you how to make this happen.
More about Maria
Unforgettable French uses memory tricks to teach and reinforce major points of French grammar from the basics up to GCSE levels, to learners of all ages. The memory tricks are based on sound and idea associations and will help to you to engage your memory and remember key grammatical points.
Hexagonie is a scheme for introducing French to primary and lower secondary pupils, based on Maria’s method. Its systematic, but flexible format is suitable for both non-specialist and specialist teachers.
Maria Rice-Jones is a French national with a Masters Degree in Modern Languages from the Sorbonne University in Paris. Since 1990, she has taught French to students of primary level and above in Paris, Milan and London. Maria has been developing, trialing and testing her method for many years for use in her own classroom. It has now been formalized as a book at the encouragement of her pupils and colleagues.