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Claire Campbell : Client Reviews

Andrew Wilson
after a week’s course in the autumn 2023)

After living in France for many years, and my mediocre error-strewn French always prompting the  “Let’s switch to English, it will be easier” response, I decided to spend a residential week with Claire.

It was absolutely super.  The five days were structured, logical in the progression and fast paced.

Claire is a seasoned professional when it comes to imparting knowledge and learning.  With a good blend of “toughness” to ensure the objectives are achieved and “human skills” to engage and motivate.

I am a fan of her teaching style,  and she helped me make a step change in the use of correct tenses, but more importantly, with my ability to speak French with confidence, even if still somewhat error laden at times.

So thank you, Claire, it was a pleasure to spend time with you.

Bernice Lawrence 
(after several months of weekly Skype lessons)

I’m hugely embarrassed to admit that I’d entered my sixth decade of studying with various French teachers and courses, but with precious little to show for it all.  That is, until I encountered Claire.  At long, long last, I have found someone who has helped me to begin to make sense of the language.  Claire is an exceptional teacher.  Her lessons are varied, constructive and always enjoyable.  I’m even eager to do my homework ! I feel like I’ve transcended a previously unidentifiable barrier and now I’m keen and excited to progress further.  Merci beaucoup, Claire.

Norma Reay
(after several months of weekly Skype lessons)

after several months of weekly Skype lessons)

As a relative newcomer to the French language, finding the right language tutor and coach was crucial, as ultimately this would enable me tofully integrate into French life rather than remain on the periphery.

As a language teacher, Claire has spent a lifetime coaching students at all levels and as an experienced professional she has been able to identify my weaknesses and requirements quickly, personalizing my learning plan.

For me and I suspect for many other French language students, grammar can be arduous and difficult but I know that if I am to progress and speak the language correctly and confidently, I have to get to grips with it.  Claire has demystified the learning process and has provided me with simple reference guides that reinforce her lessons, and I know that I am making progress.

Her approach is quite simple : When speaking the language, never panic, be confident and try hard to get your message across as the most essential part is trying to communicate; however when learning the language in study sessions, understand the rules and techniques and apply them; As Claire believes that with continual practice and study, your unconscious mind transfers those memories into an automatic process and eh voilà !  Her enthusiasm and knowledge and love of the language are infectious.

Jean Taaffe
August 6 2021

Claire is one of the best teachers I have ever studied with. I met her in 2018 and came back again in 2018. Had to cancel with Covid for 2020. As a result I Skype with her weekly

Paulina J September 29 2019

Claire's course and holiday home was recommended to my by one of her former students. I decided to go for one week, for just 3 hours a day of morning classes to have time to explore the beautiful walking paths of Cucugnian in the afternoons. Claire is such a gracious host and a delightful company. We shared a meal or two. She took me to a beautiful gorge nearby, as I expressed keen interest in nature and walking. That alone would have made a nice and relaxing holiday! During the morning classes we covered a lot of material to refresh my rusty French; words, tenses. Had a giggle over story of Petit Nicolas and even listened to murder mistery by Agatha Christie; which I had not hoped to be possible at my not so high level. Do give it a go and enjoy the wornderful place and experience. Thanks Claire for a nice holiday and a good run through a chunk of language course!

Amanda Burrup September 21 2019

Having moved to France permanently just over a year ago, I was desperate to be able to improve my very rusty French (last lessons at school 48 years ago!). I am delighted that I found Claire's course, as she helped me gain confidence both in speaking and in writing the language. I had five days of tuition (three hours each morning) and the time just flew by; Claire is incredibly kind and patient, and her teaching methods make the whole process very enjoyable. I can't recommend this course highly enough, and the location of Cucugnan is delightful so I felt like I was on holiday at the same time. Thank you Claire!

John Saint André de Boege
June 20 2019

A wonderful week of exploration and learning!

John Scan
June 11 2019

A thoroughly enjoyable week of learning and exploration. I departed Cucagnan with new drive to improve my French and explore more of the Region.

Peter Woods
April 15 2018

I approached this course with a more than a little trepidation , doubting that I would be able to cope well with two sessions a day. My doubts were however totally unfounded and I not only enjoyed the sessions but felt that I got a lot out of them. I already had some basic french but wanted to improve it prior to my interview for French nationality. Claire proved to be both patient and helpful, clearing up many of my misunderstandings and significantly improving my pronunciation. My only regret was that I only had time for three and a half days rather than the full week. I would like to come back again for a second week given the chance.

Peaceful Retreats 
August 4 2017

A lovely setting, a lovely village,.an absolutely lovely hostess and teacher. The perfect vacation experience if you are looking for quaint villages, beautiful scenery, amazing Cathar castles to explore, excellent hiking, food, wine...and the opportunity to learn the French language. Accommodation has everything you need including a well equiped kitchen. Apartment is on the top level of owners home, so no private entrance. This presented no problem to me, and felt very private. Great access ro village, trails, and an hour to the Med. You may rent without the French instruction, but Claire is a wonderful teacher and gives you so much more than language lessons...a little music, literature, highly recommend her services. Perfect for one to two people. I will be back!

Gill London
August 4 2017

I had 3 two-hour French lessons in my four day stay with Claire in the beautiful, sleepy village of Cucugnan after an excellent recommendation by a friend. I am a cyclist who loves France, its culture and especially the high mountains of the Pyrenees. I am determined to persevere and overcome the usual difficulties and frustrations despite starting to learn a second language later in adult life. Like everyone else I feel very self conscious in a group environment and was also equally apprehensive about a one to one learning situation but Claire put me at ease. At no stage did I feel silly, self conscious or stupid and much preferred this than a classroom or group situation. Feeling comfortable after my first lesson which was also fun I looked forward to the remaining two I had with Claire and I certainly would want to book them again on a future visit to the area. Her B&B is homely and comfortable with wifi and located in a beautiful area of France with a vide variety of things to do, from visiting medieval fortresses, swimming holes, wineries and dramatic gorges to the usual good local restaurants and boulangeries.So for anyone wanting to mix a holiday in a fantastic area with learning French with a bit of French culture and history thrown in which enhances the whole learning process then Claire Campbell is perfect for you.Claire of course, throws in great advice on nice things to do whilst you are in the area. Clapham, London.U.K.

Richard 7852 
August 4 2017

We have just returned from a really productive and rewarding week of french language study. We are British and live in France but despite trying all the usual methods such as CD's, group lessons etc our french has not markedly improved. Claire Campbell proved to be a first rate teacher whose experience and clear joy of her subject shone through. The course was really enjoyable and including reading, writing, translation and speech and even an appreciation of french music. Plus Cucugnan itself is a lovely village with good restaurants and plenty to occupy the visitor with close access to the cathar castles. If you need to improve your french, you won't be disappointed.

Carolann 2013 August 4 2017

My husband and I spent a fortnight at Claire's, with ten three hour french lessons. We stayed in her accommodation which was clean, very comfortable and more than adequate. We found Claire to be inspiring, friendly and approachable, able to put us both at ease. The lessons were supplemented by information on the culture and history of the French, together with an introduction to some french music and some delicious biscuits and cakes! Claire succeeded, where so many have failed before, in getting my husband to speak in sentences! The surrounding area is magnificent, and each day we thought the scenery just couldn't get any better, and yet it did! Thank you Claire for a very enjoyable and informative fortnight. We hope to return.

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