Our Teachers

All of our teachers are highly trained experts in their fields and native speakers of French, ensuring the highest quality of teaching.

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We are elated to introduce you to our team! All our teachers are native speakers and have expertise in French along with experience in sharing their passion for the language. They are a part of a complementary crew as they all have a singular approach and personality which provides students with various perspectives throughout the levels. Possessing a shrewd sense of humour, their lessons are both fun and enlightening to ensure the best possible knowledge acquisition!

Céline Mercier

Teacher - Master FLE 

Bonjour ! I'm Céline. I come from the western part of France, right between Britanny and Bordeaux. I have taught in a few countries to all levels and all ages, before I decided it was time for me to travel. It was not planned but I fell in love with NZ ! And here I am, settled and enjoying working at  AFC, very happy to be part of this great team.

Sébastien Bellenger

Teacher - BA History and Arts, Teacher Training (IUFM)

Bonjour! I'm Sébastien, I studied in Normandy where I was born. After graduating in History studies and getting my teaching degree, I was sent to the regional education authority in Nice to become a high school history and geography teacher. I love doing sports, especially acrobatic performances, as I am also a circus performer and teacher in Christchurch. I have taught in France, Norway, and now in New Zealand at the Alliance, a great place with amazing colleagues.

Sylvie Chappuis

Teacher - DAEFLE

Bonjour tout le monde !

I’m Sylvie, and I am from the Alps, the French ones! I’m very happy to join the dynamic team at AFC! I moved with my family to New Zealand after falling in love with the country 10 years ago while doing a working holiday. I love teaching and passing on knowledge to both children and adults, and I love creating things with my hands, be it with food, silver, or wood. I look forward to seeing you soon!

Jennifer Barei


Bonjour !
Bonjour! I’m Jennifer, and I come from Bordeaux, in the southwest of France, famous for its red wine! I arrived in New Zealand in 2019 on a working holiday visa, and what was supposed to be a one-year adventure has been continuing for more than two years. I travelled all around the country as a backpacker before settling down in Christchurch and joining the beautiful AFC team. Before that, I was an au pair in Dublin, Ireland, where I discovered my love for sharing the French culture and language with adults and kids alike!

Mariama Mergelina


Bonjour ! 
My name is Mariama, I'm 34 and I am French. I was born in Tours, in the Loire Valley, the region of beautiful castles, but I grew up in Bordeaux, which is notorious for its tasty food and amazing wines. I love cats and Japanese culture, and I am a bit of a nerd.
I am a French teacher, as well as a Delf and Dalf examiner. I used to work at the Alliance Française de Melbourne and Alliance Française Wellington. I moved to New Zealand in October 2015 when I was already 27, as I felt the need to explore new lands and meet new people. And what's newer than New Zealand, aka. Middle Earth? 
I like teaching adults because, in my opinion, it takes a lot of courage to learn something new when you are out of school and already deep into your professional life or busy with children, etc. Every new person I meet, every new student I teach, is an opportunity for sharing and learning, and I love it.

Camille Pelletier

Teacher - DAEFLE, Teacher Training (IUFM)

Bonjour !
My name is Camille and I come from Saint-Etienne, located in the Centre East of France, the city where the first French bike was created, long before the first Tour de France. I am a primary school teacher specializing in teaching French, and I have always wanted to travel abroad to discover other cultures and different ways of teaching, especially languages. For this reason, my husband and I chose the country located on the other side of the world and I have loved living New Zealand for the past 2 years! First, I have travelled everywhere in this amazing country and now, here I am teaching French to kids and adults, alongside the fantastic team at the AFC, where the atmosphere is great and the learning from each other is enriching !

Estelle Gomard

Teacher - Master FLE

Bonjour ! I’m Estelle and I come from the Champagne region, which you can guess is world famous for its beautiful sparkling wine called Champagne! I first came to NZ in 2017 to do an internship at AFC for my Master’s degree, and loved my experience in this beautiful country. After that I travelled and taught French in France and Australia, and I am excited to join  the AFC team again! I love languages and learning about kiwi culture, while sharing the French culture.

Sarah McDonald


Bonjour! I am Sarah, I grew up near Toulouse, also known as the “pink city,” in the South-West of France. I had completed my studies in international relations and been working for a few years in Paris for Fairtrade when I decided to start teaching French to students of other languages. To do so, I took a paper in this subject at the University of Grenoble. Before this, back in 2013, I was lucky enough to participate in a university exchange programme and spent a year in Christchurch at the University of Canterbury. I came back to New Zealand as soon as I could!  In addition to working for the Alliance Française as a French teacher, I am a French Assistant at Christchurch Boys’ High School and Cashmere High School. I also sometimes work at Bellbird Bakery, an amazing Christchurch-based bakery, whenever I can help.  You will probably see me walking up or down the Port Hills when it is a nice day, whether it be in summer or in winter, as it is my favourite spot in Christchurch!

Michèle Craw

Relief Teacher 

Bonjour ! 

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