Cultural Speakers Series: Presentations for Language Classes

Every year, we sponsor speakers with experience in French- and Spanish-speaking countries (and beyond!) to inspire language students in Oregon and Washington with fun, engaging stories of life abroad. Our presenters are either native speakers or have experience living and traveling abroad. They are excited to share their stories and insights with your students! Past topics have included Arab Youth Culture in France, Growing up in Costa Rica, Teen life in Spain, A French Exchange Student's perspective of the Northwest, and more

Presentations last 15-90 minutes, depending on your schedule, and can be adapted to fit your students’ interests, target language, and language levels. To schedule a presentation for your classes, please contact Rebecca Gundle at or 503-274-1776.

2017/2018 Speakers for French, Spanish and Japanese classes

Felicia - Spanish Classes

Felicia will inspire your students to seek their own adventures by sharing fun stories of her journey from Costa Rica to Canada, the US, and France. A native of Costa Rica, Felicia hosted American students in her hometown of Monteverde when she was a child. She left her cloud-forest town for the first time when she was 17 to embark on a journey that included two years of high school in Canada, a Bachelor's degree from Lewis and Clark college in Portland, Oregon, and a study abroad year in France. Everywhere she travels, Felicia seeks to share her own culture while learning from others. She has tutored Spanish students, taught Salsa lessons, and cooked meals from her home country with the goal of having fun and bringing people together.

Margaux - French Classes

As a French science teacher, Margaux has unique insights into high school culture both in France and in the USA, having chaperoned her students for 5 years on immersion trips abroad. She grew up in the French Alps, near Switzerland, where she also has relatives, so she can share aspects of both her French and Swiss cultures. Currently, she is living in Portland, Oregon, in a host family, while learning English in a language school, surrounded by students from all over the world. Since a young age, she has been traveling, first with her parents and then on her own, mainly in Europe, Africa and in the USA. She always looks for new adventures and she loves to share her experiences and her culture. She is looking forward to connecting with French students and teachers throughout the Pacific Northwest on her sabbatical year away from Annecy. 

Kaylin - French Classes

Kaylin's tales of adventures in West Africa and the Southern Indian Ocean will offer your students an insight into the daily life in a few different Francophone regions. Kaylin's first experience being immersed in the French language was during a university semester in Dakar, Senegal. She lived with a host family, helped coordinate a cultural festival with the History Department at the Universite Cheikh Anta Diop, and honed her haggling skills in Wolof, one of the local languages. She has taught English to learners of all ages in both Senegal and the French island of Reunion, where she learned about and lived the Creole lifestyle. Her experiences and background in French even came in handy while traveling around Madagascar! Kaylin's passion for discovery and intercultural friendship will inspire your students to seek out adventure and new experiences.

CJ - French and Japanese classes

CJ will show your students how much of the world French and Japanese can open up to them through tales of her many adventures abroad. After dipping her toes in French classes in high school, CJ started her global adventure studying abroad in Nice, France, after which she got to travel to Paris, through wine-country, along the coast of Brittany, and up to the top of Mont Blanc in the French Alps. During college, she studied abroad again, this time in Francophone Senegal. She did her first homestay in Dakar while conducting academic research in the capital city. Then, she did two shorter homestays in rural villages in the bush. After college, she worked as an English teacher in Japan. During that time she got to dance in the famous Nebuta Festival Parade, learned karate and taiko, and appeared on Japanese television twice! Later in life she got to use her French in the jungle temples of Ankor Wat in Cambodia and along the Mekong River in Vietnam. CJ’s presentation will inspire your students to start dreaming of their own future cultural explorations.