French Program Director
Donna Hertz tried to retire from teaching, but after a post-retirement year in Aix-en-Provence, knew that she wasn’t done with her dual mission to teach French and foster in her students, a deeper understanding of the complex multi-cultural world in which we live. The position as French Instructor and Coordinator for SILP was the right venue for this passion.
Donna’s educational philosophy has been informed and shaped by working with ACTFL (the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) and holding true to much of the work of Stephen Krashen and his Input Hypothesis. While both of those “institutions” have evolved in their practices, so has Donna’s knowledge base been developed through research and presentations at the California Language Teacher’s association and through her work for LTI (Language Testing International) for whom she is a language Rater for the OPIc (oral proficiency interview) in English.
Donna has a Masters of Education in French, has been a fellow at UC Berkeley, a recipient of a French Government award for cultural studies in France, and is a trained instructor for the French International Baccalaureate.
Donna believes that a successful language program requires a cadre of instructors who collaborate to develop curriculum, materials, strategies and assessments, and hold to the same ideal that language learning and acquisition can take place in the classroom. A well-articulated multi-level program can develop pre-defined levels of proficiency that are attainable when instructors and students work together in a supportive and non-threatening environment.