miniLinguists’ Consulting Services


Biography of Kaaren S. Agnez

Our Senior Consultant is Kaaren S. Agnez, the Director and Owner of Petit Centre Francophone and miniLinguists.com. She has an M.Ed. in Special Education from American University, a B.A. in Theatre from Smith College with a minor in Elementary Education (and student teaching), and has passed the D.A.L.F., the most advanced French language competency exam used by their government and university system to determine fluency. She also has had professional theatre training at Eugene O’Neill Theatre Centre in New London, Connecticut and mime training at Celebration Mime Theatre in New Hampshire with Tony Montenarro. She is currently studying Spanish and Chinese. She is constantly studying about language learning and learning technologies.

Kaaren S. Agnez

photo by Stephen de Leon

Her professional experience has included teaching at Chesnut Lodge to middle school and high school students, and working as a consultant in many local private elementary, middle and high schools. Her curriculum has been used, in Spanish, at the Montessori International Children’s House in Annapolis for over ten years, and she recently worked with the new Spanish teacher to further improve the implementation of the program. The Francophone method can be applied to any language.

Kaaren S. Agnez is an adjunct professor of French at Montgomery College. As a consultant, she has evaluated local schools’ language programs, and written and rewritten language curriculum. She has also trained and retrained teachers to teach foreign language effectively in their schools. In the past, she has worked as a private school French teacher and a senior counselor in a French immersion summer program for gifted youth.

Her theatre experience includes six years of cooperating with local organizations, including Adventure Theatre and the National Children’s Museum, to produce six plays written and directed by her. She was the recipient of a grant from the French Embassy to continue developing this work. Local actors acted with her. Her last production was offered in 2004, her own adaptation of the tales by Jean de la Fontaine, including “The City Mouse and the Country Mouse”, “The Lion and the Mouse” and “The Crow and the Fox.” This was co-sponsored by France Vision, the French video store in Bethesda, Maryland. She experimented with writing plays that enabled those who don’t understand any French to hear the language and “see the meaning,” through using mime and movement theatre. She often had hundreds of audience members, children and their parents, repeating the words of the actors. Since producing these plays, Ms. Morgan has continued to direct children and to use theatre to teach language skills, as well as working as a consultant, offering theatre workshops as well as teaching professionals to use theatre to encourage the development or refinement of language skills. She is currently writing a book about her application of professional theatre skills to teaching language.

Kaaren S. Agnez has been invited to several educational conferences: ALL (Alliance for Language Learning); NOVA Home Education Conference in Virginia; and she gave a seminar for the National Museum of Languages in College Park, Maryland. She is available as a speaker or to write and deliver workshops on topics about language teaching and learning.


OTHER CONSULTANTS

Various consultants are available for jobs requiring other expertise. The Centre has a rapport with consultants with skills which compliment the director’s skills. For large jobs, we work in a team. As an example: we trained a Washington Post journalist to speak French before leaving to Africa, the Ivory Coast. Ms. Morgan taught him his grammar and basic pronunciation and spoken grammar skills, as well as teaching survival French to his spouse. A team of Africans then taught him about manners, basic history and politics of the region, and those things he needs to know about functioning as a journalist in the Ivory Coast. We individualize our team and teaching according to the client’s needs.

All consultants are carefully trained to maintain the standards of miniLinguists.com. They are closely supervised, and start with native speaking abilities and are screened for the talent and ability to work closely and individually with all students.


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Petit Centre Francophone was founded in the fall of 1987, and has been providing French lessons, group and private, for twenty-one years in the Washington area. Twelve years ago, the organization started to work with speakers of other languages, to apply the techniques developed in the company, to any program, regardless of the target language being taught. miniLinguists.com was established to adapt to our providing many languages. Petit Centre Francophone remains as a division of miniLinguists.com.

Petit Centre Francophone has been responsible for after-school French programs at several private and public Elementary School in Metropolitan Washington, DC. Ms. Morgan has also designed and taught extra-curricular French programs for all levels and ages in her own school and as a consultant for twenty years. Her method is one of using the arts and activities to guide children through the development of comprehension and competency in vocabulary and spoken grammar. Students of many local IB and private schools and universities have used this company for private tutoring, both to catch up in their foreign language skills, as well as to replace taking a course at their school. miniLinguists.com is seeking teachers of Chinese and Spanish to teach the Francophone method.

Petit Centre Francophone has also offered tutoring for the C.N.E.D., a French home schooling academic program in all subjects. With a director knowledgeable of both the French and American school systems, the program blends the best of techniques and material from both to promote the development of strong second language skills in her students. The team is talented in getting children to speak the target language quickly, in fun activities. 100% participation is the goal for all miniLinguists’ classes.

The Francophone and miniLinguists’ method has been proven over the years to be very efficient. An example of the results would be a family whose children, ages 5, 7, and 8, achieved basic fluency in four years. They attended an hour and ten minutes a week in group classes for one year, culminating in three weeks’ of the Francophone Theatre Immersion program The second year, they studied twice a week for an hour and ten minutes each, and again attending the camp for two weeks. The third year, they started to study three hours a week privately, rather than attending mother/child group classes, as they had for the first two years. That year they studied the French textbooks for the CP (first grade). The fourth year, they followed the first half of the complete academic program for CE1 (second grade). By the end of that year, studying three hours a week privately, and doing homework, they were basically fluent, able to speak with all of the tenses with a strong fundamental vocabulary. In 2003, an administrator for a local public immersion program visited these children and stated that they spoke “better than children in immersion classes of the same ages”.

In recognition of the difficulty of driving children to after-school activities when both parents work, or when the traffic patterns after school are difficult to navigate, miniLinguists.com has started to offer custom groups to teach language. You decide whether you want private, semi-private, or private group instruction. You can choose the participants, or ask us to help. Your group chooses (and provides) the location, and we give you the best quality language teaching, a blend of classical content with fun, innovative teaching.

For ten years, Petit Centre Francophone of miniLinguists.com has offered immersion French summer programs; in Bethesda and in people’s homes. This year we’ve begun to work in a new location in Potomac: St. James’ Episcopal Church Seven Locks Road Potomac; close to the intersection of Seven Locks and Montrose, a few blocks from the 270 Montrose West exit.


MATERIALS

Ms. Morgan has also written original songs, and is working on a patent-pending method to provide study aids for teachers of both foreign languages and any other school subject. It helps teachers to present classical materials in a way that will address groups of children using all learning styles, to attain maximum participation and class success. These will soon be available to the public.