Cecile Besrest-Butler – Testimonials

Cecile Besrest-Butler French teacher, Italian teacher and Spanish teacher

Cécile – your friendly teacher


I have been learning French with Cecile for nearly a year with a lesson once per week. I have gone from knowing a few words on a French menu to being able to construct and decipher some (in my opinion!) quite complex sentences. It feels like this progress has been made almost without trying as the lessons are always fun and full of energy and are hugely complimented by the entertaining supplementary videos we receive each week after a lesson. I would not hesitate to recommend Cecile to anyone who is even slightly thinking about learning French either in person or via Skype like most of our lessons are given.
Joe Munday

If you want to learn French …without tears, Cecile is the tutor for you. She has a clear understanding of the pedagogy, she knows how to ensure her students “get it” and consequently she uses a variety of teaching styles to cater for all learners…so, whether you are a reader, a listener or a “doer” you will get it. She has an amazing knack for using little hooks such as pictures and sayings to ensure new learning finds it’s way into your long term memory. Her lessons are pacy, with just the right amount of challenge and lots of laughter….and if you struggle the follow up video is there to revisit the lesson. The videos are invaluable Cecile packs so much into them. Finally, I must add that her lessons and follow up videos are excellent value for money.
Claire Williamson

Learning French with Cecile is the highlight of my week. I hope to move to Paris in just over a year and my classes with Cecile have not only helped to improve my confidence and vocabulary, but have equipped me with a great toolkit for learning any language, from building ‘memory palaces’ to understanding etymology. The group I attend has a mixed range of ages and abilities and Cecile makes everyone feel welcome and at ease with the pace and variety of her lessons and resources. The supporting summaries, homework and videos that accompany each class are both enjoyable and extensive. Most importantly of all, learning colloquial French with Cecile is just so much fun. I cannot recommend enough – thank you!
Alyssia Kaczmarczyk

I have learnt more French in 5 months with Cecile than I ever did in 5 years at school. Her lessons are fun with a practical content, well supported by videos and printed material. Perfect if you want to speak French, rather than just being able to order coffee!
Andrew Marshall

Having never studied French at school I was not sure about joining the class but was determined to give it a try. Cecile makes you feel at ease even if like me you have little self-confidence. She is really supportive and encouraging. Her homework videos are entertaining as well as being informative and even though I’m still finding it quite a challenge I am really looking forward to returning in September.
Sylvia M

I studied French for 5 years when I was at school, but that was a long, long time ago and we didn’t really do very much in the way of conversational French, so when I heard that Cecile was going to run these classes I decided to go for it. Cecile makes the lessons very easy to follow and much more enjoyable than when we were at school! We have great fun in class and her video homework is so entertaining you just can’t wait for the next one. Cecile is very supportive and gives us a great deal of encouragement. As a result I am very keen to do well with the homework and let her see that her efforts aren’t all in vain! There’s no need to feel self-conscious in class as it’s all very light hearted and we get there in the end. I’ve been lucky enough to be part of a very friendly and helpful class this past several weeks and am looking forward to rejoining after the summer break – please come and join us.
Marilyn F

Really enjoyed re-learning French with Cecile without the pressure of exams – none since school years ago. Fun classes with just the right amount of challenge each week (I think!) Great videos/YouTube as follow ups and reminders especially if you missed anything. Small groups of similar adults – we all help each other. Can recommend.
Lyn M

Have had 7 weeks so far on a French course with Cecile and it has been great. Cecile makes the lessons enjoyable and relaxed and creates an environment where everyone is happy to participate.
The lessons are relevant to everyday language and conversation.
I am amazed at the level we have reached in such a short time. The supporting videos and sheets are excellent and fun.
Looking forward to trying out my French on holiday this year.
Jill Swift

I would highly recommend these classes. Cecile is friendly and makes the classes fun. However, the classes are very clearly structured and you will find yourself learning so much without realising it!
I had been looking for a class for years. I studied French to A level back in the 60s and wanted to try to resurrect my knowledge and gain some confidence in actually speaking it. I had tried other, more formal classes in colleges but the emphasis seemed all wrong; too much written French and learning to say phrases and sentences few people actually use! After only a few classes with Cecile, I’m definitely gaining confidence and finding I’m able to remember what I’m learning in class without a lot of effort at home which is a tribute to the way in which she teaches so that all new learning is reinforced in the hour’s class.
Whether you’re a beginner or an ‘old’ learner wanting to revisit the subject, you should try these classes. I’ve been surprised at how much new stuff I’ve learned in addition to finding that some of the dormant knowledge is coming to life again.
Another huge positive for me is that, because the classes feel so relaxed and fun, I am able to motivate myself to attend after a difficult day at work which is another credit to Cecile’s teaching style. The teaching materials are brilliant! Excellent videos explaining any grammatical points very clearly and in ways to help you remember easily. In addition, you receive a summary of the lessons so you don’t have to write everything down when in class. This means you can concentrate and participate fully in class but also have the notes ready made for you – and usually they’re in your in-box by the time you get home!
These are certainly the best value language lessons you’ll find.
Cynthia Powell

Cecile’s lessons were a joy to attend – just the right balance of structure and free-flow fun. Her cheeky charisma is just what is needed when getting people to relax and forget about being ashamed of sounding like a complete buffoon.

Cecile’s lessons are participative and are challenging while being supportive, friendly and fun. They progressively introduce you to colloquial French as well as to understanding the basic rules and forms of grammar and language. How you use, practice or study the language is up to you but Cecile gives you the foundations and the opportunities to exercise your skills and knowledge in very accessible ways.
Graham Walker

In my first career I was required to give training in many diverse subjects as well as my own engineering discipline, at 42 years old, I trained to be a secondary school teacher.
I believe Cecile is one of those rare gems in the teaching world; she easily engages her students, regardless of background or ability. She sets the bar to the right level for each individual while maintaining the class standard. After every class you will leave with more knowledge and confidence.
Her classes could be considered as intense due to the amount of work covered, but you won’t feel like its hard work.
Cecile’s method is exceptional and geared toward a fast but thorough ability in spoken French while still maintaining correct grammar etc.
If you really want to learn to speak (and read/write) French: DO take this amazing opportunity to study with one of the best tutors I have met in over 50 years.
If you need any more convincing … she is ridiculously cheap!

Cecile’s approach to teaching makes learning fun and interesting. I feel I have made great strides in achieving my goal of feeling capable of visiting France and interacting with people without making a fool of myself. Cecile’s way of making words and phrases stick in the mind works very well.
Ali Azfar

The lessons with Cecile have been very helpful to me as I find it very difficult to speak in French. Her lessons have helped me improve a great deal.
Owain Roberts

I was looking for a course to revive my rusty French and this has proved ideal. A lively and packed hour with no time to get bored! Would thoroughly recommend.

Cecile’s lessons are very useful and great fun. I would strongly recommend her for French speakers of any standard.
Francis Marslen-Wilson

Cecile has a great depth of knowledge about languages. Her teaching of French (my subject) is in line with how language is used today and she has a patience with her students which is commendable. Learning a language with Cecile is fun.
Josie G

Great fun. Really well prepared and structured. Good materials to help you work at home (videos and notes).
Gary Robertson (Gaz)

I met Cecile in my previous job, where we had the chance to attend One Hour Development every week. I took lessons with her for about two years. Her inspiring attitude and great approach and methods of teaching made me soak up the French language quickly. Now I study at university and I decided to take French as an optional module and all I can say is that I am right in the upper-intermediate class – all after 1hr/week lessons! Classes were fun and intense at the same time, which was brilliant. Cecile gave me the confidence to start communicating in French whenever I have the opportunity. I would love her to be my French tutor here at the uni! Thank you 🙂
Dorota H

I had studied, or more like tried to study, Spanish before about 30 years ago. The teachers were fine but we only ever learned nouns and very simple verbs and phrases. It was OK but limiting because I had to say everything in the present tense and add “antes de” or “en el futuro”. But with Cecile I learned how to speak in the past tense and the present continuous, which sounds complicated but really, really isn’t. It’s the way we actually speak, so I can have actual conversations in Spanish. Result! What a revelation.

The course shouldn’t end this way. I feel like I am losing something important, valuable and precious. Anyway thank you for your patience, work and experience (new experience) with learning a foreign language.
Slawomir S

I think that the course has helped me improve my skills in French. Cecile is the best teacher ever and I regret that our classes have finished. 🙁
Agnieszka K

Throughout the time Cecile has been teaching me I have realised how much I enjoy learning French. I was well and truly put off at school but have now found learning French a pleasure. Cecile has used varied teaching aids which have explained the grammar and verb structures. I feel confident that I can travel to France (this year) and make myself understood. Being of a more mature age I have been surprised how I have kept up with younger colleagues in the class and agree with research that has found out that learning languages can keep the brain in good order and help prevent the onset of senile dementia. I can recommend Cecile’s teaching method to anyone who wants to enjoy the experience of learning and know that they will be able to converse with the French!
Joy F

The course was interesting and funny. The teacher was very helpful and nice and funny. I am gonna miss those classes.
Karol K

The course was really enjoyable, interesting and helped to improve my French. I have never had such a great teacher as Cecile !
Kinga K

Cecile’s classes are friendly, relaxed and fun whilst being challenging. She is a fabulous teacher, helpful, encouraging, patient and practical in her approach, but most of all you come out having actually learned something. She takes the time to explain things which is important and uses good visual aids to jog the memory. Her lesson support information is excellent with a concise review of the lesson plus videos sent through to you by e-mail. This is particularly helpful when you need to think about what you have learned or for those moments of brain fade.

I can highly recommend Cecile’s lesson and teaching methods. I look forward to going to class because I know I am going to have an enjoyable time and learn something too.
Joan Mudd

I am enjoying my Spanish lessons with Cecile, she is very enthusiastic and patient. Cecile uses a mixture of visual and spoken memory aids which cater for different learning styles. The atmosphere in the class is very friendly which makes learning a pleasure. The lessons are backed up with on line video content linked from e-mail, which is excellent for revision purposes, or to catch up if you have missed a class. All in all a fun way to learn!
David Mudd

My name is Stella and I am a retired College Lecturer. I have been attending Cecile’s, most enjoyable, Spanish Lessons. Cecile is a brillant tutor who is totally committed to delivering well structured and what I call ‘high level, low stress’ lessons l- you learn what you need to know but never feel under any pressure! The classes are relaxed with appropriate humour and a variety of learning strategies. I can honestly say I have totally enjoyed every lesson – even when I have had to leave a (very rare) sunny garden to attend. Cecile also emails her lessons to you so you can look and learn at your own pace going over anything you might not have grasped during the session. My Spanish friends are very impressed with my progress (especially when I asked the Spanish waiter for the bill for the first time!) I would highly recommend the sessions to anyone who would like to either learn Spanish as a beginner or improve on what they already know. I know you will have a lovely, enjoyable experience.
Stella Hadland

In the space of 24 one-hour lessons, Cecile has brought us on from being absolute beginners to having a good useful vocabulary and a working knowledge of present and past tenses, and all with a smile and a laugh.

Couldn’t have asked for a better Spanish tutor! It surpassed my expectations by far… and the lessons were very fun and entertaining which is a key when learning a new language! One is never embarrassed to ask silly questions with Cecile as her answers are always very constructive and helpful. We were given homework after each class which gave a very good re-cap of the lesson. I can’t wait to go back and continue learning Spanish again with Cecile in the near future… I hope she will stick around for a while teaching languages as I don’t want to look elsewhere! ☺
Beata Sebeckyte

I’d highly recommend Cecile as a teacher. Her knowledge of Spanish (and other languages) is excellent, and her lessons are well structured and well prepared.
The learning environment is always relaxed, friendly, fun, and there’s a good mix of activities.
Cecile is also highly adept at supporting the individual needs of her students, building a great relationship with them, and tailoring her approach to meet different learning styles.
Most importantly, my Spanish has come on leaps and bounds since I started lessons with Cecile!
Andy B

Cecile is a wonderful teacher with great fresh ideas on how to teach. Cecile put a lot of effort in all her teaching. She is trying to entertain students with French. There is an incredible friendly atmosphere in the class and loads of fun. I enjoyed every moment spent in the French lessons and the teacher is most amazing person I have ever met. She can teach, she understands and believes in her students. Cecile proved to me that learning a new language can be easy, interesting and funny.
Mya M

Learning a language as an adult was fairly daunting and I didn’t actually think I would take it in. Cecile makes learning fun, effortless and interesting and you’ll find you’ve actually learnt a lot of a new language without realising and thinking too much. It just sort of sticks! You’ll find yourself suddenly blurting out French words, you hadn’t even realised you knew.
Mark C

I had a pleasure of attending Cecile’s class for nearly 2 years. She let to know herself as a very dedicated tutor, with a great passion for teaching languages. The recourses she prepared for each lesson were very diversified and made learning more fun. A lot of cultural context was included in her teaching as well. Cecile is very open to students’ suggestions and expectations, and does her best to accommodate for different needs. She knows how to motivate her students. She is a very approachable person, with great personality and passion.
Agnieszka K

Brilliant! So patient. Relates to each individual’s learning abilities. Makes learning fun. Best teacher I have come across!
Jo B

From the beginning to the end of the classes were brilliant (patience of a Saint). Cecile is such a lovely teacher who also makes learning fun. Sorry our lessons have come to an end. Will miss her so much. Whoever gets her next are very lucky.
Bev H

Cecile is a brilliant teacher, very patient and prepared. Lessons are fun and interesting. I feel that I learned a lot. She always keeps my attention and she is the best teacher I ever had. I would definitely recommend her to my friends.
Marta S

I have thoroughly enjoyed every class and I feel so much more confident in continuing with learning Spanish as it is something I have wanted to do for many years.
I have learnt so much and at a pace that works for me to be able to understand it.
Cecile has made every lesson enjoyable and she is a very knowledgeable and patient teacher that has made it fun and interesting whilst learning. I am going to miss these lessons and would absolutely recommend the course and Cecile to others.
Jacqui K

I had the opportunity to really boost my Spanish language learning since Cecile came on board. I was learning the language since 2010 but all the previous teachers left after a few months due to other work commitments. Compared to the previous teachers, I found Cecile’s teaching style to be extremely creative and fun and, with a pleasing personality, she clearly understood the needs of individual students in the class. I would highly recommend Cecile as the best Spanish teacher I’ve come across! 🙂
Aakriti K

I was really lucky to have Cecile as my Spanish tutor through the business I previously worked for. Cecile has very good approach to teaching and the whole class enjoyed the fact that we were learning in a very enjoyable and interactive way and talking in Spanish from our first lesson!! Cecile was really helpful and still keeps in contact. I have been trying to learn Spanish for sometime now but never really progressed or grasped it until Cecile’s cool lessons! Muchas Gracias!!!
Anna B

It has been lovely working with Cecile, she is very good at explaining things and makes you feel at ease. She also puts fun into the learning which is nice. I will miss the class on Wednesdays, for her good tutoring and patience.
Tracy H

During the two plus years of learning Spanish with Cecile i never once felt bored and not wanting to be in the lesson. I always felt the lesson was very interactive, fun and particularly liked the technique that was used during the lesson as we concentrated mostly on actually speaking the language rather than writing loads of text copied from a text book. I felt the technique used was simple to grasp and was explained clearly in a way that didn’t overload us or over complicate things. I liked how the pace of the lesson was suited to us so we could learn at our own pace and not rush through a subject with out getting a full understanding of the subject.
After my lessons with Cecile I felt confident to go out into the real world and speak the language confidently and it made me eager to extend my studies further. I am currently at a night course at University learning Spanish and i feel the course is extremely dull and long winded compared to learning with Cecile, and can only wish it was as fun and interactive as her lessons.
Ryan D

I’ll keep in my memory all the pictures which Cecile drew! I have learnt a lot and without any hesitation I could start living in Spain 🙂
Lukasz K

Cecile was the best teacher I ever had. She was using a very effective method to teach us Spanish. Her enthusiasm and patience was the key to success. I didn’t realise I was learning so easily. She’s a very creative, funny, positive and understading teacher. I wish I could still be her student, not only of Spanish, but other languages too.
Karolina K

Amazing course! Enjoyed each lesson! Would like to do it again! Brilliant teacher!
Juljia S

I never had such a good teacher before. She is very passionate about her work and her way of teaching was really good and easy to understand. If I had the option to do it again I would gladly do it.
Maciej P

Every lesson was absolutely fantastic. I learnt new things and highly recommend the teacher. Thank you for a good time.
Agne P

Our Spanish lessons have totally broken old memories of school times. The lessons were fun, greatly organised and we had a fantastic opportunity to learn from the best. Would recommend to anyone who wants to learn quickly and have a good time while doing it.
Izabela P

Cecile’s methods of teaching are creative and stimulating. Her sense of humour and attitude puts you at ease. I would highly recommend Cecile as a teacher to anybody who wants to learn whilst enjoying it without it seeming like a chore.
Jason S

The teacher was fun, she explained everything very clearly and simply. The lessons were really interesting. I will miss the teacher and the lessons.
Rita V

The Spanish course with Cecile was a brilliant experience. I have never enjoyed any course like this one.
Magda B

The teacher made me feel very confident. She was prepared very well always. Lessons were always stress free and the atmosphere so friendly. She was one of the best teachers I ever met. Thank you.
Anna Z

I am very happy about the way Cecile taught us. I had a lot of fun in the classes. I speak nearly fluent Spanish. She uses very useful methods of teaching. I highly recommend her as a teacher.
Krzysztof G

This course was very helpful, I feel that Cecile passed a great amount of knowledge. Excellent tutor, very professional. Muchas gracias!!!
Rafal P

The teacher is very helpful and a very professional person that’s why I like the lessons. I am happy about the way Cecile taught.
Monika M-P

I enjoyed the lessons a lot, it was the best hour of the week and any failure to learn was entirely because of my own shortcomings. Cecile was an excellent teacher and Thursdays will not be the same again.
Michael B

I loved the Spanish lessons. It was only for one hour a week but I enjoyed coming in. The teacher made us at ease from the first lesson.
Zahid M

I have enjoyed the Italian lessons with Cecile, I’m amazed how much I retained, and I genuinely feel this is because of Cecile’s confident people skills and enthusiasm with languages. The lessons were well planned & all students encouraged to take part. To help with recall each lesson was followed with a YouTube video created by Cecile (always wearing wacky glasses) giving a recap of the lesson and some practise questions to work on. I found this really helped with pronunciation and the visual hooks aided recall of new words.

The lessons are lively and well-constructed. All the basics are covered to enable you to construct sentences in Italian. The content is detailed, without being cumbersome. The lessons are conducted in an informal manner, making it fun to learn. Everyone is encouraged to participate.
Cecile provides an excellent follow up you tube video to practice with.
I would recommend her lessons to anyone with an interest in learning conversational Italian.
Questionable taste in glasses though 🙂

Having taken evening language classes before, I find Cecile’s approach to be refreshingly different. Her classes are friendly and fairly intensive. They are aimed at teaching pupils to speak the language and communicate at, at least, a basic level.

Cecile is a really good teacher. She uses PowerPoint with words and pictures as well as direct teaching in the classes, and afterwards backs it up with an email summary and a You Tube video (watch out for the sunglasses). She’s very patient and corrects your pronunciation without making you feel useless. You have to work hard but you have fun too.
Julie Jones

Frequent and extended trips to Italy were my motivation for learning a language. I had already covered some of the basics in classes but I knew that one to one sessions were essential if I was going to progress. Cecile was recommended to me by a colleague and now I want to recommend her to others.
We conduct our lessons on Skype and it suits us both very well. Cecile is a skilled language teacher who is keen to understand learners’ needs and styles. She sees language as essentially being about communication so we spend most of our sessions building up a vocabulary that can be applied to everyday situations. Cecile uses a range of pedagogical approaches and makes every effort to be encouraging and reinforcing. All this is done with humour, patience and understanding.

Messages from the heart

All the above are the more formal requested recommendations or evaluations: I think that the words  I received in thank you cards or thank you emails sometimes say more because they come from heart. I have kept these anonymous for obvious reasons but they are all genuine. I’m including these not try and prove that I’m the best ever, perfect teacher because I am far from that. I make mistakes all the time, I don’t know everything but I admit that and don’t try to pretend to be some sort of expert. I do however, make a tremendous effort to try and teach in a relaxed informal way to give students a chance to relax. For some adults being back in a learning environment can bring back bad memories. I put a lot of passion into my teaching and try as best as I can to make something as difficult as learning a foreign language is, as simple as I can possibly make it – which is no mean feat! I genuinely believe that everyone can learn a foreign language – some learn faster but with patience, perseverance and laughter most people will reach a good level. I have kept the original spellings.

  • Thank you for all your hard work and for being so blooming lovely!!
  • For the first time ever I enjoyed a French class! Never thought I would say that…
  • I really enjoyed our lessons, they were fun and light hearted which was the only way it was going to work for me.
  • My Wednesdays will never be the same. Thank you so much for such a wonderful learning experience.
  • I would like to thank you for your patience, understanding and teaching over the last few years. It has been a real pleasure attending your classes, you have a unique way of teaching (animal noises and facial expressions) lol. Seriously I wish you the very best for your future ventures, you really are a truly wonderful person. I’m gutted you’re leaving us all.
  • Going to miss our Wednesdays! Thank you for everything, I know what I have learnt will definitely help next time in sunny Spain.
  • Thank you for the great time we had with you. We really enjoyed your lessons and we will miss them.
  • Gracias for your lovely lessons.
  • You’ll be missed.
  • All the best for dear Cecile.
  • A Big Thank You to My Teacher☺️ , for all your effort, all what I learnt, all fun what we had.
  • Best of luck with all your future ventures. I have no doubt that you will be nothing less than successful; you have a compelling spirit that cannot fail to inspire. 

Follow me on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *