Student Testimonials

“I called Melissa in a well justified panic: My French was good enough — barely — to ask a waiter where to find the bathroom in Paris, but that was it. And I had to take a doctoral-level reading comprehension test in French in less than six weeks. She got me from zero to 60 — that is, from barely a word of French to a passing grade — with good cheer, expert advice and, just as important, constant encouragement that actually made the process fun. Part tutor, part therapist, part cheerleader — Melissa Kerley does it all, and I couldn’t possibly recommend her more enthusiastically. “

~ Greg (Georgetown University)


“I recommend working with Melissa;  she tailored a program that met my individual needs helping me prepare for a French proficiency test (The Bright Language Test) that required skills in reading, writing, speaking, and comprehending French.  She took extraordinary measures to learn about the standards I needed to meet and enthusiastically carried out special requests to help me prepare.  I found this experience to be very positive especially for the student looking for an individualized, one-on-one learning environment with a flexible professor.”

~ Anne


“I highly recommend Melissa as a French tutor! I had just gotten accepted into business school and needed to pass the ACTFL French proficiency exam in only 3 weeks! It had been over 7 years since I last spoke or wrote anything in French, so I needed an accelerated French course at an intermediate level. I browsed the internet extensively, but Melissa was the only one who could meet my needs.  Once I met Melissa, it was obvious what separated her from the rest – she is extremely passionate about her student’s success. I had studied French for several years in college, but Melissa taught me techniques that I had never learned before. We even conversed back-to-back since my test was over the phone, and she insisted that I feel comfortable speaking with someone in a non face to face setting.  In the end, Melissa helped me pass the test with flying colors!  I am sure that you will not second guess your decision to use Melissa! She is vetted to your success and will push you to meet your goals!”

~ Stephan (INSEAD)


“When we started working together, I had previously taken several classes and worked with another teacher, and I was looking for someone who would take a focused approach and prepare me to take the TEF. Melissa was very supportive of this goal. She obviously loves teaching French, and her extraordinary energy and enthusiasm make the lessons fun. She has an extensive library of texts and other teaching materials that she gladly lends to her students. She draws on her comprehensive understanding of French grammar to creatively speed the learning process.”

~ Gary


 “I am a Ph.D. student at The Catholic University of America. Prior to meeting with Melissa, I had no knowledge of French. But after three months of private tutoring with Melissa, in person and via Skype, I passed my rigorous departmental language exam with high marks.  Thanks to Dr. Kerley’s enseignement magnifique (magnificent teaching) method coupled with her patience I am now able to read and translate French fluently. In addition, she is an incredibly kind person and you just might end up with a friend after you achieve your goals!”

~ Ryan (Catholic University)


“After not regularly studying French for nearly eight years I needed to pass a graduate proficiency test as part of my master’s program. I spoke with several other French tutors whose experience and qualifications I did not quite trust before finding Melissa. Though our schedules did not work out for several months (she was booked, then I was traveling, etc.), Melissa was well worth the wait. I began our sessions hoping to achieve just the minimum necessary to pass and while Melissa was happy to help me achieve my basic goals, somewhere along the way she also reminded me of the value of French beyond my transcript. Though I was often tired during our early morning sessions, I enjoyed them immensely. Of course, I am also happy to report, I passed my proficiency exam. It is possible I would have been able to do so with another tutor, but I am so glad I did not have to.”

~ Emily (SAIS: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies)


“I have been taking private French tutoring with Dr. Melissa Kerley for nearly two years and with her help my French has dramatically improved. We discuss grammar, French novels, and practice general conversation. I also write brief compositions and grammar exercises, which I then review with Dr. Kerley.  All of this has led me to be more comfortable and confident in my French skills, which I now use at work in written communications and also used during a recent work trip to West Africa. Dr. Kerley est une prof formidable!!”

~ Courtney (Chemonics)


“As a grad student at American University I was required to pass a foreign language exam before I graduated. Only problem was I didn’t know a foreign language. I emailed Melissa and she was very accommodating.  In just a few sessions, I think less than 10, I was able to take and pass the Tool of Research exam on my first attempt. If you are interested in learning French in a way that will actually work, I definitely recommend Melissa.”

~ Mike (American University)


“I was the editor of a regional general-interest magazine in 2002 when I first became familiar with Dr. Melissa Kerley’s unique teaching style. One of my freelance writers wrote a story about Speak Abroad, the institution Dr. Kerley created in Vero Beach, Florida, that not only offered instruction in French, but also immersed students in the French culture.   A few years later I had the opportunity to travel to Paris. Realizing my enjoyment would be greatly enhanced by having a grasp of the language, I asked for Dr. Kerley’s help. The experience was exceptional on several levels.  Her thorough – and patient – method of instruction was tremendously effective. She gave me a strong foundation of that allowed me to feel comfortable with conversational French in a very short time.  Dr. Kerley’s talent as a French instructor goes beyond her knowledge of the language or ability to teach. Her vivacious personality – full of warmth, humor, sincerity, politeness, caring – make the learning experience a pleasure. She is one of those trusted people who make you feel you’ve known them forever – a tremendous joy to be around.  Dr. Kerley will teach you French – and do it more effectively than anyone else.”

~ Peter