Debora and Rahul have created French Institute of Houston to share their love of French language and culture. A Frenchie from Angers and a Texan from Houston who met in France in 2010. Since then, they’ve been sharing the same passion for the Langue de Molière.
Your host, director and French teacher – Debora Krishnan
Debora, originally from France, arrived in Houston in 2013. Born in the Loire Valley, in Angers, France, she attended the University of Angers where she was awarded a Master’s degree in French Linguistics and Politics and a Bachelor’s degree in French Literature. During her Master’s program, her passion for teaching took her to the southwest of France, in Pau, where she took an intern position as a French teacher and eventually met her star student, a Texan named Rahul. But, oh, did she have work to do! She had to not only work on his accent and vocabulary but also show him what being in the south of France could be like! They embarked on this adventure together as she took him to the mountains for hikes during the summer and skiing during the winter. She even conned, er, convinced him to try the hard slopes, which led to lasting memories as their relationship blossomed.
Now in the US since 2013, Debora has embarked on another adventure – opening a French Institute to share her passion of the French language and teach it to others. As an avid learner as well, she wanted to complement her teaching skills with management skills and this led her to pursue an MBA which she just recently earned from the Chamber of Commerce in Paris (Non-profit/For-profit Management and Administration, Marketing and Digital marketing, Finance and Fundraising, Project Monitoring and Human Resources).
Debora started teaching in 2009 focusing on adults and young professionals. She has taught French in France at the West Catholic University (CIDEF) in Angers, at Total’s Language Center in Pau, in the United States at the Alliance Française of Grand Rapids, MI and the Alliance Française of Houston, TX.
When she’s not teaching French, she loves being outside riding her bike, swimming, playing tennis or walking her dog, a beagle named Lulu.
Your other host – Rahul Krishnan
Rahul, whose origins are south Indian, was born in Houston and grew up in Sugar Land. However, French was in his path from the get-go. His mother chose his name because it resembled the French “Raoul”. After earning his B.S. and M.S. in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Austin at Texas, he joined the oil and gas industry in 2008. One year later, he was expatriated to Pau, France, a small town near the border with Spain where he spent almost 3 years enjoying all the fine wine, duck confit and foie gras that the south of France could offer. His passion for learning languages pushed him to continue learning French in order to assimilate in the culture and that’s how he met the Frenchie, Debora. At first their interactions were conversation courses and lunch and learns before progressing to coffee and drinks, dinners, and tennis. Their language of love translated to romance and soon after a life-long commitment.
Now back in the US since 2013, Rahul still actively participates in the French culture and language, both on professional and personal levels. He understands the difficulty of learning a new language and is extremely excited that his gifted wife has opened an institute to make learning French easy and, more importantly, fun!
Rahul is currently pursuing an MBA at Rice University in Houston, Texas with the hopes of being an unpaid but thankful and motivated aide to the French Institute of Houston!
Nicolas Didierjean – French teacher
Nicolas is originally from Marseille, in the south of France, by the Mediterranean coast. He studied in the University of Provence, in Aix en Provence, which is his birth place. He was awarded a Master degree in French as a foreign language and Education sciences and a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature. He worked in the United Kingdom for two years as a French Language Assistant in London in primary and secondary schools. This enriching experience led him to do a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) in languages, which is the official British Certification of teaching. He was awarded the PGCE at the University College London-Institute of Education in June 2010. After teaching in British Secondary and High Schools for four years, he decided to share his passion for languages elsewhere in Latin America.
He lived in Brazil for one and a half years where he taught both French as a foreign language to adults and English as a foreign language to primary school learners at the Lycée Molière, the French School in Rio de Janeiro. After this fantastic experience, he went to Mexico where he worked as a French teacher at the Alliance Française of Irapuato for six months. Now in Houston since 2016, Nicolas looks forward to sharing his passion for the French language and culture by teaching it to new learners.
Apart from teaching, Nicolas loves watching sports, especially soccer (what Europeans call the “real football” as he says himself) but he also likes doing sports (soccer, volleyball, fitness and swimming), going to the movies, watching TV and reading the news.