Welcome to Tumu Learning, an online French language school based in Toronto, Canada. Our mission is to provide French language education to adults of all levels and locations. Whether you're a beginner or looking to improve your French, we're here to help! Let us introduce you to the founder of Tumu Learning.
Hi Umut, can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and your background?
Sure, my name is Umut, which means 'hope' in Turkish. I'm a French teacher based in Toronto. I have a degree in French language teaching and literature, and I've been teaching French for 5+ years to professionals. I recently completed my PhD in French studies and I love French literature, language, and teaching.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind Tumu Learning and how it came to be?
The idea for Tumu Learning came to me after years of observing a lack of French language learning opportunities outside of traditional classroom settings. After moving to Canada in 2016 for my graduate studies and residing in both Vancouver and London (Ontario), I observed that many of my students had difficulty maintaining their French language skills after completing their studies, due to living in cities where English is the primary language.
As someone who is passionate about French and teaching, I wanted to create a platform that would allow learners of all levels and locations to practice their French skills and achieve fluency. The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 provided an opportunity to launch Tumu Learning, and since then we have been helping learners to improve their French and achieve their language learning goals.
What are the benefits of learning French in Canada?
Learning French in Canada has numerous benefits as it's one of the country's official languages and highly valued in the international job market. It can significantly enhance employability, expand career opportunities in various fields, and increase chances of successfully immigrating to Canada, especially in Quebec or other French-speaking areas.
Additionally, knowing French can help you adapt better to the Canadian culture, connect with the Francophone community, participate in cultural events, and communicate easily with locals. Learning French is an investment in personal and professional growth in Canada.
"What I love most about teaching is to see my students' progress."
What do you like most about teaching?
What I love most about teaching is to see my students' progress. Seeing them speaking French more confidently after each lesson and mastering French grammar and vocabulary is rewarding. I like encouraging my students and being the direct support on their French learning journey. With our one-on-one lessons, I'm excited to help anyone to achieve their goals in French whether they’re learning it for school, work or fun.
What's your favorite thing about teaching online?
I like the flexibility of it for both students and me. Learning a new language is a commitment; people are busy with school or work and don't have so much time. Online classes allow students to learn in the comfort of their home.
Teaching online helps me to adapt to the student's schedule, their needs and learning style easily. I can include interactive activities in my lessons to make learning French interesting, engaging and fun. I can keep in touch with students easily and give them feedback. I also love the fact that I can reach many people from different places and meet new students.
Can you tell us about the kind of student you enjoy working with?
I enjoy teaching all students from different levels and age groups. I find that teaching beginners, seeing their progress and speaking is very rewarding. I've had many students who didn't know a single word in French at the beginning; then they were able to speak and use their French in an actual situation, at school or work.
Helping professionals to improve their skills to get into university or a job and to gain confidence in speaking is also very rewarding.
"It's never too late to learn a new language!"
I have one last question for you before we finish our interview. If someone is interested in learning French, what advice would you give them?
If you're considering learning French, here are some tips to help you get started and stay motivated:
- Remember that it's never too late to learn a new language.
- Don't be afraid to make mistakes; they're a natural part of the learning process. (People make mistakes even in their first language!)
- Be patient with yourself; learning a new language takes time and effort. (It can take months and even years)
- Consistency is key - set a regular study schedule and stick to it.
- Don't give up - if you're struggling, take a break, but keep coming back to your studies.
- Most importantly, have fun! Learning a new language can be a joyful and rewarding experience.