A five week French course, with Margot Stiassni, starts Wednesday, June 19, 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Penobscot School in Rockland.

Entitled Keys to French, it is a course for all beginning levels, which focuses on the structure and phonics of the French language. Students will gain useful conversational expressions suitable for travel and daily life. Register by calling 594-1084, or on-line at penobscot.us.

A veteran teacher at Penobscot School, Stiassni began learning French as a child visiting grandparents, who lived in Provence. She holds degrees in French literature at Williams College, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Stanford University. A year of study in Paris at the Sorbonne and the Sweet Briar Program motivated her to pursue language teaching. During her graduate studies, she was awarded a two week travel-study scholarship in the Franche-Comté region by the French government, followed by studies at the Institut Catholique in Paris. She frequently travels to France and other French-speaking countries.

Stiassni has taught French at all levels from kindergarten to 12th in New England for 24 years. Since 2009, at Penobscot School in Rockland, she has taught the Intermediate French Conversation class. In addition, this year she taught for the Augusta-based Maine French Heritage Language Program. At Penobscot School, she helps to lead immersion weekends in French and Spanish, often conducting music workshops with her guitar.

For Keys to French, one approaches French pronunciation with songs and poetry, along with phonetic analysis. Practical exercises, games and dialogues help students to acquire memorable and useful language. Keys to French is a beginner's course, which is also appropriate to students of French who feel they lack the pronunciation skill they desire.

For more information about classes and events at the school, please visit penobscot.us, or stop by at 28 Gay St.