Main Navigation
Anca Popescu


  • Ph.D. 20th Century French Literature and Cinema with an emphasis in Second Language Acquisition — UC Davis
  • M.A. Canadian Studies — University of Bucharest, Romania
  • B.A. Languages, French and English — University of Bucharest, Romania

Professor Popescu was born and raised in Bucharest, Romania where she started the study of French at a young age. She attended a bilingual high school and continued on to a B.A. in Languages. She traveled to France, and she feels she is an international citizen as she has family and has spent time in France, Switzerland, Italy, Ireland, Canada and California. She has been passionate about teaching since elementary school, and she lives her dream on a daily basis teaching French at IVC. Prior to moving to Southern California and starting to work at IVC in 2012, Prof. Popescu taught French at UC Davis while working towards her Ph.D. and at various community colleges in Northern California.

Prof. Popescu created the IVC French Club of which she is the advisor and continues her education in language teaching, online teaching, community college education and open educational resources. She has completed various teaching focused trainings and earned certificates and awards.

Outside of work, Prof. Popescu volunteers as a court appointed special advocate for foster youth. She takes a special interest in learning about different cultures and communities, and believes in the intrinsic value of each person's experience and point of view, and in bringing people from across cultures together. Prof. Popescu enjoys spending time with her family and pets, working on her Spanish, traveling and relaxing with a good book or movie.

Call 949- 451-5225 or contact Professor Popescu

Christelle Curilli


  • M.A. and B.A., French Literature, University of Minnesota

Professor Curilli grew up in Northern France (Bethune) and moved to the United States when she was 18. She has been teaching French since 1999 and has been very fortunate to teach at many different college-level institutions, both in France and in the United States. As a graduate student, she started teaching her native language at the University of Minnesota, alongside Prof. Betsy Kerr who co-wrote the textbook "Deux Mondes" and consequently embraced Natural Approach (a method which focuses on developing communicative skills early on) as her guideline for teaching. She received a master's degree in French literature from the University of Minnesota in 2002.

After several years of teaching all four levels of French in Minnesota and in Wisconsin, she moved temporarily to the medieval town of Avignon in Provence where she taught French for a study abroad program via the Institute for American Universities. She also taught at the college of Southern Nevada and at UNLV. Later, she taught English as a Second Language in Northern France at the University of Artois in Lens. In 2016, she relocated to Irvine, CA and has been delighted to continue her teaching career as a part-time instructor at Irvine Valley College, Chapman University, Santa Ana College and Fullerton College.

Her special interests include gardening, cooking and Italian cinema. She has spent some time in Italy and loves brushing up on her Italian whenever possible. She engages her students and loves to share her enthusiasm for the French language and culture. She was the Recipient of the "Compass Award" in 2011 (in guiding first-year students) at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls.

Contact Professor Curilli

Anne La Valle-Shepston


  • M.A. French Literature — CSU Fullerton
  • B.A. Social Ecology (emphasis on Psychology and Social Behavior, Criminology) — UC Irvine

Professor La Valle was born and raised in Toulouse, in southern France. In her native city, she enjoyed teaching jazz dance and fitness classes. She moved to California in 1996, from a big city in France to beautiful Silverado Canyon.

She started as an ESL student at Irvine Valley College, where she encountered great professors who inspired her to continue writing. She has been teaching French since 2003. She started in a Montessori school and has gone on to teach at several community colleges and state universities.

Teaching French language and culture to a diverse student population is not only an amazing linguistic adventure, but also a powerful means to an open world. As we teach, we are learning, while we are learning, we are teaching each other about our respective cultures. Learning a language is a constant give and take.

In her spare time, Professor La Valle enjoys hiking in the canyon with her friends and son and with her new puppy, Filou. She loves dogs and cats and all other animals; she volunteers at German Shepherd Rescue. She also likes to write stories for children and adults.

Contact Professor La Valle