ARC French professor wrote her own textbook


Cheyenne Drury

French Professor Deirdre Wolonick, mother of world famous free solo rock climber Alex Honnold, with her most recent publication ‘Je Parle Francais… un peu” a required textbook for her French 400 and 401 classes.

Cheyenne Drury and Cheyenne Drury

Beyond being fluent in four languages, having a famous free-solo climber as a son and playing the flute for the American River College Orchestra for 10 years, Deirdre Wolonick is also the only French professor at ARC with a long history of book publications.

Wolonick’s most recent publication is a French textbook designed to cover materials she feels are not generally available.

Je parle Francais… un peu, which translates to “I speak a little French,” was published in 2013. Wolonick uses it as a textbook in her Elementary French courses.

“A lot of language teachers don’t use the formal language in the classroom and this textbook helps to stress the importance of such,” said Wolonick in regards to her new textbook.

Je parle Francais… un peu involves nothing electronic and “keeps things simplistic and hands on,” said Wolonick.

Wolonick says she is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian as well as French, and says she is adequate in Polish, German and Japanese.

American River College student Rosina Miranda, an English major, commented on her experience as Wolonick’s pupil.

“She made me want to be a teacher and I really enjoyed her classes,” said Miranda.

Some of Wolonick’s other publications include Sacramento with Kids, a travel book and her first publication.

She later wrote San Jose with Kids, a family guide to the greater San Jose and Santa Clara valley area, and English with Ease: Mastering the Basic Ingredients of English, which has been published in eight foreign countries.

Wolonick also has two published novels: Gold Country and Legacy of Love, both written in the 1990s.

Wolonick says her upbringing in a New York immigrant neighborhood contributed to her present day love of foreign languages.

“Every house on my block spoke a different language,” she said.

Wolonick has also been featured in two Chicken Soup books: Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul and Chicken Soup to Inspire the Body and Soul.