Penny spent most of her working life as Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer, in the Department of French at Birkbeck, University of London. Birkbeck is dedicated to the needs of mature students studying part-time, attending classes in the evenings, and Penny’s teaching experience is apparent in these publications. Mature students in particular ask to engage intellectually with the topic and be given plenty of examples and convincing arguments so that they grasp from within, as it were, how things work. They also appreciate gentle humour and, knowing just how hard it is to become qualified, are tolerant of their teacher’s foibles.

Penny’s father was British, but he was born in France, where he lived until the age of seventeen when he joined the British army. He served in both World Wars, he and his young family returning to Menton in the early 1950s. Penny was steeped in French from that time, completing her schooling in England and her first degree at the University of Aix-en-Provence. After completing a PGCE, Penny took off to Ghana to teach French at Wesley Girls’ High School, Cape Coast. In Ghana she met her husband, Joe Bedu. On her return to Europe, she completed the Diplôme d’orienteur pédagogique (BELC) in Paris, and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics at the University of Essex. The couple finally settled in North London, where their son and daughter grew up, both of whom now have children of their own.

Some people have the gift of musical tone-recognition, others can acquire near-native accents in foreign languages. Penny is one of the latter: her Spanish and German have, in the past, been praised as much as her French. In addition to the well-nigh authentic French accent, Penny has exceptionally clear diction and accessible delivery which means there should not be many, if any, problems with understanding what she says.


Purchase of the DVDs supports two causes dear to Penny's heart




One of these causes is the Birkbeck Alumni Fund set up to alleviate hardship as mature students struggle to obtain their degrees, and the other is the J. Bedu Memorial Fund which provides resources for the school and local projects in Daffor-Awudome, near to Ho, in Ghana’s Volta Region. New classrooms are built, equipment obtained, excursions organised, things we take for granted, but which are deeply precious in Daffor-Awudome.