Review Comment

[FREN W3421] Intro to French and Francophone studies

August 22, 2014

Saada, Emmanuelle Silver_nugget
[FREN W3421] Intro to French and Francophone studies

Emmanuelle Saada's classes are some of the best that I've ever taken at Columbia University. She stands out amongst other professors, because she is so attentive to her students. It's easy to get lost amongst the crowd at such a large university, but Saada is always available to work with undergraduates. Furthermore, she is a historical expert and one of the renowned faculty of the French department. Assigned readings are not only pertinent to the subject, but also connect well with Core Curriculum classes. I didn't find CC particularly useful until I took a class with Saada, who's familiarity with the Core makes for an incredibly enjoyable, engaging and connected class. Her interpretations of difficult readings are inspiring due both to her intellect and diverse background. She exemplifies what Columbia University is about. Run, do not walk to her class. It is an honor for any student to be able to take a class with her. I learned more in one class with Saada then in 2 years at Columbia. Expect fascinating lectures and a reasonable workload.

Workload:

Standard workload. Weekly readings (which are worth being read).

January 08, 2012

Dobie, Madeleine Silver_nugget
[FREN W3421] Intro to French and Francophone studies

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Professor Dobie was the first French teacher I had at Columbia and from what I have come to understand since then, she is very reflective of the entire department. She is very French and if you don’t quite know what that means, it might be later than sooner that you find out. She’s nice, but more like polite than warmhearted. She’s knowledgeable, but will not exhibit any visible passion for the subject material. She’s easy going, as in she tolerates blatantly bad accents and she’s flexible about dates and assignments. Overall, she’s blasé (...does one add an E in English?) about the class and life in general. She was often late to class yet had that easiness about her attitude and even wardrobe that is just. so. French. The class on the other hand, at least for me, was fascinating. Professor Dobie mainly lectures, so if you’re looking to brush up your speaking and grammar, go elsewhere. It’s basically a history class. Simple as that. You must be able to understand French perfectly and write fast, because she talks for 74 of the 75 minutes. She’s not particularly engaging, but the texts are still worthwhile. Another word of advice: this class deals primarily with France and political, historical and social developments therein. The follow-up course (Francophone Studies Part II) is ENTIRELY about French colonies (read: AFRICA). They do not have to be taken subsequently but it’s advisable.

Workload:

Very manageable: midterm, final, and 2 or 3 brief essays (really more like responses).

May 09, 2011

Koffi-Tessio, Marie-Helene
[FREN W3421] Intro to French and Francophone studies

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

This professor is awesome! She is very nice and helpful. This was her first semester teaching the course so it was maybe a little disorganized at first, but in the end it was an interesting class and very good overall. I'm sure that the class will only improve from here. Also, I would take a class with Prof. Koffi-Tessio again if she's teaching something else.

Read the description/ syllabus on the department website if you don't know what the "French and Francophone Studies" part is. (Overall, a lot of important topics are covered and it's a good way to continue improving your French or to get major credit. You don't have to take them in sequence.)

Workload:

2 medium (3-5 pages? I don’t exactly remember) papers about course content w/ opportunity for a second draft, midterm, final (both exams were essay-based)

Participation in class discussion/ attendance counts for a lot-- so be ready to say intelligent (and intelligible) things in French multiple times per class. (Class format: sit in a circle and discuss the readings/ topics in French.) Probably not the best class to take the first semester after you've completed the language requirement. If your accent isn't perfect yet, no worries, but make sure that you can really communicate.

There is a lot of reading, as in both French and Francophone Studies classes. This could be hard if you're not really used to reading in French. (But, as the semester goes on, you realize that having some sort of thematic comprehension is more important than knowing all the details on every page, so you can skim a bit.)

That said, it's a great class.

April 15, 2010

Glover, Kaiama Silver_nugget
[FREN W3421] Intro to French and Francophone studies

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I had Professor Glover for Intro to French and Francophone Studies II. I absolutely loved her as a teacher. She's energetic and extremely knowledgeable and although she speaks really fast her French is so clear and well articulated that I can understand everything she says. As far as the class went though, I often felt overwhelmed. The reading is a lot and was kind of boring (for me, some people might love it) and after the first few weeks of class I gave up doing it at all. Luckily though, Professor Glover goes over all the important points of the reading so even if you don't read AT ALL, if you come to every class, sit in the front, pay lots of attention and take continuous notes, you should still be able to do pretty well in the class (I got a B on the midterm having read nothing - not too bad).

The class is a little hard to keep up with due to the enormous amounts of complicated reading but other than that, there's never any homework to turn in. So it's just reading and then a midterm and final.

If you're looking to actually improve your French though, this might not be the class for you. The focus is a lot more on the historical material learned rather than how well you speak, read, and write French. Her grading on the exams focuses solely on your understanding of the subject matter and not at all on your writing abilities. Because the class is mainly a lecture class, you won't develop your speaking and writing skills much but you'll get plenty of practice with listening and reading and taking fast notes in French.

Overall though, the class was interesting and I have nothing but praise for Professor Glover. If you're interested in French colonialism and history, then this is the class for you and Professor Glover is simply an amazing teacher.

Workload:

Lots of reading (usually a 20-40 page essay to read for every class), 1 midterm (essay questions) and 1 final

December 03, 2004

Dobie, Madeleine Silver_nugget
[FREN W3421] Intro to French and Francophone studies

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Madame Dobie is a reserved lecturer, but has an enormous amount of knowledge. She is a no nonsense type, but her witty British side does shine through at times. She refuses to bullshit and she refuses to listen to bullshit, which is a welcome change from many French professors. You will learn a lot in this class, and you will find that you know it cold. It's refreshing, really.

Workload:

2 short four page papers with optional re-writes. Midterm and Final. Readings for each class that don't take longer than 3 hours for the longest one. Not bad at all.

September 04, 2004

Dobie, Madeleine Silver_nugget
[FREN W3421] Intro to French and Francophone studies

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Prof Dobie is a VERY sweet, kind, soft-spoken person. She's also the undergrade dept advisor and someone with EXTENSIVE background in F&F Studies, so she's a great person to get to know if you have a real interest in the subject.
As a professsor, however, Dobie's class was pretty dry; she wasn't great at provoking conversation, and most of the class was a Q&A type session, where she asked a question and class time was spent trying to direct students to the exact answer she had in mind, rather than discuss topics/issues raised in the readings. Nonetheless, it is a an interesting subject and definitely throught-provoking, even if much of that "thought" won't get expressed in class.

Workload:

Definitely very doable. 2 papers with rewrites(first on an assigned topic, second you come up with the topic), in class midterm/final. Prof. Dobie is also always willing to meet to discuss your work, but be aware that you may to wait before you get a chance to see her-she tends to be pretty busy.

December 16, 2002

Dobie, Madeleine Silver_nugget
[FREN W3421] Intro to French and Francophone studies

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Prof. Dobie is a fair grader but has terrible handwriting. Most likely, you'll have to ask her what she wrote in her comments. She is nice overall and the atmosphere in the class is relaxed. She doesnt' push anyone to participate but it helps if you do. However, don't be discouraged when you try to respond to one of her questions and discover that your answer is not the one she's looking for. Her class wasn't the best i've had but it's certainly not the worst.

Workload:

The workload is doable if you don't have other classes that are heavy on readings. If you do, i suggest that you don't take this class because most of the readings are long, somewhat boring, and in french. She assigns 3 papers which are doable. She's crazy about accents and grammar. Overall, very doable.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
FRRP / FREN FRRP FREN W3420: Introduction to French and Francophone Studies I Madeleine Dobie 2004 Fall MW / 11:00-12:15 PM 1
FRRP / FREN FRRP FREN W3420: Introduction to French and Francophone Studies I Madeleine Dobie 2003 Fall TR / 1:10- 2:25 PM 1