Review Comment

elementary arabic2 , intermediate arabic 1

January 07, 2004

El-Hage, George Silver_nugget
elementary arabic2 , intermediate arabic 1

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

Kind, professional, and dedicated, El-Hage is the best teacher I've had at Columbia. You can stop by his office for homework help practically any time, and he might offer to make you tea. He is genuinely interested in his students, and he is aware of each student's progress in reading, listening, speaking, and writing. He invited us to his house for dinner. He never misses class and rarely comes late, and single-handedly made an amazing workbook that assists in understanding the complex grammar. El-Hage expects the same dedication from you, so no late homework, and avoid missing class (3 absences and your grade goes down). Time flies by because class is really fun and relaxed (you can eat, call out, etc.). He also sometimes shows cool movies, but only if you bug him a lot.
El-Hage is great at knowing what non-Arabic speakers can realistically know and learn, and although he is fond of teaching us useful words that are not in the book, they will almost never show up on the quiz, so don't stress out if he's throwing words at you. El-Hage is very professional, and one of the first MEALAC professsors I've had that does not let his political views seep into class discussion. El Hage most of all loves Arabic and teaching Arabic, and can explain the often beautiful etymologies of certain words. He is also a wonderful poet in both Arabic and English, and began publishing his poetry at age 17! If you're starting Arabic, both Taoufik and El- Hage are great options. The rest of the Arabic teachers are not worth your tuition.

Workload:

homework every night (marked more or less whether you did or not- except if you really screw it up). quizzes, oral presentations (they're fun to watch), final. Bit of advice on the quizzes and final- People often try to make complex sentences with difficult words, and hope that despite the fact that it may have some minor errors, they will be rewarded for there courage and creativity. DON"T DO IT. HE WILL NOT REWARD YOU FOR IT. In El- Hage's class, you can and should write simple sentences on the quizzes, and make sure that everything is spelled correctly and makes sense. You will not be penalized for correct, simplistic sentences, no matter how stupid you think they sound.

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