Review Comment

Third-Year Conversation W3131

Honestly, I'm surprised she doesn't have more reviews. A previous review says that she's boring but I think that's just the nature of the French Grammar class, which I also took but with a different professor. That class was kind of boring. But Alexandra Borer? Absolutely not! She's a joy in class. Perhaps because the classes I took with her are more engaging that just consulting some grammar textbook. I took "Third-Year Conversation" and "French Language, Culture and Society through Paris" with her.

Alexandra is great at presenting new ideas and vocab in French. Often, she'll put a few words, phrases, or ideas on the board in French, and then she'll separate you into groups and ask each group to guess what the mystery terms mean. That's actually quite fun, because not only does it force you to think critically about the language, but it also gives you an opportunity to speak in French. Her classes tend to be multimedia, with a mixture of video, images, texts, poems, etc. All that's to say, her class is super interesting!

She's very sharp when listening to students' conversation. She'll come around when you're separated in groups and listen for a while, sometimes giving input, asking new questions that propel the conversation, and always correcting your speech when you make a mistake. It's helpful, she's not harsh at all!

She's also quite flexible with deadlines; I guess that's probably a very French thing...? But that's also because she never really specifies whether some written work is hand-in or not. It's like a riddle; you have to take your chances. Are our answers to these three questions for handing in? Is this short research just for me or does she want it for a grade? Either way, it's not a problem because at the end of class you'll find out (surprise!) and if you didn't do it, just show up next class with it. No penalties.

Workload:

For the Conversation class: 1 presentation, weekly readings/video/research/short writing exercise as homework, 3 vocab quizzes. 1 midterm (really more of a test) on vocab and grammar. No final.

For the French Language class: 2 essays, 1 presentation (for extra credit), 4 midterms (not hard at all, just pay attention in class and to your grammar!), no written final but a final project.

The workload, all in all, is considerably less than most other classes. It's kind of just like an extra course with minimal hand-in work.

November 24, 2013

Mubalegh, Naid
Third-Year Conversation W3131

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

I thought this was an enjoyable class overall. Naid's pretty young, her accent is cool, and she has a nice sense of humor. This class really depends on class discussions and while there were some duds, the majority of our section was communicative and coherent. Naid really makes an effort to make sure you understood the discussion and did a vocab review at the end of each class, where she went over words/phrases we got wrong or used incorrectly. I'd say take this class, as it really helps in improving your oral french and keeps you in good stead for further study of the language.

Workload:

1 presentation and 1 revue de presse. 1 vocab/grammar quiz.

August 18, 2009

Skippon, Samuel Silver_nugget
Third-Year Conversation W3131

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

Samuel is very committed to the French language and teaching it to his students. The problem is, this is only a two-point class, and he took it pretty seriously. There were regular readings, including an entire French novel, and movies to watch outside of class.

Classes were pleasant, as Samuel knew how to keep conversation going on interesting topics. He knows the language in a lot of precise detail, and will correct mistakes and introduce you to native phrases. By the end of the term you'll definitely be speaking better and have gained some knowledge of French politics/culture, but know that the class comes with some work.

Workload:

Participation, some articles to read, French novel, out of class movies. A few vocab quizzes throughout the term. Everyone makes one 20-minute presentation on a topic of their choice.

January 02, 2005

Wadhera, Priya Silver_nugget
Third-Year Conversation W3131

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

Not to be redundant, but Priya is fabulous. Not only is she a perfect instructor -- interested, caring, eager, intelligent, motivated, knowledgeable, and effective -- but she always has amusing anecdotes to share (the imitations of her parents [replete with Indian accents] are the best) and has great taste in clothes. She just finished her thesis, so who knows how much longer she'll be around, but if she's teaching a conversation class, grab it before it fills up. You'll both learn the language better than before and snag an easy A, and what could be better?

Workload:

mandatory attendance and one or two [fun] presentations to the class

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