Review Comment

[FREN W1205] Accelerated Intermediate French I+II

June 06, 2015

Skippon, Samuel Silver_nugget
[FREN W1205] Accelerated Intermediate French I+II

One of the best! He's funny, competent, charming, and super approchable if you ever need help. I know he had some health issues this semester so classes were canceled pretty often (like, more than 4 times) which was fine with me, but we still managed to finish the entire course book without any stress or cramming at the end of the semester. The course was accelerated, but unlike Accelerated Elementary it was a lot less grammar, and we spent many days in between just talking about French movies or watching French news or something. Samuel is a stickler about pronunciation (especially gender agreement) and overall I think my pronunciation improved a LOT in his class. In-class worksheets are very helpful and I always felt like review was pretty thorough even though the course moved very fast. We had short homework assignments on a nearly-nightly basis, which I did pretty rarely, so I got really good at answering on the spot in class. It never seemed to be a problem, which is great! Because of the nature of Intermediate French I, the first part of the semester was just review of Elementary French II so that was a really nice time. Even though the second half of the semester was harder, Samuel is a more than capable teacher who makes class a joy. After having taken French since September and feeling really nervous for my second intensive semester, I was so impressed by my own ability to discuss more complex news stories, movies, and longer writings in French—progress I credit mostly to the lovely professors I've had. Overall, Samuel is great and I would recommend him 100%!

Workload:

I don't even remember. There were some Tests? And Compositions? Quizzes are usually ungraded and he gives you the opportunity to correct your compositions (the one or two that he actually returned were pretty thoroughly annotated). We had two take home tests with notes allowed (but no outside help). All the tests were fair and not too tricky or cruel.

As I think everyone else has mentioned previously, he will never ever return your grades, ever. Just do your best, I guess (Samuel is also very kind and it is very possible to get an A).

May 04, 2015

Skippon, Samuel Silver_nugget
[FREN W1205] Accelerated Intermediate French I+II

This was a great class! Samuel is a great professor who always made class interesting and lively. Very talkative, funny, and honestly just adorable. He always provided creative and fun topics of discussion or exercises to do in class as a way of practicing whatever it is you're learning -- which forces you to learn it because you're using it in conversation but also helps students understand how to practically use the grammar rules in real conversation. My only vice is that we didn't get back graded work in a timely manner at all -- it's the end of the semester and I only know my grade for one test and two compositions. But Samuel has made it clear that we're all doing very well, and if you need to work on something specific he will let you know. Take this class if you have the chance! Take Accelerated Int. in general; all the profs are good and the class is really a great way to finish up the language requirement if you still need to.

Workload:

Weekly homework in the workbook (never graded), 4 compositions, and 5 tests (2 of which were take-home because we missed a few classes because he was sick). He assigns some reading out of the textbook, but never very long and if you don't do it it's no big deal because you will most likely read it together in class anyway and talk about the vocabulary and then the text itself.

January 07, 2013

Aurora, Vincent Silver_nugget
[FREN W1205] Accelerated Intermediate French I+II

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

Having recently finished undergrad, this is the second, and last review I will write about a professor at Columbia. I am thrilled to say that this will be in stark contrast to my first review, which was more of a scathing critique, really. Vincent Aurora is the single best professor I have had the fantastic fortune of encountering at this school. I was not looking forward to an accelerated french class, 4 times a week for 2 hours every day. Needless to say, I was only taking it in order to fulfill a requirement. What I discovered in that classroom was, however, what most students dream of finding at college. He was the single most enthusiastic, energetic, hilarious, witty, thought provoking and absolutely engaging professor I have ever had. There simply aren't any negative things I could say about him or the class. Be prepared to work a little more than you expect to, try to be moderately prepared for class, but other than that, you're gold. A colour I am shocked he has yet to be designated.

If you get a chance, I implore you, no, I *beseech* you, to take a class with this man. I don't believe that there is someone else out there who could teach a language with as much natural fluidity than this person. He is genuine and reasonable and his anecdotes keep you as focused as you'd be if you were having a bit of a chat with your friend. I learned more french than I ever thought was possible, because frankly speaking, I am the farthest thing from a language person. What struck me the most about him was that he seriously cared about teaching his students things. French, obviously, but all sorts of other things, general knowledge things, Europe things, pop music things, political scandal things, history things, really just everything. And I don't know what this rubbish is about his sense of humour being sharp edged. He has the exact sense of humour I look for in my friends - he is downright hilarious.

Take my word for it, his class is just something you need to try before leaving this school. Sit in on a lecture or two and you'll see what I mean.

Workload:

Standard language workbook + oral exercises every week, some mini essays that he lets you edit as much as you like, completely reasonable tests throughout the semester.

January 23, 2012

Aurora, Vincent Silver_nugget
[FREN W1205] Accelerated Intermediate French I+II

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

Vincent is hilarious. He always tried to spark the interest of every person in the room, and he knows so much about modern French culture.

The best part is that since he is American, he understands the difficulty Americans have in learning French, unlike other French professors that are French.

I learned more French in this class than I did in 2 years of French with other teachers. Also he actually taught us about current politics and events in France, unlike other professors who usually just go off the culturelle section in the textbook, which is usually outdated/irrelevant.

Workload:

There is quite a lot of reading and listening, and the class moves VERY QUICKLY. Take it if you have a decent amount of time daily to devote to it.

Go to his office hour!!!

A few short essays throughout the semester
4 tests
1 final (25%)

May 03, 2011

Aurora, Vincent Silver_nugget
[FREN W1205] Accelerated Intermediate French I+II

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

I've realized that class taught by Vincent can feel like nothing, especially after reading the last review.
So, if you are:
1. a person who doesn't believe in having fun when you're in class, and feels class time should be solely devoted to learning words that you think are "useful",
2. a person who can't take jokes and gets easily offended, or,
3. a person who thinks you're always right and others are always wrong.
I suggest you get a Rosetta Stone and a good English-French dictionary. You can save so much money and learn French!

Vincent talks a lot about his own experience in France. Most of them are funny, and I'm guessing most of his students took it as a cultural experience. If you don't, see number 1 from above.
Also, he makes fun of his students. They're usually quite silly. But it's not like he's going to attack you viciously, making fun of your appearance or stuff like that. He's extremely witty; his comebacks are hilarious and smart. But again, if you find silly jokes offensive, see number 2.
Lastly, like us, Vincent has his own opinions, and he's open to voice his own. Some can be strong. So if you're a zealot and think you can lead Vincent to martyrdom, please reconsider and check back at number 3.

However, the vast majority of the students will find this class extremely enjoyable. Let's face it. Without having some fun, the 2 hour meeting for 4 days a week can be torturous. While having fun, Vincent is so effective that we still go through all the materials that we were supposed to cover for a given day. Also, he's a lenient grader, and his due dates for essays and exercises are flexible. Because he's American, he knows what's hard for us. So his explanations are very clear.

Although learning French is the primary goal of this class, I think it's important to get rid of the fear of speaking French; and Vincent does an excellent job of that. I really wish I had him earlier so I could've majored in French.

So, if you do have a chance to take his class, DO SO. It will give you eternal happiness, unless you fall into one of the three categories; then you should go get the Rosetta Stone ASAP.

Workload:

For a 8 point course, not so much.
I've heard 2.5 point Chinese class has more workload than this.
5 exams, 10 exercises(oral+written), occasional redactions, and occasional readings.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
FRRP / FREN FRRP FREN W1205: Accelerated Intermediate Fren I + II Vincent Aurora 2012 Fall MTWR / 12:00- 2:00 PM 1
FRRP / FREN FRRP FREN W1205: Accelerated Intermediate Fren I + II Samuel Skippon 2012 Spring MTWR / 12:00- 1:50 PM 1
FRRP / FREN FRRP FREN W1205: Accelerated Intermediate Fren I + II Vincent Aurora 2011 Spring TWR / 12:00- 1:50 PM 1