November 14, 2006

Usher, Phillip Silver_nugget
Composition and Conversation

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

Phillip is a great guy. He is really enthusiastic about the French language and wants you to do well. He balances discussing grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation and tries to incorporate discussions of each of these as necessary. He is relaxed about the structure of the class without letting it slip, so he is keeping people on task without making it seem like he is bound to the syllabus. Phillip is really into writing and poetry and I liked that he was willing to accept very experimental and freeform compositions sometimes (as long as they were appropriate for the assignment). I felt like I could actually try new styles of writing in French instead of trying to fit some guidelines for the good grade that my teacher had preset. I feel like he is a really reasonable teacher who understands that you're busy students, as long as you do apply yourself in class.

The class itself is pretty much what the name of it says - a combination of speaking on various topics and writing compositions. Some of the readings are recycled from other French classes, but you don't spend too much time on any one author or piece so it's not a problem. You also get to learn some vocabulary that is useful in everyday conversations. I feel a lot less self-conscious speaking in French in class and more confident in my French skills on the whole.

Workload:

Pretty light...a few compositions, no exams, one longer (30+ min) presentation in class but nothing too formal