December 12, 2007

Usher, Phillip Silver_nugget
Composition and Conversation

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

Professor Usher is absolutely incredible. I took this class as a way to brush up on my French, which was already rusty after taking one semester off. This course was a great way to practice my French speaking in a safe atmosphere where I was never embarrassed to conjugate incorrectly or stammer on vocabulary. The class was easily my most consistently enjoyable class of the entire semester--I left on a regular basis with a huge smile on my face. Whether he asks you to write poetry, analyze videos, discuss current events or cultural differences, his classes are consistently well planned and engaging. I highly recommend this class to anyone looking for a not hard French class to polish old skills. But if you're looking for an intense, crash review course designed to finally get you to fluency, look elsewhere, or at least to a different professor. Usher is a very sweet man, but is potentially too lenient to really kick your French up to perfect proficiency.

Workload:

Not bad. Five compositions, ranging from half a page to two pages each. Forty minute oral presentation, done with a partner, which is easily the hardest part of the course. Class participation a must, which requires staying up on the readings (when applicable) and watching movies when assigned, but the daily assignments rarely take more than an hour. Plus journal entries (two small pages, handwritten) once a week. Very manageable.