April 28, 2002

Curren, Erin Silver_nugget
[FREN W1101] Elementary French I and [FREN W1102] Elementary French II

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

Erin is the best instructor of any sort that I've had here at Columbia!!! If I could suggest one singular improvement to the university, it would be to give Erin tenure. Regardless of the fact that she's "just" a Graduate Assistant, she is the most enthusiastic and motivating instructor at Columbia. To give you an idea as to how much she has done for her students, she has taught the 9 am class both terms this year. And this semester, it was so full that students were sent to other classes. For a 9 am class to be full over later classes says something. Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of 9 am classes, and I very well could have taken a later course. But you don't feel like you're working, nor that getting up at 9 am is hard, with Erin as your instructor. In lots of other language classes, you feel like you can't make a mistake. In Erin's class, making mistakes is as crucial as speaking the language perfectly. There's little competition, and people share in each other's experiences. Erin's comfortable acknowledging her own mistakes but won't make you feel embarrassed with your own. The skits you'll do at the end of term are tribute to this--everybody has a great time writing ten-minute sketches in French. At the end of last term, the entire class was rolling in laughter by the presentations. Overall, it's a warm, comfortable environment. You'll love class and the French language if Erin's enthousiasm takes over. Amidst the blase attitude of many of the tenured professors here, Erin is a shining jewel of an instructor.

Workload:

Typical language course. Meets five hours per week, langauge lab required. Oral and written activities on a nearly daily basis, frequent essays. Four tests/term. But it's worth it!