To take class with Qi laoshi is to submit willfully to shock therapy. Every class is like having a hundred thousand volts put through you. She is not for the faint of heart. She is, however, for those with any kind of real ambition to learn Chinese. She will work you harder and push you farther than anyone else, and she will do it by putting the fear of God into your heart. She demands a lot of her students (undivided attention and unfailing allegiance), but she gets results. Under her, Chinese will constitute the mammoth portion of your workload, but it's worth it. Anyone unwilling to commit the time she requires is advised to avoid the class, and she will likely tell you as much at the beginning of the semester ("Anyone taking a lab science? You should get out now"). In she pumps questions at you rapid-fire (and not easy questions, either--thinky ones, like "what do you consider ideal in a marriage partner?"), and if you stammer, blank or quail under her steely gaze, boom, she moves on. There is neither dozing nor doodling in Qi laoshi's class. If you can do the work, though, you will learn Chinese at a considerably faster rate than anyone else in the level, and furthermore, you will remember it, because the thing about Qi laoshi is, she knows what she's doing. She really, really knows what she's doing.
Professor Ma is from the Summer Program in Beijing and doesn't really speak English, but she's by far the most personable Chinese instructor I've had. Her class is taught immersion style out of necessity, but she does a good job of communicating with her students and making herself understood. Workload is very reasonable as she takes some of the communication difficulties into account, which is good. I'd recommend her highly.
Ma Lao Shi is by far the best instructor I have ever had for Chinese. She is so warm, friendly, cheerful and energetic to students and she is incredibly devoted to teaching Chinese. She always come to class very well prepared and expects students to do the same. I have so much affection for Ma Lao Shi! I really recommend her class. She'll even teach you how the Beijingers do it by saying things like "dong mer" instead of "dong men". She's truely a fantastic teacher and she makes class really enjoyable.
I highly recommend this teacher to serious students of Chinese. If your goal is to speak the language fluently some day, Shaoyan Qi is by far the way to go. All other Chinese classes pale in comparison to the experience of learning Chinese with Shaoyan Qi. She is a very demanding teacher and if you are ready to take upon the challenge, she'll make sure that your experience is a rewarding one. If you take Shaoyan Qi for a year, your language skills will increase by so much and you'll leave with a much better understanding of Chinese grammar and sentence patterns. She assigns written homework every single day and you are forced to learn the sentence patterns extremely well. The dictations are really hard, but it reinforces what you learned in the past lessons, which prepares you well for the Unit Test and Final Exam. In order to keep up with class and her talking speed, you must listen closely to the recordings for at least an hour each day. The intensity of her class is something that serious students of Chinese take advantage of. I've had other Chinese teachers besides her and have been left very disappointed. If you want total immersion for a solid hour and a half, Shaoyan Qi is the way to go. But if you'd rather hear a Chinese teacher practice her English speaking skills with you for the same amount of time, consider a teacher like Yuan-Yuan Meng. My advice? Get your money's worth.
Guo laoshi is a great professor. he know's his material very well and is more than willing to answer questions and review material that you are not comfortable. the major complaint most kids that take him is that he does not speak much english when he teaches the class. although he uses chinese to explain things this is done in good intentions. it helps you to expand your vocabulary and also serves as a refresher for words previously learned. his constant use of chinese forces you to be more fluent in understanding/listening to the language (enhances your listening proficiency). the class is generally smaller than the other sections so students get more attention in the class and more time to practice speaking. he is very approachable after class and during office hours. go seek his help if you need it! he is more than willing to go over material with you. overall if you take his class you will get plenty of attention and practice both speaking and listening to the language. (afterall it is intermediate so start getting use to having less english spoken in the class). he tries to make the class fun and enjoyable by making jokes. he is very animated and makes cute sounds/expressions to express his reactions. enjoyable class.
Qi Laoshi is really an excellent teacher. She works very hard and her students learn more than those in other classes. That having been said, some people feel that the workload is excessive. I was lucky in that my other courses weren't too heavy when I had her, but it is a lot of work. I'll definitely be taking her course again next semester.
Zhao Laoshi is new from Beijing. She apparently taught for Columbia's summer program there. She's very sweet, BUT, and this is a big BUT, she is just a horrible, horrible teacher. Though her English seems like it's not that bad, she is incapable of explaining usage, etc. beyond the very short explanation she prepared for the class. Be fully prepared to teach this section of Chinese to yourself.