Spanish Intermediate II

May 2010

Professor Borgman is a very nice woman who tries to engage all her students in discussion. She is not evil or out to get you... just do not get her angry by having half the class not do homework ... she does not appreciate it (Who would?) and at one point this semester she almost lost her cool. Besides that, she's always smiling and seems to enjoy what she is doing. What I did not think was too effective was the fact that she did not have a set schedule of things for us to do. Sometimes we actually had to ask about what we would do during a particular class, because you could sort of sway her to do anything. She allows you to rewrite all your essays, and wants to help you out. I liked that we spoke Spanish nearly all the time. However, she will let you speak in English if you ask and have something complicated to say. She's also the only prof. this semester to have allowed my class to go outside for a session on Hamilton Lawn. That was very nice of her. Overall, I think her class is fairly simple - no worries taking a class with Borgman.

Jan 2010

Not only one of the best professors I've ever had, but by far the most effective language teacher I have ever had. He has a very unique approach to teaching spanish, particularly grammar. He removes memorization from the process and teaches the class a logical approach. On top of all that, he is funny and caring. He will always meet with you in office hours or after class. That said, he is a tough teacher that expects a lot from his students (although the workload isn't bad). He also speaks very little english, which at times is hilarious when he tells jokes in english, but can be difficult if you're struggling with an idea and he can't explain it to you in english (which is just as well because that is probably the most effective way to learn spanish). I think that all of this adds up to a class where you will be pushed, learn a lot, and be happy to do so.

Jan 2006

Jose is enthusiastic, amiable, and tough as balls. He's really reasonable; reasonably, he expects his students to speak only Spanish in class, and reasonably, he expects students to do their reading. Reasonably, he doesn't kill you for lapsing into English, and reasonably, he didn't get mad when a classmate of mine said he intended to get drunk for a class (and later did) because it would help him speak more confidently - a brief and unscientific explanation of the principle, which is a valid principle for many people, convinced Jose to leave it alone. Jose does not speak a mix of Spanish and Portuguese. He speaks perfect Mexican Spanish and perfect American English, both with eminently clear, well-chosen, and well- paced diction. If you want to model your own nascent accent off of someone else's, look to Jose. Jose does not assign ridiculous amounts of work, though if you wish to bullshit your way through the language requirement, you should probably take another class. He loves his language and its literature enough to devote his life to its study and instruction, and he expects at least a passing interest from his students. It's not really that hard: I took this course in six weeks and managed to get through the reading and writing assignments for each class in two or three hours, with minimal attention. You should see half that work. Jose's insistence on the basics will make you more comfortable with doing what you have to to gain a measure of fluency - if you cooperate, you will at some point find yourself thinking in Spanish outside of class. I agree with a previous reviewer that the main weakness of this class is a focus on peer-to-peer discussion, disparate as students' speaking abilities are. Things do at times become awkward. Jose is available during office hours and gives short review sessions before testing, with longer sessions before exams. All papers come back promptly with exacting corrections, as do quizzes and exams.

Apr 2005

He is obsessed with himself. This love can at times make the class extremely entertaining but not always. He is extremely condescending. He will like you if you have a perfect accent, but correct you on every single word if you donÂ’t. Yet I will say that he is extremely fair about moving assignments and tests to more convenient times for the class, and can even be a push over.

Mar 2005

This class is awful if you actually want to learn Spanish. The professor prefaces the class by saying that she won't be speaking any English because our Spanish should be sufficient by this point to enable us to understand her, and then she spends the entire semester speaking to students as if they were Spanish 2-year olds. We rarely did anything but review book exercises in class, which made having a professor pretty superfluous. It's an easy class, but the longest hour and fifteen minutes of your life. The professor is almost sickeningly sweet and doesn't ask any real improvement from her students.

Dec 2004

This class was by far the stupidest class ever. First of all, i did absolutly no work for most of it...there is hw assigned on the sylabus that she never ever checks (no point in doing it.) mostly she explors the cultural aspect of the class (poems, plays, movies) (can get very boring) but randomly she'll throw in a grammer lecture which consits of her randomly writing sentences on the board and no one knowing whats going on. all in all an easy class, she's a nice lady but her class is boring..i always did other work in it. this is the class for people who hate spanish, dont want to learn and just want to pass the requiremnt..but the grammer is sometimes hard because she doesnt teach it. dont take this class if u actually like spanish.