Hazel is a great prof and definitely pushed me to practice and learn. Even in a virtual environment, she was able to teach effectively and I was able to utilize the grammar and vocabulary she introduced to us. Highly recommend her and I'm sure in-person classes would be even better. We were a small class, so she was able to work with us individually to help us learn and often focuses on our personal goals rather than a subjective definition of what constitutes a certain grade. She focuses a lot on how much effort you personally put into the course.
Herr Professor Benjamin is actually the best. He seems like he's super strict at first but he definitely relaxes after the first week or two. That being said, he will definitely force you to learn the language and participate in class. He is always willing to spend extra time on a particular topic if you need extra help and he makes grammar almost fun to learn. His sense of humor is darkly hilarious and he will make you laugh at least twice during each class. He teaches German in a way that is both cogent and conducive to increasing fluency and eloquence from the bare-bones grammar. On that note, he's a stickler for correct pronunciation. He will literally make you try to say a word ten times before you get it right. His knowledge of Germany's culture and history are likewise impressive. ALSO, get him to talk about Kafka because he starts geeking out and it is literally the most adorable thing ever.
Professor Motyl is an absolutely wonderful professor! Manages to create a balanced learning experience- well divided between traditional rote exercises, german film screenings, class discussions and group and individual presentations. Incredibly approachable when you have a problem and also full of interesting information about German and Austrian culture that she will gladly offer when you have questions. I left the class feeling not just that I had a greater grasp of german grammar and a larger vocabulary, but also a greater confidence and ability to express myself in german on a variety of topics like history, philosophy and art. Definitely take her Intermediate 1 Class if you can!
Professor Motyl is by far the star of the Columbia/Barnard German departments! I have had her for Intermediate I, Advanced, and Grammar Review, and she has never failed to make class enjoyable and educational, simultaneously. If you are considering taking German, I would highly recommend her. If you're not sure whether you even want to take German, I would recommend her again because she won't let you down. As some of the other students said, she is patient, she will stop and answer questions, and she creates a comfortable atmosphere in each of her classes so everyone can feel included. Obviously, you need to do your homework and the readings, but it's relatively light considering you don't have to write a 20-page paper at the end of the course. Viel SpaÃŸ!
Arthur is one of the best teachers I've ever had. He's the kind of teacher that makes you want to do even better than the best that you can do. At the same time, class was so relaxed. Even though I had it 6:10-7:30 (even on Fridays), I loved going to class. I felt like I could make mistakes without being judged, and so I felt more comfortable trying to say more complicated things in German than I had before. If you have the opportunity to take German with Arthur - at any level - it's not something you should pass up.
Simona is an excellent professor. She's Romanian, but her German accent is perfect. The class focuses largely on reading comprehension and writing, but grammar and speaking also play an important role. The class is conducted entirely in German, which was helpful in improving listening comprehension. Simona is very knowledgeable and always eager to help her students learn important concepts; it was commonplace for one of us to ask her to go over a grammatical concept (which she would do) and then the next class she would have a concise review sheet of the concept that she would hand out to everyone. She is a very generous grader and she assigns very little work in comparison to the other sections. Overall, I would highly recommend her and would definitely take another course with her.
Elia Gurna is one of my favorite professors at this school. She is friendly and really wants you to learn German, no matter what it takes. Her class was not as easy as most language classes, but it really helped me improve my German. She is leads discussions really well, and I was never bored in her class because I was always involved. She is a fair but tough grader; however, if you don't get a grade you like on a test or paper, you can correct everything and turn it in multiple times and earn a few extra points. She is really a fabulous teacher!
Anja is a good teacher. You may not like her, and you may not think she is too smart, but she knows how to teach. Her German is impecable. She is a native from Berlin, tall, blonde hair, blue eyes, etc. Classes were generally amusing, and the work assigned was always relevant.
Gerrit has gotten only good reviews here, and they are all deserved. He is my favorite german teacher to date and it was by far the best class I had last semester. He is (as everyone else has noted) witty and charming and phenomenally intelligent which in my opinion made up for the occasional disorganization of the class. He is a dynamic teacher and brought in a wide variety of subjects to make us think in german, not just regurgitate vocab words or canned lessons. There was not a single grammar or linguistic question he was phased by, and his english is flawless. Plus he's good looking. Let's be honest, Gerrit is perfect.