Intermediate French I

Dec 2020

NOTE: Review written for online semester during COVID-19 pandemic. This class is a LOT of work -- mostly reading and online HW assignments -- but it will improve your French substantially. The French department changed the curriculum from relying on a textbook to custom-made vocabulary & grammar units with lots of online assignments like Tex's French Grammar, etc. I'm pretty sure Professor Queuniet said she personally designed the second half of the curriculum. So long as you keep up with the HW and review the vocabulary, you will be fine. Professor Queuniet gives lots of resources and is helpful with correcting errors, and gives very thorough feedback on all the HW. I will say that the bulk of the learning is now out of class -- everything is explained on PowerPoint slides that you have to read through and answer prompts for, and class time is used just to clarify and practice. However, since it's on Zoom it's very easy to not raise your hand to participate, in which case you don't get the same time or exposure as others. You definitely have to be proactive and on top of all your work to do well.

Sep 2020

I was fortunate enough to sign up for Professor Lazur when I was a freshman, and it was honestly one of the best decisions I made in college. She's really sweet, and works hard to make a welcoming classroom environment. It's super easy to get embarrassed with class participation when learning a foreign language by pronouncing words wrong, etc. but she honestly just wants you to enjoy learning French. The only issue I had with her is that she takes FOREVER to grade -- I even had to take a test before getting the one I had taken previously back. Other than that, she's extremely kind and easy to talk to if you're having a hard time with the material (or anything else)!

Jun 2020

I had Sarah Lazur for French for my entire first year. Overall, she's a pretty chill teacher who's really warm and kind to her students. She really doesn't like technology in the classroom, so she won't let you type your notes and explicitly states at the beginning of the semester that she will confiscate your phone if she sees that you have it out (this never happened in either of the semesters that I had her). She has weekly office hours that she will encourage you to go to. I only went a few times, and she wasn't super helpful with my questions. She usually would just give me additional exercise worksheets for whatever problem I had. I ended up just getting a peer tutor to help me. One of the times I did go to her office hours, though, I expressed interest in a French minor and in attending grad school, but admitted that I know little about it as a first gen college student. She helped me learn more about the classes I would need to take to get a French minor and recommended when I should take each course. She also stayed late (as in the janitor opened her office thinking it would be empty, but we were still there. HOURS late!) to talk to me about different grad school programs, give me advice about picking a program, grad-PhD programs, etc. which meant a lot to me, and I don't think I'll forget how helpful she was for a long time. She did all of this out of the kindness of her heart, and completely willingly too. She told me that she was also a first-gen college student herself, and told me about some specific programs on campus that cater to first gen students. Overall, I'm really glad I had her as a teacher. Workload was pretty light, she always came to class with a lot of enthusiasm and excitement to teach us, and genuinely cared about us as her students.

Nov 2019

I would say Brian is a good professor, you just have to know what learning style is best for you. The syllabus that he handed out at the beginning of the semester made him seem really strict, but he's actually a pretty chill guy. He assigns a lot of homework sometimes and expects you to teach yourself the grammar for homework as well. He goes over it in class, but he is also helpful in office hours if you need more one on one time. His test aren't too difficult because he gives a very similar practice test two classes before the exam.

Dec 2018

I love this professor! She's funny and kind, and the workload is extremely manageable. She really cares about her students and tried to get to know us throughout the semester, and was willing to work with us at any point if we had questions. The class requires a lot of participation--she'll go around and ask you questions in front of everyone, but she's always very encouraging if you get something wrong and there's never any kind of judgement. I felt that my French improved a lot in this class and I'm planning to take another class with her!

Oct 2018

Hands down one of the best french teachers I've had so far (I've taken 6 years of French including high school). She is so patient, understanding, and kind to her students. I've actually learned more in one semester than I have in probably three years. She is also very knowledgeable in the subject.

Aug 2017

Vincent is hilarious, passionate about French, and very fair. Sometimes he gets very off topic, or spends too much time on one topic because he gets distracted, but more often than not the class is laughing. Class structure was sometimes tedious but he would make it fun with his jokes and antics. Make sure you pay close attention to/double check the syllabus. The syllabus structure is kind of confusing at times, but he often assigns things you need to have done to participate in class the next day. VERY FAIR about essays (you get to correct and get points back) and the oral presentations (I got ridiculously nervous for my solo presentation and kind of messed it all up, but still got a good grade) Tests were fair, not easy but not ridiculously hard - although he pays close attention to spelling/grammar mistakes. Always had several essay questions at the end. Class often included speaking activities which I hated/loved. TLDR; take his classes if you want a fun and fair French class with a smart teacher who loves the language, but be warned things get a little crazy sometimes which can be distracting.

May 2017

You either love or hate Vincent, and I hate Vincent. He does things that people seem to find endearing, e.g. eat chalk, set the carpet on fire, imitate Trump, tell stories about his strange friends, jump around screaming... I find them irrelevant and distracting. He appears to treat class as a means of entertaining himself and perhaps us, with teaching French as a secondary goal. More problematically, he spends most of class speaking English or, worse, translating French into English, which defeats the purpose of a language class. We were allowed to speak English or mispronounce words in French with few corrections. There was no listening component in the tests either. Consequently, my written French improved somewhat over the semester, but my oral ability deteriorated considerably. The presentations at the end of the semester were insufficient in addressing this and an afterthought at best. We covered 7 chapters of Sur le vif, meaning vocab at the start of the chapter and grammar at the back of the book. Otherwise, we barely touched the text. I did not find this to be substantially more than Elementary 2; too much time was spent on review. So, I don't know if I learnt all that much in this class. He does grade and return things quickly, however.

Apr 2017

Hadley (she lets us call her by her first name) is so sweet and kind. I am never too intimidated to speak up in class. More so than anything her encouragement fostered my learning. This is my second time being in her French class. Last semester I was so nervous to be in a college level French course. My high school French teacher was judgmental and instilled fear in all of her students. After taking Hadley's class not only do I love studying French but I am leaning towards making it a part of my degree. I never had this confidence with language learning before. In the past, I would have never been brave enough to practice my French with native French speakers but now, when I run into someone that speaks French I have the courage to open my mouth and at least try. I say this knowing that I am not the best French student out there. It is just amazing to have a professor who sees potential in all of her students. I wish I could take French with her again. If she was teaching intermediate II I would take it with her. She is also knowledgeable about French cultural and philosophical movements which she sometimes incorporates into the curriculum.

Jan 2017

This class was okay. Brian doesn’t really teach the grammar rules, which is a pretty big focus of this class, so you have to learn them from the workbook, which isn’t the most helpful book. He also assigns an excessive number of exercises from the workbook that don’t really help you learn/understand the rules because you just have to copy the model with different verbs, pronouns, etc. He is also very disorganized and always late, which is why we were very behind at the end of the semester and had to rush/do lots of work in a short amount of time. The tests are similar to the practice tests expect they are longer and have a writing section. His grading, especially on written work, seems to reflect how much he likes you/his mood when he is grading. There is no clear explanation of why you get one grade on one thing and a completely different grade on another, which is very unhelpful and irritating. The final didn’t have a writing or a listening section, which was really nice. If you have to take this class, you will probably be fine, but, if you have a choice, maybe pick a different professor because Brian doesn’t really teach and assigns too much (busy) work. Also, he talks in English a lot.

May 2016

This dude is crazy in the best possible way. He draws on desks. Throws chalk. Talks trash. Goes off on wild tangents. He'll occasionally jump in the air freeze-frame style like mid-90s Michael Jordan. But somehow in all this rifraf Aurora taught me how to use the subjunctive. And que/qui/dont. And passé simple. And plusqueparfait. And I also know how to say unicorn, for whatever that's worth. Basically, this dude is a boss French teacher. And hilarious. Take this class.

Sep 2015

LOVE this professor. She's very strict and a bit intense, but you will definitely learn. Also, she's actually quite nice and funny. Her grammar packets are also really helpful, and I basically aced the class by practicing at her packets.

Sep 2015

Professor Bloom is a great teacher. I had him for Intermediate I and then Compo&Convo. I'll review Compo&Convo since other people have covered Intermediate I. It's a very nice class. You have three 'units'. The first was reading a novel (Bonjour Tristesse) and then discussing it in class. It's sort of like a warm up unit. You talk all the time during class, and have discussions. It's very nice and comforting, and he is a very 'chill' professor, very sweet, very nice and doesn't intimidate you. It is a relaxing atmosphere to just talk. He assigns people to prepare stuff for each class, so like one person will sign up as the "presenter" and will talk about what they noticed and start the discussion. He uses the courseworks discussion board so that the people can post their observations & question about that day's reading. He prints out the discussion board the day of class, and he has the presenter talk and then read through the discussions. People will talk about what they wrote, or comment on other people's work. Then you have someone that does the vocab, and finds about 7 words that they didn't know/feel is important to know for the reading, and you send that list to him. He also prints the list out. The second unit is on current events, like France's problem with xenophobia, issues in "la banlieue", French schooling, the French version of "satire" and what is satire or what is not satire and crosses that line of offensive, things like that. The third unit was reading French thinkers, and their work that discusses New York. So like, Sartre, Baudrillard, Simon de Beauvoir, etc. There are two or three vocab quizzes, based on the vocab lists made by your peers. Very straight forward, and they have wordbanks and you fill in the correct form in the sentences provided. There are also 3 in class essays, that he provides the prompts for like a week in advance, and then you have a week to rewrite the essay for a higher grade after he hands back the corrections. Then there's two or three take-home essays, where you don't rewrite those and you hand them in. Every week there's a journal that you write of about less than 500 words about whatever you want. Literally. Just as long as you write something, it's good. He grades these with check marks. The more interesting the topic and the better your use of French, the higher the number of checks. I remember getting four checks once, on a journal I wrote about the relationship between étrange and étranger. I also once wrote an essay about my cats and got like three checks on that as well, so your topics can be silly or serious, as long as you edit them for misspellings and grammer and things of that nature. During the second unit when we discussed satire, he assigned a newspaper/journal/television program (1 'program' per 2 people, but you could both decide if you wanted to work alone or together. Alone you had a shorter presentation, together it would be slightly longer.). You would research the program and then give a little mini presentation. A lot of your grade is dependent upon your participation but don't worry! He uses your journals, the discussion posts and in class talking to determine that grade. The presentations also go toward participation grade. Overall, a fun class. It's very relaxed, and Professor Bloom is not trying to fail you. He is a nice grader, and he takes the revised grade of your essay instead of the original or a combination of the two, so you get a higher grade. Also the vocab quizzes are easy to do well on. Very hard not to get an A, or even an A+ in this class.

Aug 2015

I honestly don't understand why Professor Carroll's other reviews are so negative. I'm not much of a language person and was only talking this course to fulfill the requirement, but I learned significantly more than I expected to. She was very kind and clearly cared a lot about our experience in the class. She asked us about our lives and did her best to make the new vocabulary interesting. There is some truth to the complaints mentioned in the other reviews. We often had to repeat ourselves in order to make sure she understood us clearly, but usually this was not a problem if we spoke up and articulated clearly. She was also consistently late by about 5 minutes, which while irksome wasn't really that big of a deal. She did have an impatient streak but her frustrations didn't end up translating into her opinions of us. While she did sometimes cut us short, she was also willing to go above and beyond to help us out. When I had questions about future french classes, she researched them on her computer right then and there. She would stay late to help us correct our compositions and was willing to scale back on assignments when we felt they weren't manageable. My experience in this class wasn't perfect but I would recommend Professor Carroll and I don't think students should be deterred based on the other culpa reviews.

Oct 2014

I do not know why there are not many reviews on Karen already. TAKE HER. Any class you can take with her-- I GUARANTEE that you will learn so much French. Her accent is extremely clear, the assignments are manageable, and even the literature she selects (for more advance French) is incredibly interesting. Aside from that, she cares. She really wants you to learn, and again, I guarantee you will.

Jul 2014

What a wonderful teacher and woman. I've never been so encouraged to learn a language, and with such rigor and fun. Sophie clearly knows how to teach French, and how to relay difficult concepts to (frankly) lazy summer students. I appreciated that she corrected our pronunciation at every point. I walked into the class with barely any memory of French and walked out with what feels like 3 semesters' worth. Also, I took the course for fun, mostly, but after seeing Sophie's dedication, I studied hard and just wanted to do well for her — because she was putting in so much effort to teach us the material! Not only is Sophie the most effective teacher I've ever had at Columbia, but also she's the most patient and the kindest (with a great sense of humor, too). Very maternal and Mother Nature-like. I looked forward to coming to class everyday, and I'll miss her.

Apr 2014

I've never written a review before on CULPA but I feel so strongly to do this because Vincent is literally the best professor I've had at Columbia. Everyone should take his class if given the chance. I'm going to skip about writing on his amazing personality and positive energy since the reviews below have all talked extensively about these topics. He is not only a great and fun person, but a GREAT PROFESSOR. He teaches the grammar concepts very clearly and he has summarized rules for grammars that are usually ten times better than how the book presents it. Go to his lectures and learn from him!!!! French grammar is difficult but he really makes it as fun as it could be. His tests are not difficult and they really test how much you know the concepts/have studied. He's a pretty lenient grader, and you can tell he really wants you to learn instead of take off tons of points on tests for stupid little details. TAKE HIS CLASS!!!! You won't regret it.

Jan 2014

Heidi maybe a good prof of grammar, but she is by no means a decent pronouncer of french. One must understand that to speak a language perfectly, pronunciation is an immensely crucial part. I would even go so far as to say that one's pronunciation is the final line between native speakers and experienced second-language french speakers. In a class such as Intermediate I, students are making or trying to make such a leap and her below-par pronunciation is stopping us from learning the correct ways of pronouncing french, or even for some, preserving their own ways of pronouncing french. Heidi, as I elaborated, does not seem to possess at all the gift of pronouncing french correctly, let alone perfectly. She struggles to enunciate from the very first class. Some of the classmates in my class spoke "better" french than she did. She also enjoys asking us to translate from English directly, which prevents from acquiring "thinking in the French mindset" which is detrimental to mastering a foreign language. I can tell that she is a nice lady, but she is also somewhat hard to approach, as she puts on this big smile tous les jours and it is hard to tell if she actually likes you or not. Do not venture to take this class just because she has a silver nugget. I have been there.

Jan 2013

I am so lucky to have gotten Gabi. She is young and very eccentric. The class itself is very typical of Intermediate French I - appropriating the right amount of time to converse, versus to teach grammar. However, Gabi is SO CHILL about everything. She puts due dates for the online Quia exercises, but she doesn't care when you do them as long as you get them done. We signed up time slots for an oral presentation, but she literally did not care when you presented. One group did it the last day of class. Also, instead of having 5 essays and an oral presentation, we had like 3 essays and a oral presentation that replaced one of the essays. She grades the essays very easily. She's also REALLY into movies/ independent films. Every two weeks, she offers extra credit to meet in a room in Hamilton and watch a French movie. Super chill. She calls it "Cinema Club." There was also like a German movie festival or something at Lincoln Center and she gave extra credit to people who went to it and wrote a review. So it's very easy to do well in this class as long as you put the work in to learn the vocab and grammar for the exams. Intermediate I has a lot of review of Beginner I and II in it, while also introducing new topics, so it's a great transition course.

Jan 2013

She's, quite frankly, the best. I have no idea what else anyone could want in a professor. She provides work that will improve your skills but doesn't push it on you, she explains things well in class and hammers in details she thinks are important, and she genuinely cares about her students. Her objective is to make you succeed at learning French, and she believes your performance is a reflection on her. If you need extra help, she's always quick to correspond through email and happy to meet with you during office hours or whenever you're available. She made study week a walk-in period for her students who needed help. She dropped the lowest of five exams. She shows clips of material she thinks is interesting or useful for you. Simply put: she's everything an instructor should be and I'm happy to have had her. My french has never been so strong.

May 2012

Pascale is wonderful. She is funny, kind, and an overall fantastic professor. She comes off as mean and sarcastic at first, but I always found it pretty funny -- she's incredibly entertaining, and she has such a soft spot for her students, she's extremely understanding. The class was 4 days a week for 50 minutes. At first I was unsure about taking it because a class four days a week just doesn't sound like fun. But the 50 minutes always went by quickly, it was a discussion/speaking-based class as all language classes are, I think, and I made a lot of friends and there were a lot of speaking portions. Classes are split into some speaking practice, questions about vocab/grammar, practice with vocab/grammar, sometimes some reading... your general language class. Pascale is also incredibly generous if she sees that you are working hard. She ended up dropping our lowest test grade and we only had like four I think. There is a quiz before every test on vocab that counts as 0-3 points of extra credit. Each test covers two chapters. For every test there's also a composition which you also get a chance to revise. Her grading is very straightforward and she is always telling us to come to office hours and she always wants to help us. She really wants to see us do well.

Dec 2011

Very sweet, very accessible, very funny. She's a reasonable grader and seems genuinely interested in helping students improve their French. She's very understanding of specific students' needs and does her best to make sure the class is on track with the curriculum. However, class could be very boring at times, and the amount of homework we were assigned seemed excessive. I think she's a very kind and interesting young woman; it may have just been the group of people taking her section that made the class so frustratingly boring. I'm also not sure how standard the homework assignments were across sections. Nothing too great, nothing too terrible. A very survivable French experience.

Jun 2011

What an absolutely fantastic professor! She really went the extra mile for the 15 of us -- we had four compositions, four exams, lots of exercises, and she--not a TA--graded them *all*, added encouraging comments, gave us rewrite opportunities, and returned all graded assignments the very next day without fail. The course went two hours every day in the summer, M, Tu, W, Th--a punishing schedule--but she was always impeccably prepared, energetic, and fun. Since she is a native speaker, her accent was obviously a perfect model, but she could also explain the grammatical rules right away, without grasping for them. This is a fairly rare combination in a language instructor; normally one gets either the pronunciation or the fine points on grammar, but we got both. It's easy for an instructor to "wing it" on easy material, but it seemed like she truly prepared before class. As if this weren't enough, there are more semi-optional resources for your enjoyment than you could ever hope to look at on Courseworks--French music videos (with transcribed lyrics!), French movies, poem recitation, all of which it seems she picked out. Courseworks is used very effectively. There were even web-sites she designed for oral comprehension (hosted at Carnegie Mellon). I have taken many language courses in the past, some at universities with nominally first-rate language departments, but Sophie is the best language instructor I ever had, and the course was structured thoughtfully. Highest possible recommendation.

Jan 2011

What does it take to get a gold star on this thing and why does Heidi not have one?!! Heidi is without a doubt the best professor I have ever had and a true gem of the French department at Columbia. If you have any interest in actually learning the French language from someone who is knowledgeable (read: encyclopedia of French grammar), passionate and pretty much the nicest person around, you should take her class!! She is extremely organized, definitely the fastest grader of all time, and very methodical. You can't help but improve in her class. 1202 with her is also an amazing class because it combines grammar and literature. Luckily for you she is incredible at both! So basically the point of this review is to say that you are crazy if you don't try to take a class with this professor because she is THE BEST.

Dec 2010

Alexandra is a joy to have as a teacher. She will explain things as many times as it takes for the class to understand. She is fun but knowledgable and a native speaker who can provide amusing insights to french culture and language as it is in practice, not just in the classroom. She grades assignments quickly and obviously has a passion to teach. She is by far the best 1201 teacher I have heard of. (Even a professor in the French department noted that she is good.) I had her class on a Friday afternoon but going was nonetheless enjoyable. There are reviews the class before every test. Alexandra uses worksheets, bookwork, powerpoints, and various French songs to teach class: she makes an effort to keep the class fresh and exciting, not mundane and bland like langauge classes can sometimes be. Highly recommend!

Nov 2010

Great French teacher. Incredibly patient and nice. Has authentic French accent, unlike some of the other grad students teaching beginner and intermediate French. Highly recommended. She comes to class prepared and knows her stuff. Always open to extra office hours outside of regular time. Probably one of the best French teachers for the beginner/intermediate level. Not sure if she teaches advanced classes. She is stringent on attendance and handing in assignments on time, somewhat more stringent than other grad students I have had.

Oct 2010

He is the best french professor you could ever ask for. He is a very fair grader. He doesn't make the test because they are made by the department, but they are not out of the ordinary. He uses clips, songs, poems, and games for the students to grasp the language. He's a stickler when it comes to language and that helps so much. In class we partner up and do worksheets pertaining to vocab and grammar. The class is small so he knows all of our names. He is also really easy to reach; he responds to emails quickly. If you can't make it to his office hours, he will find some way to meet with you. If you can, you should definitely sign up for his section. I usually hate french class, but he make learning enjoyable which is very refreshing.

Sep 2010

One of the nicest and best french teachers I've ever had! She is very sweet and patient and will make learning french a painless experience. She has a very methodical and organized way of teaching, which I really appreciated because french can be very tricky what with all of the so called rules with a billion exceptions. She's always giving extra helpful charts or tables to help clarify concepts which are not always so clear in the book. She also tends to prefer to type lessons, examples, etc., on Word over the projector, which is a lot clearer for taking notes and organized than than writing on the chalkboard. Sometimes language classes get a bit disorienting when you don't understand, but she's careful to try and put things in phrases we can understand. If a concept is difficult to understand, she will go over it as much as necessary to ensure everyone understands. She's also very approachable and straightforward with what will be on tests so there are never any surprises. Everything on the test will be on something we've specifically went over in class. And if the whole class doesn't do so well she'll give everyone a little curve. She grades fairly (both on tests and compositions) but definitely not harshly. Finally, she has a great accent. I attended one section where the professors accent was so American--not the case with Anjali. if you get the opportunity to be in her section--take it! She's great.

Jan 2010

Incredibly approachable, capable, and friendly professor. Casiana creates youtube videos that include popular French songs/ reference French culture, hands out helpful worksheets, and keeps students updated on movies being shown at the Maison Française. She is always eager to assist those who are struggling, and encourages a great deal of partner work which facilitates French conversation. Excellent professor for the beginner who is timid or nervous about their French speaking skills. I think she recently graduated from college, and can thus relate to students. She's a genuinely kind professor and her class offers a refreshingly painless means of completing core requirements.

Nov 2009

A great professor. He has a passion for French that clearly shows in his teaching. I may not like the Language, but I loved him as a professor. He is very reasonable, a fair grader, and good about explaining things you don't understand. He grants extensions for good reasons (and sometimes just because you forgot to bring your work to class). He likes to bring in French music to share, and will let you borrow CDs of the stuff he brings in. He speaks only in French, which is normal for this level and helps students learn the language. He gives constructive feedback on assignments and curves grades on exams when everyone does worse than usual. I would definitely recommend taking any class you can with Professor Wood.

Aug 2009

Vincent was absolutely incredible. He is by far the best language teacher I have ever encountered, and I've studied several languages. If you can, definitely sign up for his section!!! For the first few weeks, we were all convinced that he was actually French, but it turns out he's just completely brilliant and mastered the language through his studies. Your vocabulary will expand enormously, since he doesn't hesitate to teach you useful slang, etc., and he will help you not only memorize but also learn the logic behind tricky grammatical points. He's also extremely energetic and is always bouncing around the room or running up to write something on the board. He is completely charming, and you will look forward to coming to class - even on Friday.

May 2009

Professor Weems was such a relief. She is incredibly nice, and the best professor if you are taking french to fulfill the requirements. She is a lenient grader and well aware that this is not our only class. The workload was light but the quizzes and midterm/final were pretty hard. Overall, she is an extremely nice woman and does not want to make your life more difficult. If you want a fast paced intensive french course this is not it.

Dec 2008

I thoroughly enjoyed my Intermediate I French class with Professor Usher. He has a great sense of humor which is one of the main reasons why the class was so much fun. I wanted to refresh my French after taking a year off from it and I was able to do just that in this class. Also, I not only learned French grammar, I learned a lot about French culture. We read a lot of poems by Apollinaire and looked at paintings by Picasso. I liked the class discussions on art and literature. The compositions that we had to write were creative and students can select something of interest, which makes writing the compositions easier. Professor Usher is understanding and easy to talk to, especially with regard to assignment dates when necessary. He also grades fairly.

May 2008

Everything previous reviewers have said about May is true- she is a nice person, tries to be fair, and tries (successfully) to make class engaging and useful. My only criticism of May is that she does not seem to know how hard Arabic is, and sometimes equates not doing well and not trying hard. I guess this is not an uncommon problem among language teachers, and May is no different.

Jan 2008

Toby is VERY passionate about French language and literature which is awesome but it makes him better suited to teach a more advanced third year class in French as opposed to Elementary or Intermediate French which most students are taking to fulfill a language requirement. I would suggest avoiding him if possible. He is extremely strict, has zero sense of humor which makes the class quite dull and at times tense, and despite a clear love for his subject, he honestly isn't the best teacher. He is not the worst French teacher but with a department full of gems, you can also do much better. He is not the most generous grader, but he does make himself available for office hours. If you must take his class, attend regularly, prepare extremely well, and participate as much as you can (this boosts your grade).

Jan 2008

Rod is a really nice guy who truly seems to want his students to succeed. He'll go over the same concept a hundred times if the students in the class don't understand it (which is sometimes helpful, and sometimes really annoying) and hardly ever gets frustrated. I learned a lot of grammar and vocab in this class from studying for the tests, which were based mainly off our textbook, but the class conversation often slipped into English, which I think probably hurt the potential to improve our conversational french. My main complaint is that nearly every day we did these inane exercises in the textbook (which even Rod seemed to think were stupid) that I think were a waste of time. Other than that, I liked this class and I would highly recommend Rod as a professor.

Dec 2007

Ms. Rechtman is a very nice woman who should not be a teacher. She came to class unprepared, and she was not good at explaining grammatical concepts. That said, she's very friendly and she means well. Also, the class is pretty easy compared to other sections of this level - I never spent more than an hour preparing for class other than when I Was studying for the quizes (3 a semester) , midterm, and final (which weren't all that hard either). She also lets you retake quizes if you do badly. But be warned, class time is really boring. Yes, this is partly because of the material of the class itself, since it covers a lot of grammer, but she doesn't do enough to liven it up.

Jan 2007

When I first showed up to class, I was expecting an old, strict Soviet professor, but instead got an energetic young scholar with a Jew-fro. Matt was so great. He combines academic rigor and fun in his teaching style, and yields amazing results. Not only did my French improve in such a short time, the class was dynamic and passed by quickly. Workload is heavy, and there is a pretty annoying group project near the end of the course, but this class was worth it. He also has a wonderful accent in French and tries to help us improve ours. Great professor.

Jan 2007

Though not the most prompt teacher, Noura is a very good one. She is a native speaker which I really enjoyed (for pronunciation purposes) yet other students complained amongst themselves about her making mistakes and confusing several grammatical concepts. She teaches using whatever she told you to read the night before, so she basically just speaks it out for you. She was lenient as to when work was handed in, as she did not take off points for handing an assingment in 1 or 2 days late. This is is understandable as she was not the best at returning assignments quickly. She didn't really check the hw but then realized nobody did it and got mad and said would start checking it but only did it once. Overall, I would say she's pretty easy. I didn't spend too much time on this class but got a good grade.

Jan 2007

Wonderful. Professor Balavoine manages to be drily funny, rigorously focused and playfully silly at all the right times. I learned a lot, and I know my accent is miles beyond what it was at the beginning of the semester. Sure, being corrected can be intimidating or frustrating at times, but if you keep in mind that she's teaching you how to speak her language, and that all the corrections are for your own benefit, you realize that she sincerely cares about helping you learn. And she does a great job of it. Not a fluffy professor, but not a meanie either. Take her class.

Jan 2007

Looking back on my French days, I have to say that Diane is one of the best instructors in the department. She's very enthusiastic about the class, gives fairly easy exams, and, above all, is super nice. Sure, she may have a couple communication errors since English is not her first language, but she really tries to come up with interesting ways to motive the class. If you try a little, and actually listen to those CD's, then you'll do fine in her class. I highly recommend that you take any french class with her.

Dec 2006

If you want to spent the entire semester in a class wrought with inexperience, go ahead and sign up. She seems incredibly nice and sweet, and does know french (you'd think that was just expected) however, she has no ability to impart that knowledge to students. Essay comments like "There's a better way to say this in french" will knock your grade down very quickly and when you go to ask her about it she'll say things like "well, yes, it's grammatically correct, but that's not how we say it in France" and you will stupidly inquire "Oh, how would you say that in France" and she will say "Oh, you just have to understand it to use it" Honestly. This class is the world's biggest waste of time. You'll learn nothing, and pass fail it out of frustration if you're even halfway worried about your GPA. She has no idea what she's doing so she pretty much asks the class what they want, no one agrees naturally, and she tries to cater to all of it, the department, and her own style. It's a mess.

Apr 2006

Bingshu was an absolutely amazing professor. I took her 9AM section and she was able to keep everyone awake with her awesome energy and enthusiasm. She cares about her students and is very willing to give help either after class or by appointment; she's also really understanding about extensions. The classes were generally pretty casual, and she would always be thrilled when someone volunteered to speak in class -- she's really big on participation, so if you go to class and show a general interest in what's going on, it's not too hard to get a decent/good grade.

Apr 2006

Diane is young, energetic, and enthusiastic. I've taken French for many years and have always been frustrated by the lack of focus on pronunciation and speaking in most non-specific French courses. Because she is native to France, Diane asks everyone to read out-loud at least once every class period, and she is attentive to exactly what you need to practice (reading style AND pronunciation). There are also compositions, plenty of games, and interactive group activities to keep the learning style varied. I really, really, appreciated her enthusiasm for the class; especially because it meets four days a week, she never makes you feel like you're wasting your time. I can't emphasize enough how perceptive she is for each student's strengths and weaknesses; I felt like she genuinely cared that I was improving. I highly recommend her as a French instructor.

Apr 2006

I have to say, I think Greet is borderline genius (and check your egos at the door because this class will most likely be quite the humbling experience) but the rest of us (specifically myself included) are not. I’m a literature/ writing major, no talent for foreign languages, possibly the same handicap another reviewer mentioned, but nonetheless with an enormous admiration and jealousy for those who do have it. My French tutor, also Belgian, picks up language fluency like colds, in fact I had no idea she was not a native Parisian speaker until she made a comment about translating from French to Dutch to English. Either way, I sincerely had a chuckle, in identification with some frustrated reviews and a completely lost, FOREIGN alienation from others. I once did a radio show with a DJ friend and he said that the only people who call or write in are those that either love you or hate you. With that subjectivity in mind and the nature of these reviews, I never really planned on writing this—spell check please— this is supposed to be Ivy. Anyhow, that said, she has that inexplicable quality (in spades) that makes or breaks a professor, i.e. an ability that cannot be taught, to reveal and instruct, in an epiphany way. She is entertaining, charming and really quite stellar….but will that win you a grade on an exam… not so much. If you are more advanced than you claim to be, which I suspect some GPA-saving fellow students are, then this is the class for you. Otherwise buyer beware… I am an unsuspecting and naïve student, that schedules a course because of strict and stringent time constraints on my part. I study my ass of specifically because I am not naturally gifted in this area and plan on imminent graduate studies, or in other words and in all honesty, because I have to. But more times than not I experience that ‘deer in the headlights’ moment, feeling completely vulnerable and lost. Which is in fact part and parcel of the entire experience of learning a foreign language or travelling in a foreign country. Yet, for all my enjoyment, and for remarkably the most gratifying and exceeding amount I have ever actually learned and walked away with from a language course, I feel there is a major disconnect between what I have learned and what I am being evaluated on. Even the collecting of workbooks, a minor twice-a-semester- inquiry, that inputs information of effort into the grey area of the grading process would be a fair and justifiable point of reference. I am well aware that this is Intermediate French and that comes with many assumptions, some soft-skills accompanying the hard- skills of language learning would be the icing on the cake. Lest I ramble…If I had to do it all over again, I would take any of her courses (ideally a literature course because her talent and artistry lie there) but with more forewarning. Be prepared to kill yourself with (sometimes un-rewarded effort) assignments compared to any of your other course load…but as they say, ‘no pain, no gain.’ Will my GPA (that sacred ground) suffer, probably, but am I getting my money’s worth, hell yeah. She packs a punch, every class (regretfully including those missed) is a bang for your buck. She is the antithesis of the professor that goes through the motions.

Mar 2006

This class was very stressful for me as I do not intend on pursuing French any further than I have to in order to fulfill the language requirement. I mean, seriously, my major is psychology. She is very thoroughand a good professor , but a bit much if you do not intend on continuing French or if you are not serious about it. There is a LOT of work: 3 composititions, 3 quizzes (with plenty of vocab you won't know), and a midterm adn final. She also assigns homework every night, and assigns little assignments that she thinks will be "fun" for us that se randomly thinks of in class. This class got annoying for me pretty quickly. But if you really want to learn the language and aren't just trying to fulfill the language requirement, than it is a good and thorough class, and I have to say, I did learn quite a bit.

Jan 2006

I loved this professor! I know some people in my class really disliked her, but this was one of my favorites. She is engaging and funny and her strange methods really do work if you have an open mind. While I think it involved a little more work than the other sections, it was all useful. We read interesting texts and had a fun writing assignment at the end of the semester. Overall, I found it a very stimulating and rewarding class.

Jan 2006

Prof. Azagury is probably more difficult than other language teachers, but she's a good teacher. We covered 4 major topics of grammar and went through them carefully and did many examples. Class was pretty much the same every day which could got boring at times. The assigned homework exercises pretty much mirror the tests, so what's expected of you is not a mystery. I took this class to fulfill the language requirement, but I know others in my class were debating whether they should continue taking French after this course because it was difficult.

Jan 2006

Awesome teacher. So nice and engaging. Her class is the best.

Jan 2006

Prof. Adam is really a great teacher. She was always nice, approachable, and clear in her expectations. The class was based on learning a lot of grammar, but she tried to make it more fun by making us talk a lot in class about such things as what we are planning to do on a particular weekend, for holiday, etc. I really think that besides learning a lot of grammar during this semester, I was able to improve my communication skills in French as well. Before this class, I believed that I would never be able to express my thoughts in French, however, Prof. Adam helped me overcome this problem in her nice, indirect way. The class was a bore at some points, but once again it was really useful in improving my French. The only thing is be aware that the first quiz is hard. As it seemed to me that the material we learned in class was really straightforward, I spend less than an hour preparing for the quiz, and that turned out to be a huge mistake. However, as the semester went on and I got used to her expectations, I did not have problems with her assignments anymore and got an A in the class. Also I would suggest doing the homework she assigns every day since by doing it, you completely understand all the nuisances of a particilar grammar rule and don't confuse it with other rules anymore. I would really recommend taking her class and it's a pity she is not teaching Int 2 next semester.

Dec 2005

TAKE FRENCH WITH TLA! Tracy is the sweetest, most clear/to the point French teacher I have ever had. She's obscenely helpful at office hours, she teaches you volumes without you even noticing, and class is always a pleasure to go to. It can go slowly/be semi-boring at times, but usually she makes everyone laugh and never talks at you for an hour and fifteen minutes. I'm taking conversation with her at some point, for sure.

Dec 2005

I LOVED Professor Adam. She was so sweet and could effectively teach french without giving an insane amount of work. I was really upset that she is not teaching Intermediate II next semester, I would take it in a heartbeat. Several people in my class are now considering going on in French beyond the requirement because of Professor Adam. Although the class mainly focused on grammar and was not such an enthralling class, Professor Adam made it very enjoyable.

May 2005

Gerrit is a good guy. He tries to keep class interesting and does a pretty decent job of it. He is fairly funny and easy going. I always felt bad if I had to turn something in late, but he was always fine with it, at least to a certain extent. I would recommend him, although I have yet to have a bad teacher in the german department.

May 2005

Instructor O'Keeffe is by far my favorite teacher I've had at Columbia. He brings witty humor and dialogue to his discussions and really seems to care about whether his students are grasping the material. Not only does he take whatever time needed to explain the mechanisms of the french language to the students, but he actually appears to enjoy his job as well. I was disappointed that he won't be teaching Intermediate French II during the Fall 2005 semester, but if he were, I would not hesitate to sign up to partake in his wonderful class once more!

Apr 2005

Mlle Dutoit (she goes by Annie) is a genuinely kind and lighthearted person. That said, she is not the most enthralling teacher. Classes are grammar-intensive and tend to drag on as it doesn't take very long for fill-in-the-blank worksheets to get old. Homework is minimal, but if you're searching for a class that will truly improve your grasp of practical French, this just isn't it. At semester's end, you may know the imparfait cold, but you'll have spoken hardly any casual French all course long. If you just want to get the Core language requirement out of the way, this class works just fine. Barnard language only meets twice a week, which is very scheduling friendly, but it might be in your better interest to look elsewhere.

Apr 2005

After you've read the reviews about her, take heed to them. Don't be open-minded about it. Just do yourself a favor and leave. But here's a very tiny example of her incredible irresponsibility: We had one class last week because she (ab)used our individual oral examination time for two classes. She was absent last class due to sickness. She used 80% of today's class about how we're the worst class she's ever had. She doubts we'll be prepared for the final and retaliated with sudden mountains of homework assignments (which we never get!) due next class. She does not have office hours. Angela never pays attention to student's needs. Her assignments are unclear. The lectures are fragmented and sporadic. We're 3 weeks behind the syllabus. Next week, she's either going to be absent or use half of class time asking the question "what did you do over the weekend", without delving into our necessary tasks. God help us all.

Mar 2005

I appreciated Dr. Gersten and his TA, Jeremy very much. They are a bit of a one two punch! Dr. Gersten is redundant to the book, which is very helpful to understanding and solidifying the basis of the material. He also is clear and it is obvious based on how he answers questions that he has a thorough knowledge of the material. Jeremy, the TA is obviously brilliant. He seems to have trouble keeping things simple as he seems to see the world of physics as all interconnected with one thing leading to another. It can get overwhleming as we are usuallyjsut starting to learn abotu this larger world of physics. However, this approach coupled with Dr. Gersten allows your mind to both be solid and stretched. I loved it - but some think I'm sick! Basically, if you do all the practice problems and old exams your aok.

Feb 2005

Incredibly kind and talented French professor. Not only a nice guy, but also a very effective teacher. This is my 4th French course at CU, and he's my favorite professor--it was genuinely enjoyable and you learn a lot.

Jan 2005

Andrea's a gem. While I've had a good experience with the French department, Andrea has been hand's down my favorite. She's fun and interesting and nice to a fault, so that no one is afraid to attempt conversation because she's encouraging and gently correcting. My French couldn't help but get better, and she genuinely wants to help you learn the material. Her classes were organized and she managed to present really difficult grammar in accessible ways so that, no matter what it was, I always understood it. She was approachable and friendly and incredibly helpful. My class was in the worst time slot imaginable-- TRF 6:10- 7:25-- but she made it worth it. I can't recommend her more highly.

Jan 2005

this man is the shit. he is chillaxing out max with a british accent and partially unbuttoned shirt. it dont matter if you turn your compositions in late or re-take a quiz your stupid-arse failed. he is flexible and can bend it like beckham and loves french.

Jan 2005

This was by far the best class I took this semester. After high school, I didn't really think that I'd enjoy French, and I was just taking this class to complete the Foreign Language requirement. But after finishing this class with Brian, my initial passion for French was revitalized! Brian is such a cool professor! Although many may think that he is not organized, I tend to disagree. He first presents a topic, gives examples, practices with the class, and toward the end of the class day he has us split up into small groups and pratice what we've learned by writing a summary of a certain reading, or an original story in French using the tenses that he just went over. He spends a lot of time reviewing for even the smallest quiz, and especially dedicates several classes to reviewing for both the midterm and final. Brian is very flexible with due dates and extra help. He is always ready and able to assist his students, with much enthusiam. Plus, Brian's sarcasm and humor adds much fun to the learning environment. I would heavily suggest taking Brian's class... Since I only have one more semester of French to finish myself, I am looking forward to having Brian as my professor once again. Because his class conflicted with my schedule this semester, I am waiting until next year to finish up my requirement for the sole reason of having Brian as a teacher again! The class was that great!

Jan 2005

Best French class I have ever taken. Girard is very enthusiastic and easy-going, and really wants the class to be engaged and interesting. As a native French speaker, he is sometimes kind of unintelligable in English, but English is rarely spoken in class so that's not much of a problem.

Dec 2004

I would beg to differ with the previous reviewer; Rachel Mesch is indeed a professor and perhaps even a good one. She never seemed to pick favorites, or not in our class at least. Students both new to and familiar with the material did fine unless they didn't study. Professor Mesch spoke and taught with great clarity and I never felt lost or confused. She moved quickly but presented the material with plenty of helpful tricks but without any extra bells and whistles. Yes, sometimes I was bored and sleepy, but I was just happy to be learning French in a clear-cut, user-friendly way. Our end-of-the-semester project was a little silly, but not difficult. I only wish she taught Intermediate II.

Dec 2004

I really think Bingshu is a wonderful teacher and if you are lucky enough to get into her section, you should stay. Although her Chinese accent is a litle daunting at first, she is a great teacher who is not only nice and funny, but very good at what she does. She made us typed up review sheets for every grammar topic we covered, so we basically had a review packet for each test and then the final. We also got to talk in class a lot (only if you wanted to) and you could talk about whatever you wanted... a TV show... just as long as you spoke in French. We also did other fun activities like watch movies and then make fun of the characters afterwards. She is definately the most engaging teacher I have had at Columbia and I really learned a lot. (gasp!)

Nov 2004

I thought this class was really fun, overall. Charles is pretty funny, and he likes to keep everyone engaged in the class. You listen to music, watch movie trailers, and talk about different subjects in french all class. You definitely speak french alot. Also, you end up learning a lot of tongue twisters. And if you are even slightly good at french, you can pretty much guarantee that you'll get a B with little to no effort. i'd definitely recommend taking this class.

Nov 2004

Flora is pretty wacky. She often goes on random tangents in class that stray so far beyond the realm of Spanish grammar that you'll forget what class you're in, but you'll be having fun. Flora is always amusing and friendly, and your grade will be largely determined by how much you laugh at her jokes, engage in flattering conversations with her, and shower her with praise in class (whether or not that praise is in Spanish is usually irrelevant). If you want to work hard and learn a lot of Spanish, Flora is not the professor for you. If you want a ridiculously easy and fun way to fulfill your language requirement, Flora's your best bet. Be prepared to perform a lot of skits, and bring in food when you do class presentations if you want even more assurance of a good grade.

Jun 2004

This was my first German class taken at Columbia. Irene is a very sweet lady - very understanding, but, in a very stereotypically German way (even though she's Austrian), won't accept things late, and MEANS it when she says she'll lower your grade if you have more than 3 absences. Other than the responsibility of going to class, the class was very light. The homeworks were helpful (just enough to make you learn - not so much that it was excessive). Essay subjects were always presented with enough options to please everyone. Since Irene's teacher training I believe is for a younger audience, she does tend to speak a little slowly, but, the way I see it, you don't want a very fast speaker at this level anyway. Overall, quite enjoyable. Nice way to get through German 1201.

May 2004

Irene is a very personable professor and, if anything, not a harsh grader. She is also very enthusiastic. That said, however, you will feel at times that you are learning somewhat less than you want to. Also, some topics, especially at the very beginning and at the very end of the course (kids' tales and early 20th cent. musicians) tend to be on the boring side. And, at times you wonder if you are back in high (or grade?) school, since you write-in your name on attendance sheet every class.

Jan 2004

Prof. Mesch was an interesting teacher - I wish I'd had her for a class that was more lit based than pure grammar, cause when we did plays or short stories she'd be great, but as a grammar teacher she was pretty dry. She explained things relatively clearly, but unfortunately I wasn't engaged enough to actively pay attention. She's a really nice prof, though - I would reccomend taking her non-language courses.

Jan 2004

Anjali is a great teacher, I should know, I've had so many courses with her! She is so available and excited to help her students succeed. Interesting assignments and fun in class activities tended to spice up the boring grammar stuff. French is hard and the language req can be a pain in the ass, but french with anjali can be rewarding and pretty painless. Come to class and do your work, that's all she asks.

Jan 2004

Yick. The seconds could not tick away fast enough a single day of her cursed class! Yaelle acts as though she encourages you to ask questions at first, but once you begin to produce these questions, she seems to have extreme difficulty answering them. She presents her answers in the same words with which she previously explained the topic. The trouble is - if you are asking the question, chances are fair that you didn't understand the first explanation of the topic, and thus her answer is no better than her original presentation of the material. When students had trouble with grammar points or concepts, especially when a few were having difficulty with the same ones, it would become apparent to Yaelle (in front of her class) that the students were not understanding her lecture and she got frustrated and moody. Finally she would just continue to get louder and more flustered until she was at a loss and would resort to: "It's JUST A RULE! You just must understand this to be this way." Which of course - is an unsuitable definition for any question in any course - French to basket weaving. You will NOT learn to speak any better in the class. We never spoke french!

Nov 2003

GREAT teacher, if you've taken French before. She assumes you know certain things, which some complain about, but that's because this is INTERMEDIATE and not ELEMENTARY French. She is so funny and very approachable. She is very energetic and sweet, and loves participation. There's no way to mess things up, even if you're having a hard time. She practically gives you the answers to tests before and during them. She does everything in her power to get you an A.

Oct 2003

If your french is out of this world and your knowledge of french grammar is over the top then this is the professor for you. If however, you have trouble learning languages, have any learning disabilities, or are just plain human then this is NOT the professor to be taking for french. I could barely maintain my sanity with this teacher. Her expectations were unrealistic and unwarrented. She acted as though the class ought to have been light years ahead of its time. She would give us homework assignments and expect that we should know the material inside and out by the next day. Forget the fact that one might have three, four, or five other classes--she did not care and assigned bizarre amounts of homework and then barely explained any of it in class. She was late everyday to not to mention that she did not post the homework until after 5:00p.m. and sometimes not until past 7:00p.m. It was even worse on weekends---class ended on a Thursday and homework would not be posted until Saturday and at times Sunday. It was crazy! She was not the most approachable teacher and she often became frustrated with people in the class if they did not know what she was talking about, half the time we did know what she was talking about. I could not take it anymore. Finally, I had to imagine I had been abducted by aliens who, sans the anal probe, were forcing me to learn french and would release me some time in December. That is how I got through this class with this teacher.

Oct 2003

Andrea is a gem. She's got a great presence in class and a sense of humor as well. Moreover, she is genuinely interested in the subject matter and her student's progress. Her classes are fast-paced, but always very engaging. Be prepared (as one other student as said) because from the start to the end of class, you will be speaking nothing but French. At the end of the term, you will be impressed with yourself about how much you've learned in Andrea's classes.

Sep 2003

Vincent Aurora is the best professor I have had at Columbia in any subject. All these reviews say what I am saying, but here it is again: you will not find a better teacher anywhere. Funny, intelligent, dramatic, insightful, Vincent Aurora is a fabulous teacher. Don't worry about the grade you will get-- it will all work out ok in his class. The only problem is that everybody knows he's the best...consequently, his classes fill up immediately. Get in as soon as possible and rearrange your schedule for him if necessary.

Sep 2003

Burton is a friendly old man, and he teaches well, and straight out of the book. He seems really friendly and engaging, although don't try to ask him about your grade: he gets that question all the time, and his response is to be a toughass about it. He does not believe in generous curves, which doesn't help in a class full of post-bacs. Take Tuts if it's at all an option, even if you can't make it to lectures, you'll get a better grade without a doubt.

Jul 2003

I must disagree with the previous reviewer. I did not care for Erin's teaching style at all, and I could not wait to get out of the class. I did not like her skits and games that she designed, and I it did not seem to me that she gave it too much thought. She is not as patient as I would have hoped a french teacher to be, and she is a VERY rough grader. Unless you are extremely enthusiastic about the French language, seek another professor. She also has a very loud voice, and yells a lot, which if you are sensitive to this kind of display, it is most unpleasant. Listen, if either Joanna Augustyn, Tracy Adams, or Vincent Aurora is teaching, get yourself into one of their classes no matter what. They're the best and the most patient.

Jun 2003

MIght as well just memorize the assigned text chapters. He doesn't seem to have a whole lot of interest in teaching the class. Professor Tuts is hard, but he at least shows interest in teaching the subject matter and in the individual student.

May 2003

Vincent is brilliant!!! He's absolutely hysterical. This class was very entertaining. He's soooo nice and he really wants you to learn. Also very generous in the grading.

May 2003

I wold just like to say that class with Zeina all year has been wonderful. I was unsure about taking French at Columbia (having taken it and enjoyed it at Barnard) but I was pleasantly surprised at the level of competency and dedication that Zeina showed us. Class was a pleasure -- lots of students stayed for both semesters and we developed a very good rapport between ourselves and with Zeina. The coursework has been fairly difficult, especially this spring, and the course is designed by the department to move very quickly, so I have had to devote more time than I intended to this class. But Zeina has done a lot to make this easier -- she's given us numerous extra handouts and practice exercises and has always been available for consultations about difficult topics. Her grading is fair, but I never felt like she thought I was less worthy of her teaching just because I didn't get an A. I have had some professors write me off for not meeting their standards; Zeina just seemed to want to help me do better. I don't know if she's teaching again in the fall -- if she is, it will probably be early, both of our sections were at 9 am -- but she's worth getting up for. And that's saying something.

May 2003

Professor Postlewate is THE BEST!!!! If you ever have to take French as a language requirement, DEFINITELY take it with her. She is sooooo sweet, and she goes out of her way to help you. She has such a genuine interest in the subject matter, and she always tries to get students involved and interested. She even shows us movies! She is a very good and organized lecturer, and she goes over everything, which makes it a nice review for those of you with the background in French. She is extremely knowledgeable and is a great professor. Take this class!!!

Apr 2003

To begin with all the reviews are accurate (including the one saying he is offensive). If you are considering his class here are a few pointers: attend class, do the homeowork, and stay on his good side which is easy to do. If you manage to do all this then the class will be cake, and you will learn. If you manage to fuck this up (coming from experience) the class will backfire on you, and your once seemingly easy class will turn into your worst nightmare making you dread every 4 days that you meet. I must admit he was my favorite teacher in the beginning, and even at the end will still recommend him to people (but remind them never to accidently name drop me cuz that would result in a failure by association). So good luck he is very nice, and respects a person with a sense of humor (but make sure not to laugh too hard).

Jan 2003

This class can either be wonderful for you, or a real pain in the ass. If you already do well in french, and just need a little brushing up, you're in luck. If you're really struggling with the material and you need someone to help you out...hire a tutor. Frank is used to teaching french literature, so most of the class is devoted to "The Little Prince" and other reading, and what little grammer there is is taken straight from the textbook. Frank's lectures are the most boring way you could possibly spend your time. Fortunately, since she never says anything important, you won't miss out if you skip class a little, or just stop listening for a while. To her credit, Frank is aware that the class is biased towards those who have had more experience in french (she doesn't seem to realize why though), therefore, if you don't seem to know what's going on, she'll be very leinent with you. The really obnoxious thing is that she'll occasionally assign you to watch a french movie, and then write something about it. Not that the movies are all bad - sometimes she even lets you pick them yourself - it just seems like a serious waste of time for those of us who just want to learn the grammer and get the hell out. Her grading policies are pretty sweet. With the essays, she says that since different people have different levels of experience, she's going to grade based on how much "effort" you put into it (translation: based on how long it is). Once, she asked for 3/4 of a page, and so just to test her, I wrote the worst 1.5 pages ever, and got an A. Nice.

Jan 2003

I'm not sure what to say. The class was boring but it's not thrilling material. Professor Frank is clearly a literature person and I would stick to her in that context. Don't be afraid to shop around for a teacher that fits you in this course. Professor Frank won't bring you very far along - if you're not a french scholar, get a tutor - many people in the class had to.

Jan 2003

Professor Postlewate is an organized and caring teacher who makes an effort to have all the students in the class understand and appreciate the material that she teaches. She is always open to questions and makes sure that the whole class grasps material before testing.

Nov 2002

After reading the other comments on Yongyan I had to comment on how totally misguided those indiviuals were. She is possibly the worst instructor I've ever had. Yes her French is better than her English but what good is that when it comes to explaining comparisons to English gramar. One fellow student in the class was flat out told "I'm not a translator" when asked a reasonable question. You could tell that she hated teaching. Therefore myself and several classmates felt come end of the semester we had not gained much knowledge. Now in 1202 I'm totally paying for this!

Nov 2002

I can only reinforce what the previous reviewer has said. Erin Curren is one of the best professors I have ever had. She is enthusiastic, even in the early hours of the morning. She is caring and responsive to the needs of her students. And she is an excellent teacher. I recommend her to anyone. All professors should be as talented and excited to teach as she is.

Oct 2002

Anjali is a pretty good choice for those of us trying to get out of the language requirement. The class isn't particularly difficult, at least not more difficult than any other section... The only problem is that I sometimes find that I have a hard time concentrating because she's so attractive. Well, I suppose that's a decent problem to have.

Jul 2002

One of the best instructors I've ever had at Columbia -- and not just in French. Yevgeny has a great and ironic sense of humor (you'll dig when he says something hilarious yet keeps his straight face). He responds to all e-mail promptly and is EXTREMELY helpful in office hours (he'll go over your essay with you slowly, carefully), and he's always willing to make extra time outside if you're schedule's tight. I entered class with a shaky grasp of the language. By the end, I could read many French periodicals and have an excellent grasp of most grammatical structures. Highly recommended.

Jan 2002

Long Long Long Long lectures made you want to go to sleep. However, you really learned French- I mean really learned French. She was extremely available after class and on weekends, or whenever. She always was polite and understanding. Other than the class being boring I recommend it for the fact that you learn so much (especially with the extra help).

Jan 2002

Bring a pillow to class. Or, better yet, don't go at all; it's not like you'd be missing anything important! If you took French in high school and did even halfway decently, congratulations! Show up, look alive, hand in the assigned work on time (eh... you don't even really have to do THAT), and unless you consistently disturb the lecture by loudly banging your head against your desk to stay conscious and mumbling, "Make it stop... make it stop...", as I did (and yet, still aced the class...?), you'll walk out of Frank's class with at least a B+/A-. Good news: she's a nice person, relatively easy to talk to, pretty lenient when it comes to the few papers that she assigns (with obscure topics that will make you go, "Ugh... vous me plaisantez..."), and makes up packets of worksheets that aren't collected or graded, so honestly, you don't have to do them if you've a) already got a solid grasp of the basics, and/or b) have something - ANYTHING - better to do with your time. Bad news: if you DON'T have a solid grasp of the basics, GOOD LUCK because you sure as hell won't be getting it from Frank! It's not totally her fault that the class is long and monotonous, and that she doesn't know how to teach a language course without simply regurgitating the textbook because she's used to teaching French Lit. Frank's language class is a waste of time and energy for those just beginning their studies in French at Columbia, and a GPA-booster for former high French students who can somehow manage to make it through the semester without permanently slipping into an ennui- induced coma.

Jan 2002

Raina is extremely nice and energetic. She speaks mostly in french, but if she notices blank faces, she switches to English. Class was mostly group activities with occassionally a short grammar lesson. The tests and exams are very straight-forward, and I felt really prepared for them. Before tests she gives review sessions, and if you ever need help she answers her emails promptly.

Dec 2001

Raina is an absolutely wonderful person. Everyone in my class loves her and her enthusiastic manner. She's lighthearted, but she also has an excellent command of French and is very well organized and prepared. Group activities and readings are always relevant and well-thought out. ... I only wish she could shut this one kid up in the class who always raises his hand and drags on forever because he doesn't know how to say a single word in french. "et alors, je suis, 'comment dit-on ', fatigue, ensuite, 'comment dit-on.."." But that's not her fault, Raina's wonderful and I highly recommend her! She's very accessible and very patient.

Sep 2001

Kaiama is a fabulous teacher. I was lucky enough to get her first semester, and signed up for her class again the next semester even though it was at 9am. She makes sure everyone understands the material, keeps in close communication with the students through office hours and email, and is a fair grader. Take her class if you can!

Jan 2000

Gordon one of the nicest teachers you'll probably have. She always answers your questions and explains anything you need help on. She won't rush into the next section until you feel that you understand what has just been taught. She is a bit boring, though. Basically, she puts notes on the board, and you copy them. Then we do examples from the worksheets, some conversational excersizes, and that's it. Other than that, this class is really easy, and i recommend it to anyone!