course
Elementary German I

May 2021

I really love her teaching! TBH her class pace in the beginning is a bit too fast. It's a little overwhelming, but as long as you did what she asked for, you are fine. It's an A for sure. All her assignments are clear and straightforward. There's no way that you are confused or don't know how to do the assignments. She's also very very very nice. She cares about students, understanding students' internet issues, family issues, or whatever proper reason not attending the session. Just email her and explain. She's super chill.

Apr 2021

Jutta is an absolutely phenomenal professor. I've always had a hard time learning new languages, but nonetheless, had to take this class to fill a requirement. However, Jutta made the class very lovable. She always cared for every student and was always super understanding. Due to COVID and the semester online, she was very understanding and never gave us very formal assessments (aka timed/graded quizzes or tests.) We had quite a few essays and projects, but you get a revision and can therefore quite easily get A+ on them. She made German fun and interesting, I 100% recommend it!

Dec 2020

I took this for lang requirement but this unexpectedly became my fun class for the semester. I really look forward to her classes. She's very energetic, engaging, patient, and knowledgeable about the German language. Because she's German, she's the go-to expert on what daily life German application would be like. Her classes are very structured with group work every class to give you more opportunities to speak. She speaks to us in German most of the time but even though I was a total beginner, I could somehow understand her or catch keywords here and there. She cultivates a very open and friendly language learning environment which is very important if you're a new speaker and understandably a bit unsure of your German. Her ability to create a lively VIRTUAL class atmosphere is a testament to her passion to engage students and genuine desire to see her students improve. Highly recommended!

Apr 2013

I decided to write this review because there are no other reviews written for Michael, which is a shame because he is definitely one of the best language teachers at Columbia. He is extremely enthusiastic and energetic, especially for presenting such a basic topic, which is mostly about grammar. This is definitely a perk because it wakes you up. Furthermore, he is pretty good about participation, speaking in German during class and making sure everyone understands his German, and explaining things clearly (though grammar is one of those things you can learn from a book just as well). The one downside is that vocabulary doesn't seem to be emphasized during the course or the tests, and it is possible to get through the entire course without learning much vocabulary, which is a shame. Also, he's very understanding and reasonable about grading for tests, HW, and assignments.

Jan 2012

Benni is simply the coolest professor anyone can wish for. First of all, he's a good teacher. He engages his students in class with small talk and simple questions, all asked in German. He waits patiently for your attempt at a reply and he will rephrase himself, in German if you do not understand him. Beyond conversation skills, he'll also repeatedly stress the importance of grammar and vocabulary. And in case you still feel unprepared for the tests, he'll have a revision, "aktive wiederholen" before every test. Second, his classes are fun! He's only in his 20s, he's cool, fashionable, humorous and very chill. He makes jokes all the time and is simply a likable person. The class is worth your time just for the entertainment value. Take his class! :) You'll learn more than just the stuff from the textbook. You'll learn about contemporary German culture, German slang, and you'll love it!

Dec 2011

Sophie was a fine teacher, especially considering it was her first semester here, and really fun and sweet as well. The assignments and workload were very straightforward, there was a lot of variance to class activities to keep things interesting, and we covered a decent amount of material. She's not a native speaker, but I'm not of the school of thought that natives automatically make better teachers, and overall she has a great accent and knew what she was talking about. Definitely recommended!

May 2011

THE BEST GERMAN PROFESSOR! She is so understanding and realizes that everyone in the class is tied up in so many other things. She is very clear and distinct with what you have to study for the exams and for the writing exercises. I feel like she has prepped the class well for the exam i.e. she gave us the oral presentations well in advance so that we could have plenty of time to write them and memorize them. The tests are fairly easy and as long as you pay attention in class and are engaged it is easy to get an A. Take Simona if you have a strong desire to learn German. If you don't then she can easily recognize this and she therefore calls on you more so that you are embarrassed. If you love the language and at least give it a shot even though you may fail good things will be reflected back to you from her.

Jan 2011

This spring semester, Michael Lipkin is taking on the daunting task of teaching a class in elementary German. But, I hear you ask, does he have what it takes to rub shoulders with the giants of the German department, with people such as Richard Korb? Will he be able to step out of the shadow of his superstar sensei, Jutta Schmiers-Heller? Can he survive the ruthless Gossip-sessions at the biweekly Kaffeestunde? Well, I don't know about all that, but chances are that at least he'll offer a kick-ass class that I know I would want to take if I could do it all over again. I'm writing this because I've seen him in action as a Teaching Assistant, and although its hard to extrapolate from that (TA-ing and teaching a class can be very different), I believe that at least, Michael will be a competent German teacher with a refreshing and sarcastic sense of humor and youthful dedication that will make coming to class so much fun that you'll forget you're actually learning, just like he did while TA-ing my Accelerated German class last fall.

Jan 2011

Okay, yes, Veronika can be a little awkward at times. But that didn't bother me at all. She's a great German teacher who strikes a really good balance between getting everybody to participate but without horrifyingly embarrassing them. She was extremely reasonable when it came to workload, and is very responsive via email or after class. I feel like I learned a lot of German (I also happened to really like the textbook) but without a high level of stress. Definitely recommend her.

Dec 2010

Great German professor. I was nervous taking his class because he was unreviewed and new to Columbia, but learning German from him has been great. The majority of the class is taught in German, but he's easy to understand even for beginners, goes over the material very well and makes absolutely sure that you understand the more complicated grammatical structures before a test. He'll e-mail you his slides if you ask for them, replies to e-mails quickly and is incredibly accessible if you're having any problems learning the material. He seems genuinely interested in his students succeeding and learning German well. There's a lot of vocabulary words to memorize, but he lets you know which ones are most important for a test.

Apr 2010

Patrick made Intro German interesting and enjoyable enough that I actually was happy to go every morning (even if I wasn't always on time, wann meinen wecker kaput war). While not a native speaker he is an absolutely raging Germanophile, who will spout anecdotes about the history of the language or the country at the drop of a hat. Luckily, these are usually at least mildly relevant and used to illustrate a particular grammatical point. He is particularly good at making strange German grammatical constructions easy to understand, even though he will speak at most a word or two of English in any explanation. He calls on people rather aggressively in class but is not overbearing when you make mistakes, and is happy to help just about all the time. If nothing else, you will remember the points he makes by his (occasionally eccentric) use of easily understood explanation, pantomime, and critique of John F. Kennedy's poor grammar. If I had the choice, I would absolutely take his class again for Intro II.

Jan 2009

Alex is THE MAN. He is fun and interesting as a person, and that really carries over into his teaching style. This is one of the few professors who has ever made me *want* to get up for a nine am class! He's a native speaker, so you don't have to worry about picking up a funky accent. He tries to make the activities as interesting as possible. There's lots of group-work and conversation, with a heavy emphasis on interaction in general. He's very knowledgeable about the language in general and is always willing to stop, answer questions, conjugate verbs, repeat pronunciations multiple times...take his class if at all possible. He is everything you could ever want in a foreign language professor.

Jan 2007

Driscoll's cool, just like his Icelandic roots. Certain amount of grouchiness you will have to deal with, but a personality quirk which becomes rather endearing after a bit, another of which is going off on tangents about Germanic linguistic structures, especially the 19th century variety, but those are - admittedly - fascinating nuggets. A non-native speaker of German, if that makes a difference.