Advanced Language Through Content

Jan 2021

I loved this class and the professor. It was a super small seminar, and she was able to guide the discussion to be incredibly valuable in understanding the readings. She clearly was passionate and educated about her subject. The course topics/readings themselves were really difficult, but the class was structured to be low pressure and supportive. Tamara was big on mental health and didn't even give hard deadlines, and was always available to help with the material. Although normally I wouldn't have found the topic of the class interesting (mostly 1800's Argentina) she managed to make the class worth it anyway.

Dec 2020

Manuela is great! She is very understanding, flexible, and sincere. I took her course "water and land." Even if you're not too confident speaking in Spanish, she's very patient and encouraging and will help you. The readings are also very interesting and class is always productive -- she's good at leading discussions, sometimes had power points going over grammar and context for the content we're covering. Highly recommend!

Dec 2020

This professor does not deserve the gold nugget he has on CULPA. While he is nice and very energetic during class (a little too much sometimes), he grades very harshly. He will nitpick on every assignment you turn in. For example, he will take points off if you don’t use the specific diction that sounds better to him, even if your sentence is grammatically correct. Assignments are also very middle-school level. For example, you will have to do 5 “guias and diarios; the “diario element of this is to describe what you learned in class every session and how you learned it. You are supposed to attach pictures of what was covered in class, essentially putting together a sort of lesson plan. It is very time-consuming and extremely trivial, as he should know what was taught in his class. He will also happily give you a 75% on these assignments without a problem. He also does not review these diarios, as I would not mind receiving a 75% on the first diario, if he would teach us how to improve and do better on the next ones. Instead, you are forced to be confused and keep making the same mistakes; my classmates have also brought up these same frustrations in breakout rooms, even to him directly, and he’ll just say there’s no time to go over the assignments (which compose the majority of our grade anyway). However, the movie selection for the 2 projects are quite entertaining. Luckily, I tested out of taking another Spanish class, so this was the only one I had to take. Therefore, I am not able to compare this to any other Columbia Spanish classes, so if you would like to take a class with a friendly, yet frustrating teacher, I would recommend this one. Otherwise, try finding someone else.

May 2018

Jesus really cares about his students and their success. He really tries to make sure the classroom is an open space where students feel comfortable making mistakes, which is really nice. That being said, there is a TON of work for this class and he is a pretty harsh grader. If you don't participate you won't do well and sometimes there was so much work that people just gave up. It is definitely a lot harder than Int. Span II so be prepared. I did learn a lot about intercultural communication so that was really cool and he's a good teacher, it's just a challenging course.

Apr 2017

I've never written a review before but I just had to for Reyes. Her class is so interesting and she does a great job of generating class discussion. The workload can sometimes be very difficult, with readings that require some time and later guias (reading comprehension questions). However, not all of them are that bad, and if you do the readings and participate in class answering them will be easy. As for Reyes, she might possibly be the kindest and most understanding person I've ever met. She is very lenient with extensions, and if you go to her and tell her you have an issue, she will be more than happy to help you. She honestly just wants you to learn and to hand in good work. One time, I went to an office hours appointment with her, and she spent like 30 minutes giving me advice and just talking to me about life because I told her about a month earlier that I was struggling to figure out what to major in. I don't think that she will be teaching this class again, but if you have the chance to have her as a professor in any class, take it!

Apr 2016

Mariana is one of the most fantastic professors I've ever had. Mariana’s classes have made me a better writer, and not just in Spanish. Her teaching style very much encourages you to crystallize your thoughts and express them in a clear, easy-to-follow manner. Her classes are some of the few that taught me to be a better student, and not just within the context of the class material. She is extremely dedicated to the growth of her students and continually makes herself available to talk after class, meet in person, and answer emails. Mariana's classes are FUN. I can't image how much preparation goes into her curriculum, because her group discussions and exercises never stopped impressing me. She really wants you to engage with the class material and dig deep into it by asking good questions.

May 2015

I wasn't planning on writing a review on culpa but when you get the opportunity to take a class with someone like Reyes, I feel like I owe it to her to let everyone know how amazing she is. This has been by far the most amazing/engaged/intriguing/ Spanish class I have ever taken in my life. The course is very well structure and this is outline in the syllabus that she post on Courseworks in the first week of class - each week covers a different topic which all links back to the core theme (Christianity vs. Islam in Spain) of the course. Each week she'll assign a number of reading, which can at times be very difficult, and you use these reading to complete a guia (which is basically a reading comprehension assignment) either in writing or orally on Voicethread (more on what this is below). Also, since there's no midterm or final, you are required to complete an oral presentation, two projects - one on a topic given by her and one free topic - and two diario del aprendizaje where you reflect on the materials you learn each week. I love that Reyes integrate technology to the course through the use of the discussion board in coursworks, voicethread and mediathread. For those who are not familiar, voice/mediathread are online learning platforms where you complete your assignment and interact with other students in the class. For example, we used mediathread to analyse the Portico de la Gloria - each student select a section which is of interest to them and then post about the significance/interest of their selection. I will say that you will have a lot of work (more than other section of W3300) in this course but they are totally WORTH IT. The works in time consuming, yes, and you really have to think a lot about what you're doing - it's not going to be simple assignment where you can look up the answer online, you have to analyze what you're learning. With that said, you Spanish skills will improve tremendously in this class, and if it doesn't them I'm sorry, it's not Reyes's fault but it's you not working/trying hard enough. In terms of grading, I think that everyone who put in the effort will end up doing well in this course. I wouldn't say this is an easy A class but if you work for it, it is very much a possibility. Also, she takes attendance and I think you're only allowed to miss 2 classes. Reyes really cares about her students, she is always willing to meet with you to discuss any questions/concerns and she is open to suggestions about ways to improve the course so if you don't like something be sure to let her know. The fact that she always give detailed comments back on your assignment shows how much she cares and how she really wants you to do well. I must admit, there were times when I really hated the course because of the sheer amount of work we had to do, but in the end, it was all worth it. I learned so much in the course and even thought I was not interested in religion to begin with, I must say I really enjoyed the materials we studied and I would by all means recommend this course to anyone who is considering taking W3300!

May 2015

DO NOT take this course if: 1. You are not interested in either art or history. The class contains both in-depth discussions on artists and their artwork, and lengthy readings about the history of Spain. The readings are assigned in each class, and the Professor expects students to make outlines on them (though she doesn't usually check if you have). She hands out sheets in class with questions and students are expected to be able to regurgitate information learned in the (way above vocabulary level, especially if you are not a native speaker or have not spoken Spanish in a while) readings. This was definitely the wrong choice for me, a person for whom the only thing worse than history is art history. 2. You have not spoken Spanish in a while. I had not spoken Spanish regularly for over 6 months prior to taking the class, and had forgotten a lot of my grammatical and vocabulary skills. The Professor is not forgiving about this at all, and on top of not allowing any English in the classroom (expected for a 3300 level class, so this isn't really a problem), she refuses to review vocabulary or grammar and gives major side-eye when asked to provide a word if a student has simply forgotten it. Additionally, at the beginning of the class, she makes explicit that she will not teach grammar; students are expected to do additional work outside of class if they wish to learn about grammar, as if we are not already taking four or five other classes at an Ivy League University. 3. You don't like to speak in class. The Professor expects students to speak up and speak often; speaking once or twice every couple of classes definitely doesn't cut it. She expects students to speak at least once during every class, so do that. She also requires that students do multiple oral presentations throughout the semester. 4. You enjoy clear due dates and organization. The Professor does an extremely poor job of clarifying due dates for each essay, and does not warn students when they are coming up either via CourseWorks or in class. She expects students to be constantly checking the syllabus, which she often does not follow anyway. 5. You like to cite other sources in your research papers. She has very high expectations for student analysis and learning in the class, and does not like to see students citing frequently in their papers. Pros: she is very understanding if you need to turn something in late, and makes herself available and keeps in touch. Cons: (other than what was stated above) she can develop a grudge against a particular student if she feels that he/she is not performing satisfactorily

Dec 2013

Absolutely one of the best Spanish classes I have ever taken. The course material was interesting, albeit very depressing at times. Most of what we read or watched was in Spanish (obviously) and was very well-organized to take us through Mexico from the 1910 Revolution through the modern drug trafficking happening today. There were one or two duds in the readings (that is, material that appeared to be a poor choice) but outside of those, most of it could be easily understood and gave us insights into the history of Mexico. There was also a trip to see a real Day of the Dead altar, which was pretty nice too. Adrian himself, however, really made the class stand out. He has a really laid back demeanor and can be really funny at times. His Spanish can be a bit fast at times but if you ask him what a word means or ask him to repeat himself, he'll gladly oblige. He seems really dedicated to helping you understand the language first and foremost, and has positive things to say about every student. It can be hard to feel that your Spanish is good or even adequate, but Adrain will really help you feel like, yes, you can do it. And it's not just language he'll help you with! If you're struggling to come up with an essay topic, or want advice, he'll point you in the right direction. I wanted to write about something before it was formally presented in class, and he suggested an awesome resource and gave me pointers. As for grading, his grading is very generous. A lot of the work is mostly credit/no credit (at least I think it was, he never really was clear about it) and he appears to appreciate insights more than actual language. That's not to say he doesn't care about his language, but if you can make good points he'll appreciate them even if you're struggling with Spanish. All in all, I wish I could take this class again! If you get the chance, please take this class, you won't regret it!

Dec 2013

I took Spain Through Art with her and really enjoyed it. I switched in from a different section of W3300 and definitely made the right choice. If you are already familiar with Spanish Art History, this will be a review for you, but the goal of the class is practicing Spanish, not delving deep into art history. We were assigned museum visits, which are lots of fun. I probably wouldn't have gone to the Hispanic Society of America on my own, and I am so glad I did--it's now one of my favorite places in New York. The Sorolla Room is incredible. The main issue I had with this class was the frequency with which other students lapsed into English, and the degree to which the professor tolerated this and responded in English. About half the students really should not have been there, as they did not speak enough Spanish to participate in class discussions without constantly using English. The issue lies mostly with the students, of course, but I guess just be prepared for frustration if you take any section of W3300 expecting that the majority of the class will avoid using English. The professor was very understanding about lateness and makeups. She allowed me to turn in a revised draft of a composition wayyyy after the due date when I asked her politely, which I really appreciated. She is also a very fair grader.

Nov 2013

Fantastic professor. Very approachable and just nice. The texts we read are really interesting and he can make any stupid comment you make in class sound accidentally brilliant. Workload is fair, readings might lean toward the heavy side/be difficult at times, but he always asks you in class the next day if the reading was too hard, and is very accommodating. Grading is also very fair. If you are lucky enough to find an available spot in his class, TAKE HIS CLASS.

Nov 2013

It hurts me that Profesor Colmenares hasn't had a review yet. He's the sweetest person you'll ever meet. You kind of just want to hug him every time you see him. He's incredibly approachable and friendly, a very, very fair grader, and is really helpful when you approach him outside of class. I was in his seminar class and there were only around 10 people in it, so it was a very nice, open dynamic. You feel like you're just having a conversation with him in class. There were Spanish speakers of every level in the class, and Profesor Colmenares really made the effort to accommodate everybody and make everyone feel comfortable. He's just phenomenal.

May 2013

REYES IS THE BEST! It's that simple. She's charming, funny, enthusiastic, helpful, receptive, engaging, and overall just a wonderful person/professor. LOVE LOVE LOVE HER. She gives the most thorough and helpful feedback on all assignments and is willing to go above and beyond to make sure you understand a concept. She responds to emails super quickly. Intermediate Spanish is really straightforward: same exams and requirements as all the other Spanish classes. For Advanced Language through Content, the weekly readings and assignments are quite challenging, but really effective in terms of becoming a more sophisticated Spanish speaker. I only wish she was teaching more upper level classes!

Mar 2013

I second the previous review: Professor Codebò is fun and supportive in discussions, lenient in terms of workload and late assignments, but appropriately tough in terms of correct grammar and pushing your ideas. A fair amount of the grade seems to come from participation (on guías and in discussion). But get ahead on the class's longer papers (the first comes right before midterms); she really does give you total freedom on these, and if you think of a topic and ask her for help researching it beforehand these can be very valuable.

Jan 2013

Note: The specific class topic was the arts under repression during La Guerra Sucia (the dirty war) in Argentina from 1976-1983. The curriculum is well laid-out, beginning with some dense history but quickly moving into the meat of the class which is reading Manuel Puig's "El Beso de la Mujer Araña," a fascinating novel about the friendship of two cellmates. On either end of the semester are the responses of different writers, artists, and musicians to the tyranny of the Argentinian government. We looked at art and interpreted journalism and song lyrics. Profesora Codebo is fantastic. She energetically facilitated discussions each class on the reading, creating an inclusive environment and managing to coax a few words out of nearly everyone. Rather than lecturing, it is the thoughts of the students with her guidance that drive the course. There are "Guías de Lectura" responses to the readings that ask you to offer your own personal interpretation and critical analysis of what you've read (specifically about El Beso). These interesting questions would be further deliberated on in class and related to the political situation in Argentina. I learned a huge amount about the time period and also the psychological effects that it had on Argentinian society, even until today. Sometimes we would spend class acting out different scenes from the book, and Codebo has a great sense of humor about everything. She is also understanding about the occasional late work if you're not doing it too often. Overall, highly recommended- i improved in writing and speaking and the topic is awesome.

Sep 2012

I have never written a CULPA review before, but I think I owe it to this one. Reyes is by far the best instructor I have ever had. She truly cares about all of her students, and is simply a brilliant professor. She is very passionate about teaching which shows in each and every class, motivating everyone to work harder and ultimately get more out of the courses. She is always willing to answer your questions, both in class and in office hours, and will do anything she can to make sure every student understands. She always has very clear and effective ways of explaining concepts, especially some of the subtle differences between Spanish and English that are sometimes difficult for us to understand at first. Also, her corrections for compositions are extremely thorough and helpful. Her classes are very dynamic and engaging. In Intermediate 2, there are different activities and a lot of group work to practice the various concepts and vocab rather than only doing worksheets. 3300 is more discussion based, but it never felt like the same thing every day, which kept the content interesting. Out of all my Spanish classes (every year since freshman year of high school), no course has improved my Spanish nearly as much as both of these have. Taking these two classes with Reyes made me completely change my mind about my major- now I'm a Spanish major! If you are taking Spanish, DEFINITELY take a class with Reyes. And one more thing… where is her gold nugget?!

Sep 2012

I advise taking a class taught by this miserable woman who is teaching, according to my suspicion, solely in order to receive funding for her phD at columbia and to possibly brainwash students with her opinions on the topic of translation, if you would like to be bored to death and receive a B. Her Spanish is mildly proficient at best. I thank God for her daily bottomless coffee that she could slurp on to diffuse awkward silences that occurred during our seminars.

Aug 2012

I had the pleasure of taking Islamic and Christian Influences in Spain with Reyes this past spring, and am certain she is one the best you'll find. She is always prepared, super kind, has a sense of humor, and knows that she can school you on anything related to the language and culture. She is also a very fair grader, and brings her students' work to the next level. If you think otherwise, you're not working hard enough.

Mar 2012

Perla is absolutely fantastic. If you are looking to take Spanish with someone who not only really cares about her students, but is also an expert in her field, you'll be in luck with Perla. It is so obvious that she loves teaching, and she makes an effort to make sure that all of her students stay on track with the course. If you need extra help, she's extremely accommodating. She's also super understanding if you need an extension. She grades fairly in my opinion. Participation is a large part of your grade, and she calls on people so essentially everyone participates which helps when final grades come out. If you get a chance to talk with her about Cuban politics or any politics really, definitely do so! She's a wealth of knowledge. If you're enthusiastic and put effort into the class, she won't over look it. Pretty much, she's great. I definitely recommend any of her classes. (I've taken three with her.)

Jul 2011

I find the other review really off- base. Ana is a really intelligent, pleasant, funny young woman. Who ever wrote the last review just has sour grapes over their grade, or over their life, or maybe is a misogynist or has issues with their mother and is projecting a whole load off boloney on what the class and Ana was like. Really, don't hesitant to take any class with Ana, she's fine. And, if you're lucky, she might even teach you some Puerto Rican slang, or some Puerto Rican sass, as she's brimming with it. (FYI kind of a character, dresses, heels every day like she were going to a Caribbean debutante ball.. .haha. .My only warning as regards the class is that you might learn a bit more about floral patterns and synthetic fabrics than you'd like...:) )

Jul 2011

Pedro is a great guy. I took 3300 Advanced Language through Content with him. The class was about Latin American cities and I feel much more prepared to study abroad after the experience. Although he is a native speaker (from Mexico), he speaks slowly and clearly. I think there are a lot of benefits to choosing him over non-native speakers as you get a much more authentic learning environment. Everything was pretty straightforward and clear from day one. Take a class with him if you can.

Jan 2011

I have had Ben for two semesters now and I cannot recommend him enough. He is a really great professor, who seems to genuinely enjoy teaching. He brings a lot of enthusiasm and joking to what could otherwise be a boring subject. Moreover, he is a pretty relaxed grader and he is very sympathetic to the fact that students have a lot of other classes on their plate. He is also very patient with students still learning Spanish, and makes sure to talk slowly and clearly. As long as you do the reading (but you can skip a few), you will do fine. I found both his classes to be just enough work to teach me a lot about a new subject - but still so enjoyable as to be my favorite classes of the semester.

Dec 2010

I thought Jessica was great. She keeps us engaged, and really teaches us about the language. The course, though, had nothing to do with Dictatorship and Democracy, so don't take this class if you're interested in the content, take it if you want to improve your Spanish. It's a little writing intensive, but she returns each of our papers with adequate comments so that you can improve. Overall, I thought it was an interesting class, but I don't think we could've gotten further off topic from Dictatorship and Democracy than we did...

May 2010

This class failed so hard. She didn't show up to the first class. I should have taken the hint. Not terribly difficult, but the workload was excessive. She obviously didn't care about the class at all, considering all of the awkward discussions and questions/answers we had. I took this to practice my Spanish, but that did not happen. I don't regret having taken the course, but I wish I would have had a more enthusiastic professor. I do get my AP credit, whatever that means. The class began with about 12 students but there were only 8 of us at the end of the semester. She always complained about how "the same people are always talking." OBVIOUSLY. THERE ARE ONLY 8 PEOPLE IN THIS CLASS. The same people will ALWAYS be talking. Aside from her lack of care, I don't have much to say about this class. Avoid if possible. You really have nothing to gain from this class, other than excessive assignments and apathy/monotony.

Feb 2010

Xavier was the crucial homie. He's interesting and quirky but so much fun to have in class. He's also mad flexible with papers and ideas. The only thing that was hard were grammar quizzes in which he didn't really teach the material and the tests were kinda hard. But in the end I think he graded you based on mostly participation. Read the essays, talk in class and study for these grammar things and you'll do fine. Also pay attention to what he says! A lot of it is quite smart.Overall I'd say take this class because he's a nice guy and gives you interesting readings (most of which you can find in english if you really wanted to).

Dec 2009

The class was rumored to be a piece of cake, but the topic of this particular course ended up being the toughest of all. Rodriguez taught the Advanced Language Through Content class on Indigenismo and it was AWFUL. The professor is generally very nice and willing to help but is horrible and untimely when it comes to emails (personal anecdote: i had pneumonia the weekend before the final essay was due, emailed her 4 times for an extension and never got a response) and the readings she assigns are hefty and tiresome. The majority of the essays were in ancient spanish so even a dictionary wasn't even helpful. It's not an impossible course to get through, but if you can choose another topic you should.

Jan 2009

Francisco is so amazing!! He is truly passionate about what he teaches and inspires everyone in the class to feel the same way. He does not believe in exams and everything he assigns is widely incorporated in class discussion. There is basically no homework during the week and class is fun to go to. We listen to a lot of music and watch YouTube videos. If you get a chance, TAKE HIS CLASS!!! The most fun class I have ever taken by far. He is also very willing to talk to you at any time, and keeps in contact with you even after class is over. Simply incredible!

Jan 2009

The sub-title of this class was called: "Hispanic Cultures in the Age of Globalization." Professor Crapotta is a very enthusiastic, energetic man who truly feels passionate about the Spanish language and culture. He utilizes many different ways of teaching in order to present the different material (interviewing natives, group work, presentations, videos, online work, etc.) At times, it is a bit overwhelming because there is so much to cover and not a lot of time to do so. Therefore, sometimes he has you reading a lot of material while trying to catch up on everything. At times, the reading can be excessive, but they are somewhat interesting. A lot of your grade is based on your participation, so make sure to ask questions and offer input during each lesson. Also, DO NOT BUY THE BOOK THAT HE SUGGESTS YOU BUY (Gramática básica del estudiante de español) -- although it is a helpful book, it is not necessary to buy -- we never use it in class and you can find all that information online somewhere.

Dec 2008

Perla is an absolutely wonderful professor. She is warm, caring, and she always was willing to meet anytime to discuss anything whether or not it had anything to do with class. She was a really easy grader, and we were allowed to do two versions of every paper that then were combined for a final grade. She was really flexible about homework assignments, and she really understood that the way to fluency is through allowing everybody the chance to speak and discuss, and so she would gently guide our conversations by allowing each person a chance to talk and express herself. My Spanish improved immensely with Perla, and I have enjoyed continuing our conversations past the class itself into the new semester. She is also really involved in the Cuban-American community in New York and in the film community, and so always is promoting some events or film showing and always invites her students. She is a lot of fun, and I would definitely take her class again if given the chance!

Dec 2008

This class was terrible. Professor Rios-Font was a very smart woman with a lot of interesting ideas but the class was dreadful. Our section's topic was "Reading and Interpreting Narrative." This could have been an interesting class but we spent far more time reading literary theory texts, none of which were originally written in Spanish, than actual literature. The theoretical texts were exceptionally dense and dull, and no one really understood them. I really enjoyed the short stories, although many of them were difficult. We spent the whole semester reading different versions of little red riding hood, analyzing each author's portrayal of the text. My main problem with this class, though, is that conversational time and abilities were low. Our Spanish-speaking abilities were not good enough to discuss everything and so we didn't really talk. As a result, my spoken skills have depreciated a lot. Overall, I was really disappointed by this course and will not be taking Spanish anymore.