Does not teach vocab Does not teach grammar Assigns difficult homework that uses grammar rules inconsistent with the textbook Overly cranky and gets borderline temperamental at students over small things Low key rude to students in class Cold calls on people in the class and will pick on you if you're struggling My way or the highway sorta fella Yells at students when we can't follow his confusing and unclear instructions Made us talk about (personally) uncomfortable/borderline triggering topics Sometimes funny in class though Thinks people should expect that George Washington is still alive 'nuff said
Awful! He was my professor during quarantine, Fall 2020. Just wowww. Tons of students were struggling due to a number of factors (probably due to the worldwide pandemic). Fran's response: constant threats, taunts, and escalation measures to put the pressure firmly on you. He is terrible at responding to emails and makes it clear that if you do not meet his erratic bar, it is on you. He favors the students who came into his class already speaking multiple languages and is openly perturbed with students that are nervous to participate. He skipped one class per week, no complaints until he puts the entire missing burden on you. He desperately needs to learn how to be more respectful and patient with his students. AVOID HIM, flat-out
I liked him a lot when I took him as one of my first classes. Now that I’ve taken more classes and have the benefit of retrospect, I can only say: fantastic, fantastic, fantastic. Clear lecturer, excellent at giving individualized help, you get to watch a fair few great 90s movies, normal-to-easy workload, and totally reasonable grader. Funny guy too. Among the best professors I’ve had, truly, and I cannot give a higher recommendation. Although - the comment about him using an Argentinian POV is correct, and if that bothers you, be warned.
Javier is truly a gem. He is one of the nicest, most understanding, and personable professors I have ever encountered. He will seriously bend over backward to help you with a topic, is responsive to emails, and loves to chat with his students about anything. Like he really is just a warm guy. With this being said!!!! The workload is a lot, but completely manageable. A lot of people didn't like it because Spanish tends to be a low-priority class for most, but if you enjoy the subject and don't mind putting in the moderate effort, this is a wonderful class. If you come to class with a good attitude, do the homework, and outwardly participate/try your best, he will do everything he can to give you a good grade in the end, even if you bomb a couple of quizzes (those grammar tenses tho).
I LOVED TAMARA. She is literally the only prof I've ever had that could teach Spanish in a way I wanted to learn it and in a way I could clearly understand. She seriously cares about her students in such a unique way it's insane. TAKE THIS CLASSSSSSS!!! She's seriously the best, wish she taught all Spanish classes.
If you enjoy witnessing a man go through his midlife crisis once a week while listening to the REASON you are learning something without actually learning the actual Spanish language, this is the class for you. It's a pretty easy A but you will walk out of the class knowing what timelessness feels like. Remember that scene in Interstellar when they are on the planet where every hour is 7 years for people on Earth? Ya, that is this class. The average day begins like this: a disheveled, rushed, coke addict walks in screaming "HOLA CLASE" while he hangs up his coat, tripping over a chair and accidentally elbowing a kid on the way. When he settles in, he will hand out half a tree of papers that makes you ask the question, "What the actual fuck is happening??" You most likely have on your hilariously small and slanted desk 3 packets. One contains every exercise and its mother from Gramatica Basica, the textbook made by the people who brought you things like Satan. One contains your essay assignment about a movie he thinks you will watch but you won't because why would you? He will not explain that essay assignment until the last 2 minutes of class, leaving you utterly confused for the rest of your days. The final packet is unknown, it will probably never be used, and is most likely just a waste of paper because fuck the environment. He begins talking about whatever topic you are learning this week, explaining how important it is for the future of the world (the students) to understanding how to communicate with others (how to conjugate a verb that you will never use in a language that you will never speak) and change the world (and become an econ major). He will ask you to write sentences combining the grammar you learned with the topic, and give you about 4 microseconds to write 150 paragraphs before asking you to share out. Nobody will share because he didn't give anyone time to even think, so he will start to laugh at himself like a psycho and begin complaining about how people need to participate. Then, when someone volunteers, he will talk over them and perform a monologue about whatever weird ideas are swimming in his demented mind. Do you want to speak? Too bad! Lee wants to share with you his thoughts about indigenous people in America for 35 minutes (this actually happened). Also, he will know every little fact about you and bring it up like a stalker whenever he has the chance. He will also spend an ABSURD amount of time looking up photos or articles about what you are talking about to somehow supplement your work in an enlightening way. It is not enlightening. It wastes time. He will also constantly ask you how you want to learn, since he is incredibly insecure as a teacher. Overall, this class is just him talking about random things, him talking about why you need to learn without actually learning spanish, and him talking about how he has also visited this museum in your hometown that you brought up. But it's an easy A, so pick your poison. If you decide to enroll in this excuse of a class, welcome to hell.
Chop off your arm if you must to keep you from registering for this class. This is the worst class I've ever taken.
His teaching style is all over the place. I wouldn't even consider what he does is 'teaching.' He doesn't give you slides or anything and his notes are just scribbles all over the board. Fran is incredibly disorganized and honestly really mean. Whatever you do DON'T TAKE HIS CLASS. I dreaded going to class everyday and he's one of the worst professors I have ever had.
Professor Garcia Barroso needs to be better organized. I understand that she just had a child, but she would often come up to 10 minutes late to class. She had no listed due dates for papers assigned, and would drop an assignment on students five days before they were due with the expectation that it would be fine. She would double assign homework every night, having required book work in conjunction with online material, something that was very, very rare in previous language courses at Columbia. She also had little patience for those struggling with concepts or grammatical rules, and would become frustrated with them. Avoid at all costs. Seriously.
I valued Leonor's emphasis on improving our Spanish, especially our grammar. Intermediate Spanish I is a level where lots of new grammar concepts, like the subjunctive, are introduced, while older grammar concepts are referenced and reinforced, so it is important to have a professor who seems to so genuinely care about reinforcing grammar skills through oral participation and written work. While it is one thing to be able to learn the basic use cases of new concepts enough to pass a midterm or final, I feel like in this class, I have truly been able to actually increase my Spanish ability and feel a lot more confident with the language. That's because Leonor is an excellent lecturer and explainer of complicated concepts, works through the difficulties that come from picking up a foreign language (you can tell because she often refers to her own difficulties picking up English as a second language), and is willing to give you the individual attention you might need even in a class of 17. Sometimes I felt frustrated because I felt I wasn't making enough progress, just because it's only 75 minutes a day and three days a week and 17 students, so you're not going to get the level of immersion and one-on-one conversation time. But Leonor does the best that she can. While I'm nowhere near fluent yet, I feel significantly more comfortable expressing myself verbally and have been inspired to put in extra hours each week to practice writing texts or studying grammar, whereas in past semesters I would do just enough so that I could get a good grade on the assignments. I would attribute a lot of that newfound motivation to Leonor. She is always happy to talk to you after class, offering suggestions and encouragement for ways to improve. During class, too, she was always patient with me and the other students, answering whatever questions came her way and making sure that we felt comfortable enough to make mistakes. She also obviously wanted us to succeed, which was something you could tell from the way that she simultaneously pushed us to practice more and commit things to memory while making sure we felt encouraged and supported.
DO NOT TAKE FOR INTERMEDIATE SPANISH. Javier is a great guy but he uses assignment-based learning instead of teaching the class the material. On top of that, the work-load is INSANE. This is my third spanish class at Columbia and we had easily 4x the workload of other courses.
Francisca was amazing. She was kind and caring, and worked hard to speak to students and engage them in the language. She made class fun. She also prepared us well for the final.
Although nice and well-intentioned, her ineffective teaching in Intermediate I may be the sole reason I am struggling so hard in Intermediate II. Sure, "what you put in is what you get out of it" but I was never quite sure why learning all of the grammar - which is arguably the hardest part of learning the spanish language - was expected to be done outside the classroom. I learned most of my spanish for the year with the lovely tutors in the ARC. I hate to say it because she was so nice, but look elsewhere. Your grade and personal enjoyment in class with thank you for it later.
Professor Suarez-Garcia deserves a gold nugget. I had the pleasure of taking him this past semester, and the man was absolutely amazing. He truly cares about his job and does everything in his power to help all of his students master the language. He is always available to speak outside of class...and does more than most teachers will do for a student. Can't remember a teacher who was this good at his job. Anyway, if you care about your grade...you'll get a good one. I'm sure most people in the class had a grade in the A-range (I got an A+).
Juan Jimenez has been my favorite professor at Columbia. He is so kind and understanding, and he truly wants you to enjoy his class. Juan Jimenez even invited those of us who weren't able to go home for Thanksgiving to his house for his family's Thanksgiving! His goal is to help you learn spanish and have fun doing it, not to trip you up and give you a bad grade. His class will be the least stressful class in your schedule and possibly one of your favorite. In my case, my entire class wants to participate and everyone seemingly has a good time. While I have not gotten my grade back yet, it seems that it is fairly easy to get an A- if you are participating and putting effort into your assignments.
Spanish Intermediate I with Prof. Jesús Suárez-García have been a very positive experience. I wholeheartedly recommend taking any Spanish course with this professor. He has brought much enthusiasm to each class and kept our class engaged while encouraging participation even if students make minor grammatical or pronunciation mistakes. Compositions have opportunities for revision, and there are practice tests which are beneficial in preparation for midterms and finals.
Professor Mora is very sweet and funny. She wants her students to not only learn Spanish, but also about Spain and Latin America. The class is pretty easy, and if you do your work and participate in class she'll like you. There aren't tests or quizzes other than the midterm and final. The only real homework you have to do is on MySpanishLab. Each semester you watch about three movies which I really enjoyed. There's an essay for each movie and Mora gives clear feedback. She has a big project each semester and that can be really stressful, especially in comparison to the lack of work you have before the project. However, if you stay on top of your game and do assignments for the project early then it's not too bad. One thing I will say is that learning Spanish in college is completely different than in high school. There is no longer an emphasis on learning vocab, and you're expected to learn grammar a lot faster. I'm someone who always struggled learning languages and hated Spanish class but this ended up being my one of my best classes and actually got me interested in learning Spanish to learn more about the Spanish speaking world.
I have never written a Culpa review, but Xavi is truly one of the best professors I have had in college and I think he deserves a lot more praise than his profile currently has. I took Intermediate Spanish I with Xavi in the Fall and it was my favorite class - something I have never been able to say for Spanish. He was engaged and excited about teaching and helping his students improve in a way I had never seen. I think that my Spanish improved significantly over the course of the semester and he even inspired me to pursue Spanish as a minor. Everyone should try to take a class with Xavi - he is a true gem of the Spanish Department. Even if you're only taking Spanish because you need to fill your language requirement, he will make you excited to come to class.
Alma Mora is the sweetest lady, and I definitely recommend her as a professor. I do agree that most of the time I have no idea what she is saying or what's going on, but I think that's how it is in the Spanish department in general. It's the teaching method. Professor Mora barely gives any homework, and I find it to be an incredibly light load. You can skimp if you want; a lot of stuff is not graded, she just wants you to look over the material that will be covered in the next class. Professor Mora is also an easy grader; I was able to put in minimal effort and get A's. If you put in an effort to make is seem like you really care and really want to do well, Professor Mora is very receptive to that. Go to office hours a few times. Participate in class. Ask questions. It's easy. As for the classes themselves, very little material was covered, and they are quite easy compared to part II of each.
Xavi was easily one of the best professors I have had at Columbia. I can't recommend him highly enough. My Spanish improved quite a bit this semester, and Xavi was so funny, charming, and enthusiastic that attending class was always a joy. He was a great lecturer who explained new grammar concepts patiently and clearly; he spoke slowly enough that it was easy to understand what he was saying, which meant that he hardly ever had to explain anything in English; he gave every student detailed, constructive, timely feedback throughout the semester; and maybe most importantly, he made it clear that he cared deeply about all of his students and wanted us not only to succeed but also to take care of our mental and physical wellbeing (a rarity for a Columbia professor). I will genuinely miss being in his class next semester. If you get a chance to take Spanish with him, do not hesitate.
I'm writing this review before the end of this semester for those of you who (like me) are planning for class registration for next semester. If anything changes by the end of the semester (and I don't think it will) I'll make an update. Francisca is an excellent professor. Super nice, pretty funny, and overall just wonderful at teaching Spanish. The majority of the class is in Spanish, which I think is really helpful for learning, but she will say things in English at times just to make sure the important stuff is clear. She's very willing to answer any questions and makes an effort to get to know and to interact with her students. Of the three Spanish classes I've taken at Columbia, this one is probably the most work-intensive but it's not too bad. She assigns a lot of MySpanishLab (I think she doesn't know how time-intensive and annoying it is), which is a bummer and there is at least a little bit of homework from one or both of the textbooks due each class. She's a kind of lenient grader in my opinion though and her quizzes (one each unit) are very easy. Overall, if you can take Spanish with her, do it! You won't regret it and you'll learn a lot.
You should take David's class. Whatever level it's at, if you need it and he's teaching it - You. Should. Take. David's. Class. In the past I've been hesitant to take classes with PHD students, and before his class had taken the other language levels with professors, but honestly his was the best experience I've had in a language class at Columbia thus far and not by a small margin. It's so important to feel comfortable in a language class and David has a laid-back teaching style and approachable-ness (mixed with a solid sense of humor) that seems to put everyone at easy, making it so much easier (and more productive) when attempting to use the language. He also manages to get you through the material in a way that leaves you feeling prepared for both the exams and the next class level - He even manages to keep subjects (like grammar) fairly interesting (or at least more interesting than other professors were able to) I'm honestly not sure exactly how he does it - all I know is that it's working. He never had a problem staying after class, answering questions or just generally helping you out. He's not out to crash your GPA and gives off the vibe that he wants you to do well The best way I think I can explain it to you is by telling you that every student in my class. EVERY SINGLE ONE talked about how much they liked David as a professor. Even the kid who was always seemed like he hated it - wanted to go out of his way to thank him for the class. To summarize: You should take his class, you will thank me for it.
Lara was the best Spanish teacher I have had since I started at Columbia. I absolutely suck at Spanish and in other classes with native speaker teachers I felt a lot less comfortable speaking Spanish. She is very encouraging and worked on the things the class actually had problems with. She managed to correct many of the basic problems that had been overlooked by my previous 2 professors. Her class was the most comfortable I have felt speaking Spanish because she does not correct you every time you make the slightest mistake like the native speakers tend to. If you are struggling at Spanish or learning it for the first time I highly recommend taking her class.
Extremely by the book but very nice in our class. Classes were not the most exciting but learned a lot and assignments were pretty clear. A lot of My Spanish Lab, worksheets to take home, four compositions. Lots of group and partner work that was fun and easy during class.
I am taking Elementary I with her. She's an awesome professor, really genuine and pretty understanding about specific needs of students. I look forward to going to class daily to be honest, and despite having no knowledge of Spanish AT ALL before taking the class, I've managed to understand (and retain so much) in so little time. TAKE THIS CLASS
Fran was a great Spanish professor in my eyes. Some of the other students in the class felt differently, but to me, I felt that I learned a lot. Fran places a huge emphasis on spoken Spanish, and I felt that I improved by leaps and bounds conversationally in this class. That said, my grammar didn't improve as much, since he spends less time going over that (and because his notes on the board are super messy), but I didn't mind, and still found the class fulfilling for because my speech improved so much. Fran is a super smart guy--he speaks perfect English, Gallego, Portuguese, Spanish and French (maybe Catalan too? Can't remember), but he doesn't hold the class to his (admittedly ridiculous standard). The bar is set pretty low for grades, and I got pretty much a perfect score despite being far from a perfect student. That said, I took advantage of the class, and I feel that I learned a lot from it. Also, Fran has a sweet accent and is a killer dresser. That's two plusses in my book.
She's great! She really focuses on conversation and therefore a lot of time in class is spent conversing (participation is 20% of the grade and it seems as though she's pretty generous w/ the participation grade as long as you actually participate, which it seems impossible not to). Although in class she emphasizes practicing speaking the language (vocabulary) I feel like the tests and homework emphasize grammar. The grammar in elementary Spanish is significantly easier to grasp than the grammar in intermediate. However, I feel like the sequence (w/ her) is definitely manageable as long as you put in effort and stay on top of all of the grammar.
Mora is a very, very nice person. She often extends deadlines for students if they forget something or if something goes wrong on a project. However, she does assign a LOT of work. I had more work for this class than any other class- and this class wasn't a part of my major and just a requirement! She is very sweet but she's not a great teacher. She sometimes struggled to explain certain concepts in English as she's a native Spanish speaker. The course was manageable but expect to spend a LOT of time doing work for her.
I'm shocked to not see a nugget here. Reyes really cares and pays attention to students - she really seems passionate about the art of teaching and helping her students understand Spanish. Like many professors, she gave the "it's not about the letter, it's about the learning" lecture after she returned the midterm, but unlike many, she seemed to really mean it. She does focus on learning, but that's not to say she's unnecessarily strict - as long as you generally do the work and seem to care, a decent grade should not be hard at all to come by. She made a class that I expected to be miserable, manageable and fun. Highly recommended!
I have been taking Spanish since the 8th grade, so I've had a fair share of Spanish teachers, and Reyes is the BEST Spanish professor I have ever had. By the end of high school, I treated Spanish as a joke class but she completely revived my passion for it AND made me much better at it. I've always been a pretty good speaker but she helped me really improve my writing/grammar. I now want to continue taking Spanish courses past the requirement (Advanced Language Through Content). First of all, Reyes is a very engaging professor. Every class, she comes in with a huge smile and tons of infectious energy. She is very prepared for each and every class and our class respected that of her and began to come very prepared to each class as well. Secondly, she really understands the problems that non-native speakers have with Spanish. If you have a question in the middle of class, she will offer as many explanations as possible to clearly describe whatever grammatical concept you have trouble. In other words, she makes sure you understand everything before she moves on. She loves and cares about her students deeply and it is very obvious. TAKE THIS CLASS WITH REYES, I promise you will not regret it.
Run! This professor is probably the worst you could have. He is extremely nice and he tries so hard but he just really cannot teach. For me, this was the worst combination because I was constantly trying not to get annoyed or frustrated that I didn't understand anything. I thought my inability to learn Spanish was something I was doing, but really, I wasn't learning because he just flat-out wasn't teaching. Fran is extremely unorganized and a bird-brain. He never tells you what is due or when it is due, and the he gets mad at you when you don't turn whatever it is in. Also, I know this is hard to control, but his accent makes it almost impossible to understand him both when he is speaking English and Spanish. I feel bad for writing such a bad review because Fran is such a nice guy, but honestly, I learned nothing and I'm really worried about how I will do in the next level because of it.
Professor Aguilar is my favorite professor I've ever had (granted I just finished freshman year and have only had 9 professors, so take that as you will). She is my favorite type of professor (the ones who scare you shitless so that you do well, but then let slip that they actually are nice people who do care about you). While she was very strict and demanding I learned a lot in that class and also managed to have a lot of fun (she has a lot of great stories that she tells anyone who is willing to listen). I would love to take another class with her (regardless of subject matter) before I graduate.
This is a rather disappointing semester. Classes are exceedingly disorganized, with class discussions often diverging into student led debates over proper grammar use. This teacher is rather uninformed in advanced understanding of the structure of the spanish language. She rarely speaks in spanish, and it is often questionable whether she is even fluent. Tests and quizzes are poorly written, and the amount of reliance on the book belies how little this teacher probable is able to teach and explain the language at all. There are absurd amounts of homework, and classes are exceedingly painful to sit through. Please seek another teacher before wasting your time with this overly pedantic, simple-minded, and deficient teacher.
I took Intermediate I in the Spring with Francisco and really loved it so stayed in his Intermediate II class for the fall. One of the nicest professor's I've met at Columbia - and one who genuinely loves teaching. Encourages activities in pairs, and is never stern. The work seems like a lot sometimes, but it's fairly standard for the Spanish courses and he is very helpful with in-class assignments that help for the essays and his grading is more generous than fair. He will do everythign he can to help you. Both semesters with him were light-hearted and fun so much so that goiung to class was a pleasure, and I hope to take something else with him in the future.
For me, the enthusiasm of the professor made the class. His passion for the language and engaging character made the course's dry textbook material more interesting and accessible. He promoted interesting conversations and was open to the ideas and creativity of students. Particularly, the critical thought and creative use of language he promoted in the class discussions on the required films and short fictions brought Spanish to life in a mature and applicable context. He graded fairly and created a fun classroom environment. I would recommend him.
Professor Aguilar is brilliant; she is clearly an assiduous intellectual and there are times that I think she actually enjoys teaching. She could be an extraordinary professor, however, she is impatient, intolerant of mistakes, intimidating, and borderline verbally abusive. Disparaging comments were not uncommon throughout the course; she stops her feet, yells, and she even managed to make a girl cry in my class, as well. Profesora Aguilar could be an amazing professor if she would maintain her professionalism and watch her temper (which flared almost every single class period). Other than her regular temper tantrums, she's a great professor. In my opinion, though, belittling students with constant degrading comments is unacceptable and frankly, inexcusable. Good luck with getting feedback on graded essay assignments. Professor Aguilar's comments/corrections on papers were completely illegible. She is a thorough grader but unfortunately, corrections are worthless as you cannot understand what any of it means (and this is not for a terrible paper - I never got anything less than a B on any graded assignment). On the plus side - Professor Aguilar is terrifying and as a result, you work extremely hard to avoid her wrath. You DO learn a lot, but you'll have to decide if it's worth the many hours of therapy that you'll be needing once you finish the course.
As someone said in one of these reviews, Francisco really does have a sweet heart and I can honestly say that every class has been enjoyable. In fact, his class was the most fun class I've ever had in college (I'm going to be a junior). He is kind and understanding if you really can't finish an assignment on time. He encourages us talking to one another, and we often work in pairs for every class. He might call on a student, but he does it in a friendly manner and it's OK if you don't know the answer or sound unsure.
Heather Cleary-Wolfgang is the best thing since sliced bread and the movie Mean Girls. She is awesome, understanding, smart, and while serious enough to teach you Spanish also occasionally funny. I know that the semester is not over yet but I just couldn't wait to write this review about her. Basically what you do in most of the classes is pair or group up in the beginning and talk for about 10 minutes about a mostly random topic (What did you do this weekend/last evening, something like that) to "warm up". Then you usually talk about grammar, which she explains clearly and understandably even when it comes to the fuzzy subjects of when to use the different tenses (you will talk about that a lot in this class). She also adheres to the book somewhat closely so you will be doing a good number of exercises, mostly in pairs or groups, which way you will get to know pretty much all of your classmates. Throughout all of this, Heather will be nice, open to questions at all times and answer them patiently. Something that not everybody might appreciate is her approach to praise students a lot and be very cautious with calling something outright wrong. I usually don't talk a lot in class and I find this helpful in participating more but everybody might not like it, although it's not exactly a flaw. What I'm trying to say here is: If you're taking a Spanish class, take Heather before the word spreads and her classes fill up. I'm actually sad that she won't be teaching Intermediate II this fall and I won't be able to take her class again.
I liked Senor Suarez a lot. He obviously loves teaching kids and has fun with it. His class, though, requires a lot of busy work before every class, and on top of everything else there are daily postings on this facebook like site called edmodo. Also, there is a final project with parts needing to be done weekly, so that builds up as well. In class can be slow from time to time, but there are a lot of presentations and conversation. My biggest qualm is that the midterm and final were mostly grammar based, and we spent very little time in class going over grammar. Also, Jesus doesn't believe in worksheets for extra practice with grammar and tense mixers, so its hard to study for the departmental tests. On a ligther note, he helps you become more fluent and a better speaker, as well as teaches you a bit of spanish culture. Overall, I'd recommend Jesus' class.
I agree with most of the other reviews that say Rayo is an easy grader and enjoys goofiness in class. I also agree that, in her class, you will most likely not learn much Spanish. However, there are shades of gray: before coming to her class I never knew certain tenses in Spanish even existed, and this class is where I finally learned them. Of course, with Rayo's haphazard teaching style that doesn't really reach the students at their level (she either aims too high, thinking we know more than we do, or too low, thinking we know less than we do), it was DIFFICULT to learn those new tenses--but I learned them eventually. Basically, this is not a hard class. She goes over the language itself somewhat (or she tries to, at least), but most of the time you can just say "como se dice ___?" and she will not only fill in the blank for you but go off on a talkative tangent about the first indiginous president of Bolivia or the tango. All you have to do at those times is sit and half-listen.
I donâ€™t entirely regret taking Rayoâ€™s class but wouldnâ€™t do it again or recommend it. I realized afterward that I did well because sheâ€™s not very demanding, so I didnâ€™t learn as much as I should have. Sheâ€™s also a little creepy but perfectly nice.
Javier was such a pleasure to have as a teacher. he's so kind, earnest, and really cares about his students, and takes care in grading papers and assignments. my previous spanish professors weren't native speakers, so at times i had a hard time understanding his spanish accent (he's from spain). but still, such a gem.
Oscar was really sweet and wanted us to be excited about his class. The main criticism I have of him was that he was just too young and unexperienced with teaching. I felt like things got better at the end of the semester when the class was more comfortable with each other, but for the whole first half I dreaded going to spanish because the atmosphere was sort of awkward, and not at all fun. Other spanish classes I've had at Columbia were great because the professors set very clear boundaries and expectations on the first day, and were very strict in their enforcement. That personally makes me feel more comfortable, and makes the class dynamics easier because everyone knows what is expected of them. For example, in Raquel's class she made it clear that everyone MUST speak in spanish and participate to a large degree, and that automatically made the class atmosphere easier and the students less insecure about speaking because they knew it was an expectation everyone was held to. I think Oscar will be a great professor once he learns that he should be a little stricter initially. I also struggled to comprehend the concepts in some of his lectures, but he was very approachable and encouraged us to visit him during office hours if there was anything we had trouble with.
I am not the type of person who reviews professors badly, but this experience was something terrible. To give her a little credit, I liked her a lot. I thought she was smart and funny and she knew a lot about music and art and humanities. Does she care if her stories are interesting? No, but that's what's funny about her. Her clothing was weird, she was kooky, and she is knowledgeable in a lot of subjects, but also insecure as hell. A friend of mine knows her as a person, not a professor, and loves her. I could see that happening, but unfortunately I had the displeasure to be in her class. She is also terrifying in appearance and personality. Once she threw something at a student, she yelled, screamed, etc. I have blocked out a good deal of her class because I sat there hoping that she wouldn't call on me the entire time, and saw most of the class tremble uncontrollably in her presence. The only people who did well or enjoyed it were people who took a too low level Spanish class for an easy A. She does not encourage you to talk to or to be friendly with the other people in the class. The only thing you can do is similarly lament the C- you received on another paper or quiz. Office hours are helpful, but she mostly complains that other Spanish teachers are too easy, talks about her time in the 1960s, quotes Bertram Russell, etc, etc. She expects you to remember everything she says, even if she says it once. I am not a language person, and this was my first language class at Columbia. I left convinced I was an idiot with no capability to ever learn Spanish, and it was incredibly scarring and follows me today, even after a great Intermediate II Professor and two months in Latin America. If you are a Spanish speaker or a masochist, this could be great. Otherwise, steer clear.
Roxanna is sooo nice. I took her for both Int. I and II because she made the class comfortable and explained tenses and concepts. The workload is typical of other spanish classes but as a professor she is extremely accessible and genuinely cares. I would definitely recommend her.
TAKE FRANCISCO'S CLASS!! He is honestly the best spanish professor I have ever had. Though the reasons he rocks your socks are numerous, here are my top three: 1. His class always seems to fly by. I often enjoy going to class, which is saying something. 2. He has a legitimate interest in helping you learn the language. If you ever have a question, he will answer it for you, and his critiques on written work are ALWAYS helpful. 3. He's legit. And spanish!! But not the annoying kind of spanish who likes to teach you about how Spain conquered the new world a long long time ago. The techno-listening, discoteca-hopping, chic kind. In all, TAKE HIS CLASS!!
LITERALLY the best professor I've ever had. Could not be funnier, more enthusiastic, sweeter, or better in any way. So easygoing, carefree, lighthearted, adorable. I wish I could take every single class with him but unfortunately he does not teach above the Intermediate Spanish I level. I cried after the final, because I knew I got an A but also because it was my favorite class EVER. He has a way of making everyone in the class fall in love with him and with each other and never want to be anywhere else but in that classroom, basking in his hilariousness and intelligence and passion. I could go on and on. I'm pretty sure that everyone did well in this class. You'll get an A if you're enthusiastic and fun, regardless of how well you actually perform on the EASY tests and papers. Come to think of it, nothing but the midterm and final was actually graded....We got to revise the SHORT papers we did and knowing him he probably gave everyone full credit anyway. This being said, I learned so much from him without the annoyance of traditional class/homework. He made me want to become fluent and continue my Spanish studies. ALSO HE IS HILARIOUS if you haven't caught on. I LOVE HIM and you will too, it would be impossible not to unless you generally hate life and everything that is wonderful.
I think she is a great Spanish teacher. She is very good at teaching grammar and makes class fun. But she moves quickly, so pay attention. She often shows interesting youtube videos. She gives insane amounts of homework. I spent way more time on Spanish than I anticipated. But you can get away with not doing all of the work because half of it she doesn't check and she tells you what we will go over in class when she assigns it. She's very organized and assigns work ahead of time. Uses courseworks a lot. If you are really interested in learning Spanish take her. If you're just doing it for a requirement then you might want to pick an easier teacher.
Francisco is a great guy. He truly wants everyone to do well in his class. I definitely recommend this class!
Prof. Perez-Zapatero is kind, thoughtful, and an incredibly fair and engaging teacher. His class was always fun, and he was always willing to help out his students if they needed clarification on material or extra help. He put care into grading every assignment, essay, and exam, giving every student a lot of helpful comments. This class was a pleasure. I would take Intermediate I with Prof. Perez-Zapatero if you can; I have never had a professor who cared more about his students.
i came into this class thinking it was going to be easy; i was blessed with a great teacher for the last two semesters. however, javier made this class so hard! he really sticks to the syllabus, and is a VERY tough grader for the first few essays (probably in an attempt to motivate us to do better, however, i did not need the shock of a C+ when i usually get A's...). he also does not really give easy explanations of grammar, only breezing through departmental power points and just assuming that we understand, when usually more than half of us do not. he is also a native speaker, which makes it hard to understand him. by the end of the semester, i still only understood about 40% of what he said. that being said, he still really cares about his students. he is helpful, caring, and really wants us to do well. he was helpful when i wanted help with an essay, and we patient as he went through all of my mistakes on the draft.
I took Sooudi for both elementary spanish II and intermediate spanish I. I would recommend this class if you have a little background in spanish. Sooudi is well organized (following the syllabus very closely), very helpful, and also patient. I definitely recommend visiting her in her office hours if you are confused at all on her material. She is very helpful outside the classroom, and will even make time for students that can't visit during her office hours. I would recommend Sooudi if you have taken spanish in high school and have a very basic understanding of some of the material, but i would not recommend her of you do not have any foundations in spanish. Overall, she is a very well prepared teacher who is understanding and helpful (which is hard to find at Columbia). She grades work fairly and averages the rough draft and final draft of your essays to get your final grade on an essay.
Mauricio is a straight up great guy. Sure you are going to do the typical-of-a-Spanish-class busy work (some grammar exercises and a few short compositions), but its going to be more fun than work. Every time someone had a birthday, half-birthday, or life event of any type, he'd have us bring in party food and Spanish music and let us socialize and relax. The grading is especially resonable as well, and the mandatory chapter quizzes, midterm, and final are as painless as could be expected. He's an understanding guy that sometimes gets a little boring, but with the material he's given to teach, small amounts of monotonity are unavoidable. Basically, you will review your understanding of Spanish while gaining a newfound respect for Shakira and Juanes' Spanish hits. Definitely worth taking.
I love this woman! Celia is one of my favorite teachers at Columbia. She is sweet, funny and LOVES her students. Sometimes she gets a little frustrated when the class takes her for granted and starts to slack off but overall she is a wonderful instructor and a cool person. The workload is nothing that you can't handle and she grades relatively easy. If you know the basics, study the review sheets she gives you and come to class consistently; You will do fine. She really is there to help you and doesnt want to give you a hard time. Her accent is a bit difficult to understand at first but she reads things slowly on the exams to compensate. If you are in this class you are lucky and won't be disappointed. The basic guidelines for Intermediate 1 applies but she doesn't pile on extra work. Plus, there is room for creativity on compositions. Watch your grammar, ask questions and be engaged in the classroom experience and you will get a good grade (probably a better one than you deserve).
I don't know why some people seem to hate Raquel so much. True she is eccentric, strict, and sometimes temperamental, but she is a fantastic person and a great person. She helped me whenever I needed it after class or in her office hours. As long as you are not rude and try to participate in her class she will love you and respect you. I know people warned you about yawning, which is entirely true, this semester she kicked two people out of class for yawning...and ONE OF THEM WAS ME. She talked to me after class the next day an explained how it wasn't because she thought I was rude or anything, it just has to do with class atmosphere and apparently (she didn't say this) it's really rude in Spain (where she's from) to yawn. Anyway, despite all of that she is SO HELPFUL, she goes over quizes with me, gets excited when any of her students do well, and she goes the extra mile to help me prepare for tests...she even printed out some helpful hints she had on studying for foreign language tests for me. She is the nicest lady, always greeting her students with enthusiasm and a huge SMILE. I know she is slightly out there at times, but if you just go with the flow I'm sure you will be entertained and enjoy her class just like I did. It was a 9 am class, but I was excited to go to it (almost) every day!
Professor Crapotta is one of those professors you either love or hate. There is no middle ground. I enjoyed his class immensely, but I know people who stand outside the sign-up sheet in Milbank warning against him. He is kind of a hardass with pronounciation and if you don't participate willingly he gets annoyed. My advice to anyone in this class is to be polite, prepared and willing to take a risk. FYI-- he kind of has a temper, so save your attitude for someone willing to raise your grade.
Raquel was great. Not only did I learn a lot, but I actually enjoyed going to class. Raquel is enthusiastic, funny, and an overall excellent teacher. She demands that only Spanish be spoken during class, which is great for learning the language. As long as you go to class, usually on time and don't yawn, stretch, or eat, you'll have no problems. She's also not obsessed with grades and would rather you understand and learn the language.
Marissa Garland is the absolute best! I learned more Spanish in one semester than I did in all four years in high school. We played games, held discussions, wrote skits, analyzed a play (Bodas de Sangre) and short story (El Hijo y La Madre) in essay form and class was always fun. She really cares about her students and the material she's teaching. I would suggest visting her during office hours if you don't understand a concept or you just want to reinforce a topic. Marissa makes a 9 AM class enjoyable and fun!
although many criticize her for not teaching grammar, i have learned a lot of spanish from her class. she is very eccentric and entertaining. she loves poetry and discussing history, which i think makes the class less tedious. although this class for me was review, so i'm not sure how much i would have learned if i had no idea what i was getting into. profesora rayo is very, very nice and understanding. the class is easy, too.
I think that Prof. Borgman was great. She tried really hard to engage everybody in conversation and to make class exiting. Some days I felt bad for her though because nobody would talk, and if they did, they would give one word answers. Although she may not have been the best at teaching the grammar, she definitely notices the people who put in effort, even though not much is required, because almost all of the work is in the workbook. Prof. Borgman also has a good sense of humor, and enjoys students who attempt to talk a lot in class, even if they make fools of themselves. She does make some jokes that people do not understand, because they are in spanish, but if you nod and smile when she is talking she will think you completely understand her and like you. She is a fair grader and a nice woman.
Some of the other reviews on this professor are almost honest but they wind up being very slanted. Here's the straight deal. This professor isn't for everybody. If you really have no interest in Spanish and are only interested in completing the requirement, don't take his class. Your lack of enthusiasm will show through in your class performance and it's going to be hell for the whole semester. On the other hand, if you really want to learn Spanish, he's one of the best. He does assign a lot of work, but if you're learning a language, it's not going to happen if you don't put in a lot of effort and practice. He's a stickler about not using any English during class, and for good reason. English is a crutch in an intermediate class, and it will hold you back if you or the teacher uses it. He is picky about accents, but accents are not that hard once you understand them and if you're having trouble with them he will help you. I found his grading to be fairly lenient. He scrupulously marked all the mistakes on my quizzes and compositions (and there were a lot), but he only deducted small amounts for most things, and deducted nothing in many cases. He brings an enthusiasm to the class that can't be beaten and makes you want to do well. He loves his native language and wants to pass on that love of Spanish to all of his students. I actually placed into Intermediate Spanish II, but I took Intermediate I with professor Castellanos-Pazos because it was immediately obvious to me that I would learn a lot more with him than with the two Intermediate II teachers I tried out. I highly recommend his class for anyone serious about learning Spanish.
Brendan is an excellent Spanish teacher. His course is comprehensive but not difficult. Tests and writing assigments are fair. I had not studied Spanish for a year and a half before studying with Brendan, and my conversational and writing skills improved vastly over the course of a mere semester. I recommend him.
Lanctot was a very good instructor. I didn't find him arrogant at all. He was enthusiastic and entertaining, and his discussions were engaging enough that it was always easy to participate, especially considering that the class met at 9:00 am, four days a week. He was always helpful and approachable, both after class and during office hours, and was clearly invested in keeing things interesting. His spanish is easy to understand, he is very knowledgable, and it is apparent that he sees it as his job to teach his students more than just the grammar, but also about culture and literature. He gets excited and gestures a lot, and tends to write furiously on the board, but his enthusiasm was contagious, and ended up creating a really nice class atmosphere. He did a good job helping us though Bodas de Sangre, which was way too hard for 1201. I'd take his class again.
Not too bad, but I would recommend that you take this course with a different professor. She loves class participation, so if you are not willing to speak up in class, do not take this section. Her quizzes and tests are pretty easy, but she gives a lot of busywork for homework. I did not enjoy this class at all, but it was tolerable.
committed to making sure that students actually LEARN spanish, and also an incredibly sweet woman. includes cultural activities, will not let you slide with an american accent.
If you are looking to learn good Spanish, this is not the class for you. Don't get me wrong, Viviana is an extremely nice instructor, willing to help, but her class does little to further your knowledge of the Spanish language. A native Puerto Rican, she has trouble communicating in English and often speaks poor Spanish herself. She assigns nearly every excercise in the workbook for homework, but never once does she review the answers in class. The quizzes are short, but relatively tricky and you can bullshit your way through about 4, one page essays, which she gives you the opportunity to correct before she grades. I found waking up for this class half the battle, but going is definitely worth it because after three absences she begins deducting from your participation grade. And believe it or not, this could hurt your chances of an easy A. This class is fairly easy, but don't expect to finish the semester with any greater knowledge of the language.
Raquel is great! I'm continuing with her next semester as long as the class works with my schedule. The class is well organized, sensible, and sets reasonable expectations for students. As long as you're respectful and engaged she'll do her best to bump up your grade.
This woman is my favorite person at Barnard. She absolutely loves what she does, and it shows. I think the other reviews pretty fairly sum her up, but I had a conversation with her once after class (as she waited for me to complete part of a test that I had accidentally left blank the week before), and she moved me to tears! I am not kidding...She talked about how she just wants to share this language and culture that she loves with the students, and make it fun and fair for them, to encourage a love of learning and a mastery of the language. I definitely learned more Spanish, as she took any opportunity available to teach us something new. I recommend her to anyone. She will call on everyone in class, but I hate speaking, and I was an active participator for once. The end-of- semester evaluation will be fun, I swear! It ends up being like a love letter...haha.
Prof. Rodas is the best and cutest teacher EVER! I agree with all of the reviews here. She is a hard grader on essays and tests, but when it comes to the final grade, she is generous. I've never had a teacher that was so devoted to a class in my life. She always came to class smiling with enthusiasm. I was actually excited to go to this class, and I'm not the greatest at Spanish. Bottom line, take her if you can. Don't be discouraged by her picky grading, its all worth it. I'm taking her again for Intermediate II!
Rodas is the sweetest teacher, and clearly enjoys her job. She encourages her students to participate, but does not force them to do so. She creates an environment that is easy to learn in, and the class discussions definately help improve grammar and vocabulary. Her tests are somewhat unclear at times, and her grading in not that straightforward, but on the upside, she grades fairly easily when it comes to overall grade.
Professor Rodas is an extremely flamboyant and exuberant person who definitely takes Spanish seriously. She makes class very fun, and if you are not exactly excited about speaking in Spanish, she makes it relatively painless with her enthusiasm and support. Her grading is a little hard, however, and she takes her tests and essays seriously as well. Overall, a very sweet woman who can definitely teach. She's very flexible with due dates, and very accomodating of her students.
Lorena Rodas is the best spanish teacher i have ever had. She speaks clearly and is sooo nice. There is barely ever homework but you really do learn spanish. She is wonderful...totally reccommend her!
I have to say that I did not learn much spanish in Flora's class. She is spacey and acts not all together there, but she is an incredibly smart woman. I learned a lot of things that were not related to spanish. I like Flora as an individual but not as a GOOD spanish teacher. If you are looking forward to learning Spanish switch out. Her expectations are low, she does pare down the workload and excepts everything late. She lost all my assignments, so save all your work! You get a B if your grammar is not up to par already because you don't learn if from her. All her quizzes were writing sentences.
I really liked Viviana. Maybe its because I had shitty teachers in high school, but I thought I learned a lot at the same time. Fair enough, for a 10 am class that met 4 days a week, I sometimes had to fight sleep off, but the A I earned at the end of the semester was worth the early alarm setting. VIviana (who wants her students to call her by her first name) is very energetic and enthusiastic. Although not perhaps the greatest teacher, she is always willing to meet with students and will stop to answer any questions you have. She follows the book, so you don't need to worry about understanding everything she says in class (which is almost 100% in spanish). We had 7 small quizzes, drop the lowest grade. I think 4 essays, which she marks up, hands back, lets you fix, and then grades. Piece of cake. Read one novel and watched one movie. Midterm and final (departmental - not so hard). She follows the department format for everything so its really easy to prepare for the final at the end. Definately would recommend Viviana.
Great class, great professor! Highly recommended, best spanish class I have ever taken.
Pepe is HILARIOUS. You do feel a little sorry for the people that he makes fun of, but not really b/c its usually warranted and they don't understand what he's saying anyway. Class can get a bit boring with all the repetition and emphasis on pronunciation, but he knows what he's doing. Best instructor I've had in the spanish depart. Grading is reasonable, especially considering that I didnt take spanish in high school. Do the homework assignments b/c he always goes over them and likes to call on people that he knows didnt do the work.
I absolutely adore Prof. Rodas. She is by far the nicest and best Spanish teacher I have ever had. She is very encouraging, but also a fair grader: not too hard, not too easy. She is also knowledgable about culture and art and is very bright overall. Needless to say, I recommend Prof. Rodas to the fullest. In fact, I'm planning to take her again for Int. II!
I enjoyed this class and I'd recommend it to those who need to take it for the Spanish requirement. Pepe was funny and wasn't really mean to people after the first week or so and he allowed everyone to be involved in the class. I felt like I was prepared for the quizzes, midterm, and final, and felt like I learned significantly more in this class than I did in any of the previous ones in the sequence.
Prof Lewis was a great professor. The workload was easy and her classes were always nice and relaxed. If you are looking for an enjoyable spanish class that requires little work, this is the one to take.
I wonder if Alma realizes that we are Columbia students and we DO take 4 other classes. She runs through each chapter in 3-4 classes. In these 3 or session she, assigns exercises from the text due for each class period, and expects the entire work book chapter (20 pages of fill in the blank type stuff) to be done, and wants us to be ready for a quiz. The entire semester runs like that with 4 compositions, midterm, and final somewhere in between. Once we had a quiz and the Midterm in 2 consecutive sessions. She also expects a lot more in terms of proficiency from her student than she reasonably gets at this level. Expect many session to consist of blank looks as she yells in spanish about how we really need to start understanding more. Bodas de Sangre is brutal. No one knew what was going on and we sat there class after class in painful silence.
Flora is colorful and loud, and tends to be a bit "spacey" as another reviewer mentioned. Her class is embarassingly easy; she frequently pares down the syllabus and she never checks workbook exercises. Her quizzes are fair, and even if you get B's on them you'll end up with an A because of "participation" and, well, because everyone gets an A with Flora. She may lose your assignments which is annoying, but you can always just bring in another copy later on. She accepts things late, too. A large component of the grade is how perky you seem in class and how much over-acting you do on presentations and the final skit. Also, be prepared to shower her with praises. Seriously, sometimes she will ask something like "Who's the best?" and everyone yells back "FLORA!!!" but this is all worth it for the easy A, random food she brings in some days, singing happy birthday to people in class, etc. Also, don't underestimate her. She knows a great deal about international politics, literature, women's studies, and other interesting topics. You may be surprised at what you learn (even if it's not Spanish!).
Warning!!! By far the worst Professor I have ever encountered at this institution. He is an awful teacher and speaks a mix of spanish and Portuguese. If you do not have a great grasp of the language he shows no mercy. He takes points off for every little mistake and missed accents. I mean come on some of us are just learning the language and trying to satisfy a requirement. He doesn't care and will take .25 off if you forgot to dot your i's. I worked very hard in this class (as did many others) and he knew it, but disregarded this and gave many bad final grades to people. I would never go within ten miles of this evil little man's class again.
Paz is a wonderful person and a wonderful teacher. She understands that her students will work better if a little of the pressure of grades is lifted- she grades clearly and easily and makes even those who hate languages want to learn Spanish. Always available for help outside of class, and fun and interesting in the classroom. You can't go wrong.
Too bad he is not teaching Int. Span II next semester. He is indeed an excellent professor. He is down-to earth. Take this class if you really want to learn spanish, at least to learn how to speak in span somewhat fluently. When you take this class you would have to speak in class, which is great b/c you dont really know a language until you speak it. I have been taking spanish since middle school and I have to say I spoke more spanish in this semester than in all of my other yrs of learning spanish. Jesus is a great guy. He will defintely take the time to get know everyone individually. You would have to bear with him on his english, that is whenever he speaks in Eng. He speaks in spanish most of the time and will speak to u in english only when u really dont understand him. He is definitely understandable and approachable, both inside and outside of class. I highly recommend his classes.
It's Spanish, so it's going to be pretty hard to make it actually "fun" and/or "interesting". Lanctot was adequate, nothing more, nothing less - graded easily, assigned a lot of useless workbook assignments that don't really help you learn anything, and tried to get us to talk during class. I've had better Spanish profs before, so I was sort of disappointed with the class (most of which was just review of Elementary Spanish I and II). There's better ways to get through the language requirement, believe me, but he won't make your life miserable. Just don't expect to love going to class four days a week.
She is a very interesting woman. He is very cultured, and not just in Hispanic culture. She has a great singing voice and will often burst into song for the class. But it is true, if you get her to like you, you're home free. If not, prepare to be called on a lot. She does this with good intentions though, because she concentrates on the weaker students in order to get them to learn Spanish. Don't slack off, work hard, study grammar and don't forget it. Be active in class, she values that a lot. She is always available during office hours. If you do what she tells you to, you will doubtlessly leave that class knowing a good deal of Spanish. I would recommend her if you want to learn Spanish and are willing to work hard. This is not as important, but try to address her with the Usted form or she will correct you.
Maria is the best. She made class comfortable and by the end of the semester she felt like a friend. She even invited us to go out for lunch and dancing several times. I have so much trouble with spanish but i could understand the material and i did well.
I agree completely with the other review. Maria is GREAT and fun and so adorable, and her clothes are EXTRA cute. I took Spanish in high school and didn't learn a thing and being in her class for one semester totally caught me up on all the grammar I had missed. Now I'm a Spanish major. Don't make her sad by not doing the homework!
Watch out. I thought I'd rise to the challenge and not let this woman get the best of me, but it's just not worth it. I still regret it. She's very opinionated and thinks so highly of herself that she doesn't care about making you look and feel incredibly stupid. Run if you still can.
Now this is the class you want to be in. If you're a little nervous in a language class and worried about that gringo accent of yours, relax! Carimer is encouraging and fun as well as entertaining. She seeks to understand what sentences you are trying to construct, while hopelessly butchering, and doesn't make you feel selfconscious while you do it. I have the highest praise for her and her class...and I dread language courses.
If you're an uptight liberal with no sense of humor, don't take this gentleman's class. Pepe is funny, light-hearted, and empathetic. Some students complain that he is unreasonable, but only because they can't hand their work in on time -- or take a joke. Yes, his grading scheme has little rhyme or reason to it and he may, at times, SEEM abrasive and impatient, but everyone I've spoken to received the grade they felt they deserved (about 6 of us) and agreed that he is an absolute pleasure to learn from. I received lower then an "A," but also realize that I am not an outstanding spanish linguist and was graded fairly. Get over yourself, do some work, and have some fun. If you're too worried about your grade or your hypersensitive ego, then run like the lazy coward you are. Otherwise, smile and enjoy the ride.
Loud, rude, obnoxious --- but what a teacher!! Unlike many teachers, who stick to a syllabus, Sra. Aguilar is more concerned with you learning the material, so she'll conduct the class based on the speed the students are going at, and will teach and reteach concepts and quiz you on them until everyone does well. And she continuously says not to worry about the letter/numerical grades you get on the quizzes and tests, because she will give you your grade based on how well SHE thinks you're doing in class --which you can take at face value, I suppose, but it can also be a teacher's way of saying "get on my bad side and pay the price." But I have to say, it was definitely more of a motivation to learn when I was worrying more about my progress in understanding the language than what was showing up on paper. Be prepared for her to scold you if you're not doing something right, though. And for her randomly to break out into Spanish song (which she likes to teach).
wonderfully laid back and fun, carimer is a really bright woman and a rockin teacher. she doesn't take anyone's intelligence for granted, which so easily happens when no one can really speak communicatively (which is basically the case in low-level language courses). watch out for her no late papers policy-- she actually DOESN'T accept anything late & you'll get a zero-- surprising for her otherwise chill persona.
Professor Jesus Suarez-Garcia is a nice guy. From Spain, so he has a lisp when he talks but it doesn't hinder you from understanding him. You have to speak spanish in this class, but he's real nice about it. He helps you out. Overall, a good guy.
Profesora Aguilar's class was an experience -- to say the least. She has a very vast body knowledge with regards to Spanish grammar and Mexican culture. However, she has very little patience for "jovenes estupidos" (also known as my Intermediate Spanish section). Granted, we were NOT the brightest class, but I did feel that her grading was excessively harsh. C's and D's were hardly uncommon grades on tests and quizzes. I think the F Fairy also visited my class a few times. However, you WILL learn a lot. I can conjugate in my sleep now and my ability to speak has improved infinitely because of her. This class is very challenging, but there were some fun times, too. One-on-one, she is very kind, helpful, and funny; in the classroom, though, she is much more intimidating (but still somewhat funny). The professor has a beautiful voice and she sang to us on a few occasions. The projects in this class were more interesting than most, too. You will be put on the spot a few times and you may get called a few names, but I think it's worth it. If you are serious about improving your language skills (you learn stuff that improves your comprehension of ANY language), then this is the class for you. It's a true challenge. However, if you just want a fun, breezy Spanish class, then take it across the street. The 'Yard has kindler, gentler Spanish classes where you never have to open a book or use your brain.
Likes students, good atmosphere. First name basis with her students. Homework is easy, quizzes are somewhat nitpicky but not too bad.
Raquel seems very intent upon using repetition as a method of teaching concepts. This should be taken as either a suggestion or a warning depending on the individual. For me, it didn't help as much as I would have liked because the repetitive exercises centered around grammatical structure, which didn't seem to need as much attention as vocabulary building. As a result, problems occured on her tests because she tends to use a lot of unfamiliar vocabulary in subjective situations which makes thourough, and even correct answers difficult to produce at times. However, she is enthusiastic, so the class, however helpful or not, is never a snoozfest.
One of the popular favorites. Xavier is a warm and funny guy, who loves to teach. The workload is on the light side; slack off, though, and he gets pissed. Not hard to slip by, but there is plenty of opportunity to learn, and he loves to answer questions. Heavier than most on discussion, but because the class is fun it's more easygoing than with other teachers, which is good for us shy types who want to practice our verbal Spanish skills.