Elementary French I and II

Jun 2020

I took both semesters of Elementary French with Professor Suter and it was overall a great experience. Professor Suter includes a lot of other materials outside of the textbook for class, which I really liked. I learned about French culture and discovered some great French music that she played for us. My only complaint is that it was extremely intimidating going into the class with no experience since it is taught completely in French from day one. I know that this is the case for most modern foreign language classes at Barnard/Columbia, but it can be really difficult if you have social anxiety, so I would recommend learning some French before the first semester starts so that you are more comfortable in the classroom. The workload wasn't too much, although the workbook homework was often repetitive and annoying (although that isn't her fault because she didn't create it).

Apr 2015

My first year at Barnard would have been way worse without Masha every morning. She is really incredible. Our class was small- 5-8 students. We all bonded with her and our class had this incredibly fun, loving, and engaging dynamic. Masha is a really interesting person and so sometimes we would get distracted from our lesson and talk about life and tell stories. Usually when we did this, we would talk in French so I felt like my French were really improving because I was learning to converse about normal stuff in French. She is really good at explaining stuff, but if you do the very light reading and the worksheets and you participate, this class should not be hard. Masha really cares about our learning and our interest and it really shows. My whole class adores her, and one boy even scheduled our class during his mandatory Core class and skipped it just so he could take Masha's class. On holidays she will bring bags and bags of Dylan's Candy Bar candy and give it to us to take home, and twice we also had a fancy cheese and cracker party. I feel like I've learned so much French and that I really wanted to learn it and enjoyed it. She is a badass- she will not take shit from you so don't try and pull anything over her. ALWAYS print your essays and bring them to class. Don't skip unless you have a good reason and she really likes you. She has a lot of really fascinating stories and a ridiculous background so get to know her if you get the chance. Respect her, and she will respect you.

Oct 2014

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

Nov 2013

The best professor I have had at Columbia. She speaks only French in class and it is overwhelming at the first class because you don't know a word. However, you end up learning to speak very very quickly with her teaching methods. Pascale is extremely nice, very lively and energetic. With an 8 credit class that meets for two hours every day, I cannot imagine the class being pleasurable if it was not for her. You end up learning a lot, and after just a few month find that the language that made no sense at all at the beginning of the semester does make sense and you can actually speak/read it. I don't think I have ever learned this much over the course of a semester. She makes a lot of cultural comments, so you end up learning about French culture, too. Also uses a lot of outside material in class- videos, games, poetry etc.. Everybody loved Pascale, we got her a cake for her birthday. I was sad when the semester was over. Overall, amazing class for somebody who wants to learn French.

Feb 2011

What's great about Brian's class is how much French you learn while exerting almost no effort. What's not so great is Brian's condescending and dismissive attitude. That's not to say that Brian can't be nice or that his class is never enjoyable – and in terms of his ability to effectively teach French, he's got a lot going for him. But because of his attitude and his ugly side – when it comes out, he can become derisive, which, if you appreciate kindness, is a bit jarring – his ability to garner respect in limited.

Jan 2011

What an incredible prof. She has the enthusiasm and energy of a first time teacher with all the knowledge and experience of a seasoned pro. She has beautifully tailored answers to any question you could ask and has put a lot of thought into her teaching materials. I found the course to be a fair bit of work - cramming two semesters of French into one is no small feat. And while her exams are hard, they're very fair and my grades directly reflected how hard I studied. I adore how she wouldn't let us slide on pronunciation. A handful of us in the class had backgrounds in Spanish, and were prone to certain errors because of similarities between the languages. I was maybe the worst about this, and she was patient but insistent that I make strides to improve. My spoken French still leaves much to be desired, but I'm amazed at how solid my listening comprehension is after this one course. I catch bits of French conversation on the train and get a lot of dialogue in French language movies. In short: overwhelming positive experience. H-L is charming and dedicated and exactly the person you want to introduce you to French.

Oct 2010

I hate this man. He is condescending and an elitist. He'll frequently make fun of Ohio State University and the like. And he does not know how to give constructive criticism. He appears to be really nice, but his nasty side really comes out once in a while. True he is a easy going and his work load is reasonable, but I just can't get over this man's personality. I got As in his class, so don't think this is revenge. If you are not bothered by your professor's personality, take this class. But I rather get taught by someone who's compassionate than by a jerk.

Jul 2010

The Accelerated Elementary French course with Prof. Hubert-Leibler was perhaps my favorite class during my first semester at Columbia. Prof. Hubert-Leibler truly loves her job and her students, and it shows each day of class. Extremely energetic and thorough, she creates an intense learning environment that doesn't ever actually seem intense. The progress of each student, myself included, was so impressive, and she let us know that too! From the amusing music videos to humorous YouTube clips that helped us with our studies, I give her most of the credit for my continued success with the French language. Knowledgable in multiple languages, she can also often help you if you are having interference with your learning. She doesn't walk around the class even, she runs! I still go and visit her, and every time we cross paths, she gives a huge smile and a "Bonjour!" A one-of-a-kind professor, Prof. Hubert-Leibler is most definitely THE person to start your French studies.

Feb 2010

I had Professor Hubert-Leibler for Accelerated Elementary French and she is AWESOME! Very kind and sincere, she always comes into class with a cheerful "Bonjour!" She is patient and does not use any English (unless there is something that she thinks will be too difficult for us to understand). She also uses great teaching techniques--props, skits, and games to make the 2 hour class stimulating. I totally enjoyed her classes and recommend her 100%! P.S. This class might be a little intense if you do not have some background. You might want to stick to the regular class if that is the case.

Apr 2003

(Barnard professor) At first, you'll feel like she's really mean and enjoys putting her students on the spot when they don't know what they're talking about. Some people continue to think this, but if you get past her rather abrupt style, she is really nice, helpful, and willing to go to lengths so that you understand french. If you try, you'll learn a lot in her class.