Ana Paula Huback

Apr 2012

Ana Paula is an intelligent, patient and one of the most dedicated professors I've met at Columbia. If you want to learn Portuguese, she is your professor. Her class is a full immersion class and you will finish the first semester speaking Portuguese in a way that Brazilians will understand you. Her classes are fun, informative, and never a waste of time. The real bonus with Ana Paula is pronunciation. Although she emphasizes grammar, pronunciation does not take a back seat. In fact, pronunciation is so important to her, you won't spend a semester practicing Portuguese with fellow students who mispronounce every other word, rarely being corrected, and come out speaking like an American who cannot get a message across - and worst of all suffer the consequences of being so far behind when you move into the next level. She doesn't simply teach "from the book," but has you watch current, up-to-date Brazilian news, listen and watch Brazilian students communicate using various dialects on subjects that affect real life - not antiquated snippets from the text that no longer apply. And you do this in class, not simply go home and "translate on your own, I'll collect it and comment" and then get stuck with a grade that could have been better had you been given more guidance. Before you leave each class, she makes sure every student "gets it" - the translation, the grammar, the dialect, the pronunciation. She takes the time and patiently has the class as a group transcribe every word in a snippet of news. You will speak Portuguese after only one semester! She is a fair grader, treats everyone with respect, is willing to answer any question, and makes herself available to every student. She even offers extended office hours before exams. If you “don’t get it,” all you have to do is ask – and she’ll explain things until you do understand. She really cares about her students. Best of all, she prepares you the week before so you know what pages to read in advance and keeps you posted (Courseworks) as the semester progresses.