professor
Sonia Montero

Dec 2017

Easily my favorite Spanish class of the four I've taken at Columbia. Sonia is an incredible teacher and person, and I cannot recommend her class highly enough. It was a year for me between Intermediate Spanish I and II, and as someone who is already not good at communicating in Spanish, I was really nervous about this course. It is completely taught in Spanish and Sonia will almost never communicate in English except to give the definitions of some words or clarify important instructions. She doesn’t work with the Gente book at all, though some assignments stem from it, and she’s most interested creating an environment where everyone is speaking Spanish with each other. Sonia worked really hard to make class fun, but even with the relatively relaxed environment, it’s also amazing how much information she managed to transmit, and how much everyone in the class improved over the semester. She obviously loves her students and makes speaking Spanish fun and low-pressure.

Dec 2016

One of the greatest spanish professors I have ever had. Sonia is caring and easygoing, and she tries to build some of her classes around discussion. She is organized and has handouts for every class outlining the activities and lessons for that day, making it easy to study for the midterm and final. She is a rather easy grader, she gave me a perfect on the oral portion of the class when I stumbled through about a third of it, and always wants to help you get the best grade possible. I felt that I learned more in her class than in any other spanish class, even though she uses the textbook (Gente) less than all of my past professors. All in all, she might not be the best professor for challenging yourself to improve as much as possible, but she is one of the kindest professors I have had and creates a friendly and organized environment where you know she is there to help you.

Nov 2013

The semester's not over yet, but I'm writing this review 'cos course selection begins next week for some of us, and I know some of y'all will appreciate this :) In brief, Sonia is amazing. I have her for Elementary I this semester, and she makes learning Spanish feel really effortless. Very intuitive explanations of language, lots of conversation time in class. Workload is very light, and I don't feel like I did much homework, but I've really learnt a surprising amount of Spanish. This is hands-down my favorite class this semester. Ella es una buena maestra, muy amable y paciente.

Apr 2013

Sonia was a new teacher this year at Columbia. She is straight from Spain with a thick Spanish accent. Her class is very discussion-based. The textbook she uses is the standard Gente series, from which she gets some very menial homework assignments. We watched a few movies outside of class for homework and analyzed them. Participation is encouraged; she often teaches a discussion-based class structure, spending the first part of class each day going over the previous night's homework by going around the table and having each student give an answer. Her class was generally tedious, but she's funny if you can understand her humor. The way she teaches certain units isn't exactly catered to English-speakers, but she generally gets her point across. She teaches exclusively in Spanish. Overall not the best experience, but not bad, and she's a very easy grader.