I took Professor Xiao's class last semester because my friend recommended it. Man, it turned out to be the best course I've taken at Columbia! This woman is smart, funny, cute, charismatic, and very professional. I loved her style and her sense of humor, and enjoyed almost every lecture. She's fair in grading and clear in her expectations. If you don't put in efforts, it shows. You don't get an easy A in her class, but you definitely learn a lot. And trust me, you'll look forward to her class everyday. Sign up for any class that has her name next to it! She is simply amazing!
Xiao laoshi is one of the greatest things to ever happen to my education. I can't say enough about her and I normally would never write a review for a professor, but she deserves more than just one review. I learned more Chinese under this woman in a semester than I did throughout the past four years of taking the language. She's efficient, and keeps you disciplined and accountable for your own progress. She's also sassy, funny, and genuinely cares about her students. The material never seemed cumbersome, and the amount of work she gave was definitely challenging, but in no way overwhelming (and I credit the latter to the fact that she made she we understood every single character and grammar structure). I cannot sing enough praises about her.
Hanyu Xiao is god's gift sent to Earth in the form of a very fashionable, surprisingly goofy, great Chinese instructor. She sincerely cares for her students and is so freaking nice, it still catches me off guard. Don't take advantage of that fact because that means you're a dick, but also she will start passive aggressively retaliating, like making you come to her to practice your Chinese one on one after class. The tests are the same for every Chinese class so she doesn't really have that much say in what's on them, but she does well to prepare you for them. Her homework is consistent and those quizzes (esp. character quizzes, oh god...) can get annoying but in the end, they're for your own good. I highly recommend her for any Chinese course because she really knows her stuff and is great.