HE IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!! The class is really fun, and you'd be surprised at how much you actually learn. I took the class with absolutely no prior knowledge of German and I instantly fell in love with it. If you're thinking about taking German Richard Korb is your man! He's smart, funny, creative, helpful etc etc...basically everything you want in your language instructor. And if you're deciding between German I or Accelerated I and II, I say go with the accelerated! It's obviously more work, but I do think spending 2 hours a day 4 days a week in class speaking the language helps tremendously with getting comfortable with it. And the class will typically consist of 6-10 students, who you will grow really close to.
I've taken a class with prof Korb. he's alright. he makes mistakes cause he's not a native speaker (Alex von Thun is the man if you really want to know stuff and not just taking it to pass it). otherwise if you like the kindergarten way of teaching languages common at Columbia U, this is your class. korb does what he's requested to do: make you feel good and not a complete moron unable to learn languages. this is his profession and life. personally, already speaking 5 languages, this class was very slow, and I hate being treated like a baby. But if you're American and an idiot, this is the class for you! as you will want to study more German, the intermediate and upper classes are even less demanding! this is really the easiest way to prove you speak a language without actually knowing much about it. and this is Columbia, grade inflation is the real shit!
Professor Korb is an amazingly talented instructor, and that's a very good thing if you're taking Accelerated. His specialty is language pedagogy, and it shows. The class meets 2 hours a day, Monday through Thursday, but the time always felt worthwhile and the class activities were always well-planned. This is immersion teaching, which could be scary for some, but it makes you learn so much (especially when you have class essentially every day), and Korb definitely facilitates participation. Don't let the title scare you, this course is for absolute beginners with 0 German. I wish I had known about this class when I was a freshman!
If you have any interest in learning German, TAKE THIS CLASS! Richard Korb is an excellent choice for language instruction (and as one reviewer mentioned, it is his specialization--he even teaches a class for the grad students on language pedagogy). From the very first session, everything is taught in German, and with 8 hours of class time per week, this turns out to be very helpful in getting an ear for the language. Korb is very personable and makes sure that everyone feels welcome to and actually does participate; he also has a wonderful sense of humor. You will spend the entirety of every session interacting with the instructor and with other students and the time really does fly by. Even if you spend little time outside of class studying (which is not wholly recommended, you will learn a tremendous amount of German. [And if the above isn't enough of a testament, 4 of 6 undergrads in our class who had never studied the language in their lives decided to major in German (myself included), and a 5th decided to minor.]
Coming from the land of 7 years of absolutely insane French teachers, I braced myself when singing up for this class. Don't. Richard is wonderful, and is a hundred times better than any language teacher I've had in the past. In fact, I haven't met a single person in the German department here that I haven't liked immediately--it's a fantastic department. Richard knows his stuff, he is smart, incredibly funny in class, and devises clever and engaging assignments and activities. In one semester you will leave the classroom with an impressive arsenol of words and grammar constructions... in French, it took me at least 3 semesters to get to where I am now in German. I really cannot offer enough praise for this class, this was the only class I looked forward to this semester. I did not originally intend to continue German classes for very long, but I have totally fallen in love with the language and plan to take it through my college career. Honestly, I think than Herr Korb is largely responsible. Deutsch is sehr toll!
He is an enthusiastic teacher, and really enjoys what he does. nevertheless class did become very slow at times. he can be somewhat crass at times. overall ok. i wouldn't seek him out , but wouldn't avoid him either
This mans unending enthusiasm makes any level German fun and entertaining. I took beginning German with him, and because of scheduling I could not take the next semester with him. However, the next year I quickly signed up for his class. Korb's assignments are clever and useful--for a final project for Intermediate German he had the class crete new acted-out scenes for Run Lola Run. He will make himself completely available to you. You will also leave with a firm grasp of German, and you'll thoroughly enjoy yourself in the process.
Korb is brilliant and personable. Really engaging as a teacher; his field of study is actually teaching language to beginning students, so if you get him for elementary german, you are in very interested, very capable hands. so to speak. Korb is one of those wonderful teachers who seems to have unending energy and enthusiasm. Cool guy.
He's an extremely happy, extremely forgiving, extremely engaging teacher. You could scout around for less course work, but I'm not sure you'd find as good a teacher.