professor
Shaoyan Qi

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

May 2021

(Note: I took this class during 2020-2021 Academic Year with virtual classes. I had 0 Chinese background prior to the class) Simply the best. She's super nice and kind. She wants to make sure you speak properly(regarding the tones in Mandarin). She makes sure to know everyone 1-on-1. Everyone will participate every day. If you're shy or don't really want to talk, you can just let her know and she'll let you sit in on the class so you don't miss any content. If you're serious about learning Chinese, you will enjoy this class!

May 2020

I admit, I was pretty intimidated of Qi laoshi until I took the time to get to know her outside of class -- and then I realized that she is a very empathetic, warm individual who takes into account a holistic view of your learning style, capabilities, and previous exposure to Chinese. She knows how to apply the pressure in class, and assigns a lot of homework, but for good reason. Chinese is like learning 3 or 4 languages at the same time, between character, tone, grammar, and pinyin memorization. She truly cares about you as an individual, and as long as you persist and genuinely try in her class, she will reciprocate that effort. I can't speak highly enough of her and I look forward to learning with her in the future!

Aug 2017

I had Qi Laoshi for an entire year (Chinese Intermediate I and II), and let me just say, she is one of the most inspiring Chinese teachers I have ever had. Although she is somewhat infamous for the rigorous intensity of her Chinese classes, in the end, if you are serious about improving your Chinese language skills, there is no substitute for Qi Laoshi. Mind you, I am extolling her virtues despite the fact that she HATED me. This professor hated my guts and I still have nothing but the warmest regards for her. She is a driven and passionate educator with a demonstrated commitment to ensuring that all of her students succeed. However, she also has extremely high expectations for all of her students. She has to see you putting in the work, otherwise you may unwittingly become the object of her ire. All this being said, if I could go back in time, I would take her class again. I will definitely miss her teaching next year.

Nov 2016

Someone give Qi Laoshi a gold nugget

Apr 2016

This class is great. Shaoyan Qi gives you a lot of work and expects a lot from you but it actually pays off. As someone who is horrible with languages I can promise her method is wonderful. She isn't always available to meet with you outside of class but she will answer your emails within the hour and welcomes any and all questions. She's also super nice and understanding of students who don't get it quite as easily as others.

Apr 2016

Qi Laoshi is incredible. She assigns a lot and expects a lot, yes, but you learn A LOT. Qi is the best second language teacher there is at Columbia -- take this class if you're willing to raise your hand, do a lot of work, and LEARN CHINESE

Jun 2008

Qi Laoshi will definitely help you learn Chinese to the best of your abilities if you are willing to put in the time and effort that the class requires. I easily spent five hours on Chinese homework/practice on the nights before the class. The work and practice required to do well in this course has been the most physically and mentally exhausting work I have done at Barnard/Columbia, but I loved every minute of it! Qi Laoshi is strict, serious, helpful, and really cares that her students understand the material and do well if they want to. Our class was always ahead of other Chinese classes, and her method of teaching is really thorough and will get you speaking Chinese well even after only one semester. Take this class with Qi Laoshi if you really want to learn Chinese and have a passion for languages.

Dec 2007

Qi Laoshi is good at getting you to learn the material and she brings up grammar and vocabulary beyond the lectures. Instead of going over flash cards or reciting the text, she will often ask thought provoking questions. She starts with an all-business attitude to scare you into studying and being prepared for a challenging class, but she softens up over the semester. Tests are quite hard, but she gives a generous curve.

Dec 2007

she is truly very strict and if you slack even a tiny bit she won't call on you in class. very intense, nervous teacher. she means well. but her nervousness as a new teacher translates to her being very strict and also picking favorites to call on in class.

Dec 2007

This class is the second half of Elementary Chinese I and I am so glad that I took this course with Qi Laoshi. When I first came into her class I was intimidated by her teaching style but then I got used to it. Our class went from 25 students to 15 in the first few classes. You learn so much in her class because she constantly drills you on the vocabulary and the grammar structure. I wish I could have her for all of my Chinese classes but unfortunately she will not be teaching Elementary Chinese II next semester so I have to settle for someone else. But if you want to take Chinese, sign up for the class that has her name next to it. I promise that you won't regret it, well you won't if you are a serious Chinese learner. Good luck! I am envious of the people who will have her next semester.

Apr 2007

To take class with Qi laoshi is to submit willfully to shock therapy. Every class is like having a hundred thousand volts put through you. She is not for the faint of heart. She is, however, for those with any kind of real ambition to learn Chinese. She will work you harder and push you farther than anyone else, and she will do it by putting the fear of God into your heart. She demands a lot of her students (undivided attention and unfailing allegiance), but she gets results. Under her, Chinese will constitute the mammoth portion of your workload, but it's worth it. Anyone unwilling to commit the time she requires is advised to avoid the class, and she will likely tell you as much at the beginning of the semester ("Anyone taking a lab science? You should get out now"). In she pumps questions at you rapid-fire (and not easy questions, either--thinky ones, like "what do you consider ideal in a marriage partner?"), and if you stammer, blank or quail under her steely gaze, boom, she moves on. There is neither dozing nor doodling in Qi laoshi's class. If you can do the work, though, you will learn Chinese at a considerably faster rate than anyone else in the level, and furthermore, you will remember it, because the thing about Qi laoshi is, she knows what she's doing. She really, really knows what she's doing.

Mar 2007

I'm forever grateful to Qi Laoshi for scaring the socks off of everyone on the first day, because not only did our class go from 25 + to 7 in one session, but we ended up with the most driven and competent Chinese class I've ever been in. You can't space out in class, you will be participating the whole time and it creates a great class dynamic. She is a strict, demanding and tough prof but also one of the nicest and coolest people. You will learn Chinese well. Period. The overall level of her class compared to the other teachers is outstanding- if you're an EALAC major, don't take anyone else!

May 2006

I highly recommend this teacher to serious students of Chinese. If your goal is to speak the language fluently some day, Shaoyan Qi is by far the way to go. All other Chinese classes pale in comparison to the experience of learning Chinese with Shaoyan Qi. She is a very demanding teacher and if you are ready to take upon the challenge, she'll make sure that your experience is a rewarding one. If you take Shaoyan Qi for a year, your language skills will increase by so much and you'll leave with a much better understanding of Chinese grammar and sentence patterns. She assigns written homework every single day and you are forced to learn the sentence patterns extremely well. The dictations are really hard, but it reinforces what you learned in the past lessons, which prepares you well for the Unit Test and Final Exam. In order to keep up with class and her talking speed, you must listen closely to the recordings for at least an hour each day. The intensity of her class is something that serious students of Chinese take advantage of. I've had other Chinese teachers besides her and have been left very disappointed. If you want total immersion for a solid hour and a half, Shaoyan Qi is the way to go. But if you'd rather hear a Chinese teacher practice her English speaking skills with you for the same amount of time, consider a teacher like Yuan-Yuan Meng. My advice? Get your money's worth.

Apr 2005

I have taken Chinese with Qi Laoshi for a whole year now. After my first semester with her, I built my spring schedule around her class. If I were less serious about taking Chinese, however, I would be out of there in a second. As most of the reviews mention, she can be intimidating at first. I remember that the first few weeks of class, most students arrived 5-10 minutes early just not to show up late to her class! Her teaching style was equally intimidating. She will call you on to speak, and then she will stare at you silently while you fumble for an answer. She does not easily forgive a dumb mistake. Later, though, she relaxes. Contrary to what she says at the beginning of the year, she does accept late homeworks. You cannot make up a missed quiz, but neither do you get a zero for it (it simply doesn't average in). As for the workload, I don't really know how it compares to other teachers, since I have absolutely no interest in learning Chinese with another teacher. However, I do find myself studying about 2 hours a day for Chinese just to keep up, even when I don't do homework for any other class. On the other hand, whenever I am in my weekly drill session with students from other classes, I am surprised at how much less fluent their Chinese is, and I am sure I will get another A in the class.

Feb 2005

There are two kinds of Chinese students: Those who want to learn Chinese, and those who want to fulfill a requirement. If you're in the first group, Qi Laoshi is the one for you. If you just want to finish off your language requirement with an easy class, then take Spanish. Qi Laoshi is everything a serious student would want from a teacher: demanding, serious, driven, and most of all caring. Some people don't like her. They tend to be people, who while they may be excellent students, don't have a serious desire to become proficient in Chinese. It's a difficult language and it will take a lot of work, but why would take Chinese if you want easy? For those of you looking to go to China, don't mess around with those other 'really nice' teachers who give easy quizes and coddle you. Qi Laoshi puts in the time if you're willing to do the same.

Jan 2005

Qi laoshi is an amazing teacher; she is the only reason why I am studying Chinese. She takes the course and students seriously because she genuinly wants students to learn the language well. She is well organized, creative, thoughtful, knowledgeable, and very approachable. If you want a solid foundation of the language, she is the one for you! Her answers are always clear and concise. She is a rare gem for Columbia, and I am sure my many classmates would agree!

Jan 2005

don't know why she has a silver nugget next to her name (indicating that she is recommended by culpa). from the reviews, she's a great elementary level teacher, but not much beyond that. BEWARE! I'm no longer in her section for the second semester and boy am I glad I made the switch. The style of my new teacher is much better and more organized and structured like what I'm used to from elementary and intermediate Chinese courses at CU. The class atmosphere is very friendly now as opposed to the tense lecture style Qi Laoshi facilitated.

Jan 2005

If you want to learn Chinese, this is the professor for you. Qi laoshi brings to the Chinese department a very structured and effective program that will get you into the language while learning at fast pace. She may come off as strict but this is necessary to motivate students and keep them engaged as much as possible with such a difficult language. Qi laoshi is kind-hearted and cares a lot about each individual student's progress. Definitiely make use of her willingness to meet students outside of class as she is not only a great teacher but a great person as well.

Jan 2005

If you want to learn, Qi Laoshi is the right person. She was a bit intimidating at first, but I soon realized that she really loves teaching, loves the language, and is willing to help you if you want. If you are seriously interested in learning chinese, the workload shouldn't be too much. If you show her that you are eager to learn, go to the 3+ individual meetings you have with her throughout the semester, you will receive help from her where you need it , and also realize that she really cares about your progress. I would definitely take a class with her again.

Jan 2005

Yeah, she's nice and great as a person. Yeah, she's a nazi as a teacher. Really demanding and over-challenging. Cares a bit too much about us for her own good. Gives so much work because she wants us to learn that it got quite out of hand. Don't take her unless you plan on studying late just for this class.

Jan 2005

She has a good heart and good intentions, but she should really be teaching the W track. You get far more work than the department syllabus lists. This really becomes a 5 credit course, not the usual 5 credit chinese class you might be used to. She definitely has a Chinese Nazi type of strict teaching. Yes, she will hunt you down if you don't hand in one hw or you are 1 minute late. Chinese is no longer an easy A.

Jan 2005

Qi Laoshi is a great teacher. She was really strict at first, so do not be frightened away in the beginning. She really cares about her students and their progress. She is very organized with her lesson plans and posts everything you need to know on CourseWorks. I would highly recommend taking her class.

Jan 2005

A demanding and very effective teacher. Take her class if you are serious about learning Chinese, but if you're the weak-livered, wussy sort, best to go elsewhere. Qi Laoshi will e-mail you if you don't hand in your homework, and there's homework every night (it's not 5 credits for nothing). Underneath, though, she is very kind and totally dedicated to making sure her students learn.

Dec 2004

Professor Qi is a wonderful teacher. She has high expectations of her students but at the same time is extremely understanding and approachable. Her classes are very organized and she tries to make them fun and liven them up a bit with pictures to accompany the lessons and by encouraging each student to participate. She posts weekly plans so students always know what will be covered in class and what assignments will be due, and she also posts quiz plans that state exactly what students need to know for each quiz (which occur twice a week). Chinese is hard, but with professor Qi it is both manageable and fun.

Dec 2004

Qi Laoshi is really an excellent teacher. She works very hard and her students learn more than those in other classes. That having been said, some people feel that the workload is excessive. I was lucky in that my other courses weren't too heavy when I had her, but it is a lot of work. I'll definitely be taking her course again next semester.