professor
Yongyan He

May 2004

When Yongyan stuck to the "conversation" part of the class, the discussions were engaging (this will probably depend on your classmates). We talked about affirmative action, religious freedom in France...though then the topics started deteriorating (we read about wedding photos than had to respond to Ms. He's questions: How will your wedding be?! Will it be on the beach?!...). I don't know why she then decided to incorporate a grammar lesson into her class sessions, splicing the time for conversation practice in half. As this class is not required for any major, I suspect most people were drawn to the possibility of enhancing their speaking skills. With everyone in the class at the third year level or above, it was insane for her to take thirty plus minutes to explain to us the most basic use of articles or the imperfect. For grammar improvement, Columbia has 3405. In fact, I think Yongyan was a little bitter about teaching such a useless classClearly, her bitterness has spread to me, but really, an A-...perhaps my conversation skills could have been A quality if I had been given greater opportunity to converse.

Mar 2004

Yongyan is a pleasure. She does her best to make what could be quite boring as interesting as possible. Let's face it, coming to class twice a week to just sit and talk could be dry. But she gives us interesting articles and literary excerpts to read at the beginning of class and then discuss. She also asks us what points of grammar we'd like reviewed and then is always prepared to do so the next time. Gets everyone involved in conversing.

Jan 2004

I disagree with the previous review. Yongyan is one of the better instructors in the department in my opinion. She is sweet, very smart and always energic and well organized. The class is casual and it's pretty much all talking, with some grammar and writing exercises thrown in between. Yongyan really makes the atmosphere comfortable, and don't worry if you have a problem - she's always open to talk and ready to help. There are presentations, but they're not bad and they're about topics of your choice. Her knowledge of French is great (her English is also good). It is just amazing to see a chinese woman who can speak two western languages so well.

Dec 2003

Unless you really need a French Conversation course (and I'm not sure why you would), this class is more or less completely useless. Yongyan is distant and uncomfortable, and her teaching consists of having the class read boring articles out loud and then answer questions about them. One of the most boring classes I've taken here; I'd recommend not taking a conversation class at all, or if you must, do it with someone else.

Nov 2002

After reading the other comments on Yongyan I had to comment on how totally misguided those indiviuals were. She is possibly the worst instructor I've ever had. Yes her French is better than her English but what good is that when it comes to explaining comparisons to English gramar. One fellow student in the class was flat out told "I'm not a translator" when asked a reasonable question. You could tell that she hated teaching. Therefore myself and several classmates felt come end of the semester we had not gained much knowledge. Now in 1202 I'm totally paying for this!

May 2002

Why are all the french instructors so pretty? her french is better than her english. why at columbia do italian men teach chinese, and chinese women teach french? overall, good teacher, patient.

Nov 2001

Yongyan He is awesome. Not only is she always happy, friendly and seemingly infinitely patient, she is also an excellent teacher (a rare combination it seems). She brings considerable structure to the class, using plenty of examples and class discussions to further pound french grammar into your head. I can't say enough about her... I think I might be in love.