I agree with most of the other reviews that say Rayo is an easy grader and enjoys goofiness in class. I also agree that, in her class, you will most likely not learn much Spanish. However, there are shades of gray: before coming to her class I never knew certain tenses in Spanish even existed, and this class is where I finally learned them. Of course, with Rayo's haphazard teaching style that doesn't really reach the students at their level (she either aims too high, thinking we know more than we do, or too low, thinking we know less than we do), it was DIFFICULT to learn those new tenses--but I learned them eventually. Basically, this is not a hard class. She goes over the language itself somewhat (or she tries to, at least), but most of the time you can just say "como se dice ___?" and she will not only fill in the blank for you but go off on a talkative tangent about the first indiginous president of Bolivia or the tango. All you have to do at those times is sit and half-listen.
I donâ€™t entirely regret taking Rayoâ€™s class but wouldnâ€™t do it again or recommend it. I realized afterward that I did well because sheâ€™s not very demanding, so I didnâ€™t learn as much as I should have. Sheâ€™s also a little creepy but perfectly nice.
Senora Rayo is a generous grader - getting an A is not too difficult. However, she does not enforce the speaking of spanish in her class. Given that this is the last semester of spanish in which students are to be learning grammar, not speaking spanish in class poses a big problem. Also, only 2 days of class in the semester we dedicated to discussing the spanish language. If you want to perfect your spanish, this is certainly not the right class for you. Easy A? It's nce, but not worth it.
Strange, sweet lady (but can be a little condescending at times). Will not teach you a lick of spanish, but will sit and entertain you with poetry, movies, and theater. Great class if you don't care about learning Spanish and just want to get your language requirement overwith. If you are at all interested in the aforementioned, AVOID THIS CLASS! My Spanish is worse for it. That said, the class definitely had its memorable moments. Nobody will let you get away with as much silliness as Rayo (in both classroom activities and presentations) - she gets a kick out of it. Also, she is an extremely generous grader, especially on your overall grade. Spanish with Rayo is an experience, but not necessarily an educational one.
Professor Rayo is sweet, but flakey, and fairly intimidating. This was the first Spanish class I took coming into Barnard, and I was pretty disappointed when I realized that AP Spanish was more difficult. Though it is meant to be a discussion-based class, Rayo has a habit of spending most of the class going off on tangents that vary from fascinating to painfully dull. She is not very helpful with grammar; that said, most people who take this class are far enough in their Spanish studies that they do not need much help. She does meet with everyone after the first paper is handed back to get to know us and go over our mistakes, which I found very helpful and nice of her. She is always available during office hours for those students who made need extra help with their writing. That said, I don't think I learned much of anything in her class, but I did get an A.
Sra. Rayo is an incredibly nice teacher--and she really loves what she teaches. However, I found the material for this class to be excessively boring and unnecessary. Topics were never given the right amount of time; either we spent wayyy to much time on it (like Frida Kahlo) or wayyy to little (like some of the poets). If you're really interested in reading Latin American literature, then take this class, but be prepared for a lot of reading and long, frequently off-topic conversations.
although many criticize her for not teaching grammar, i have learned a lot of spanish from her class. she is very eccentric and entertaining. she loves poetry and discussing history, which i think makes the class less tedious. although this class for me was review, so i'm not sure how much i would have learned if i had no idea what i was getting into. profesora rayo is very, very nice and understanding. the class is easy, too.
She is the nicest woman you will ever meet. She usually has a big smile, and does not take away credit if you turn in your paper a week late. She even gave an extension on the final exam. However, she is a HORRIBLE teacher. If your goal is to learn Spanish, do not take her course. The entire semester was a blur for me in terms of learning anything. You are expected to know grammar for the tests, which is a problem because she doesn't teach any. It is not easy to ask her questions because she get annoyed that you don't already know, if it has to do with grammar. If you are comfortable with Spanish grammar, she is a great teacher!
I took three semesters of Spanish with Profesora Rayo (elementary review, intermediate I and II) and she is by far one of the sweetest, most eccentric professors I've had. We read a lot of spanish poetry, plays and short stories, and watched a few movies (including the "Destinos" series). Rayo teaches almost exclusively in Spanish, but is pretty forgiving about students who don't understand. She's willing to let class get a little off track if it means having a group discussion in Spanish. We never got everything done that she'd planned for each class which meant that assignments inevitably got scrapped. That being said, I learned basically no grammar. Rayo makes herself available outside class time but she's not any more help there then she is in class. All the grammar I learned had to come from the book, but I did get a lot more comfortable speaking in Spanish. All in all a pretty fun and easy class but you probably won't be prepared for other professors.
While it is true what some of the other reviewers have said, Prof. Rayo may not be the best Spanish teacher ever, she certainly leads the most fun Spanish class I have ever been in. She is a very fair grader and a really nice person. There is a reason that about 15 of the students in my intermediate II class have had her for three semesters in a row. We all love her and couldn't even think about taking Spanish with anyone else. She has increased my interest and love of the Spanish language and culture ten-fold. If you can, I really recommend taking a class with her, you won't regret it.
This class was by far the stupidest class ever. First of all, i did absolutly no work for most of it...there is hw assigned on the sylabus that she never ever checks (no point in doing it.) mostly she explors the cultural aspect of the class (poems, plays, movies) (can get very boring) but randomly she'll throw in a grammer lecture which consits of her randomly writing sentences on the board and no one knowing whats going on. all in all an easy class, she's a nice lady but her class is boring..i always did other work in it. this is the class for people who hate spanish, dont want to learn and just want to pass the requiremnt..but the grammer is sometimes hard because she doesnt teach it. dont take this class if u actually like spanish.
Rayo is a sweetheart-stylish and fun, but she is a terrible teacher for beginning spanish. If you want to learn grammar, vocab, or structure, don't take her class. If you would like to read some poetry (which you may or may not understand) and then try and pretend to know spanish in essays and tests, then take Rayo's.
This woman is quite an eccentric and really entertaining to watch; however, I would by no means call her a good teacher. Yes, I did hear that she was always willing to go over things outside of class with students, but if she taught the concepts well in class there would be no need to see her during office hours. And...may I say disorganized...papers scattered about, crazy writing on the blackboard, always behind on the schedule! Take Rayo if you are looking for a quasi-entertaining person and lots of drama (we were graced with her numerous dramatic speeches and readings)...though if you do take Spanish from her, you will be sacrificing a Spanish education.
Wow, there are no words to describe how much I hated this course and this professor. Where to begin ... I learned NO Spanish from her whatsoever, as she did not teach so much as she babbled on about poetry for ever and ever and ever. She didn't follow the syllabus and was perpetually behind. Terrible lecturer ... if you can even call them lectures. Even if she were speaking in English, I doubt I could follow what she was saying. Stay far away from this class!
She's nice, but honestly I didn't learn much Spanish from her. The Intermediate Conversation was quite boring actually. All she did was talk about poetry. (I missed quite a few classes but managed to do okay b/c I partake in a poetry-reading competition.) If you want to learn Spanish, don't take her. If you want a BS class to fill up 2 hours a week, then take her.
She was always full of energy! This quirky, fun-loving professor wanted to make sure that the students understood, even if it meant going slower than planned. She was very open to out of class help, and always let us revise our papers for credit (not just participation). I highly recommend her!