Although nice and well-intentioned, her ineffective teaching in Intermediate I may be the sole reason I am struggling so hard in Intermediate II. Sure, "what you put in is what you get out of it" but I was never quite sure why learning all of the grammar - which is arguably the hardest part of learning the spanish language - was expected to be done outside the classroom. I learned most of my spanish for the year with the lovely tutors in the ARC. I hate to say it because she was so nice, but look elsewhere. Your grade and personal enjoyment in class with thank you for it later.
Professor Mora is very sweet and funny. She wants her students to not only learn Spanish, but also about Spain and Latin America. The class is pretty easy, and if you do your work and participate in class she'll like you. There aren't tests or quizzes other than the midterm and final. The only real homework you have to do is on MySpanishLab. Each semester you watch about three movies which I really enjoyed. There's an essay for each movie and Mora gives clear feedback. She has a big project each semester and that can be really stressful, especially in comparison to the lack of work you have before the project. However, if you stay on top of your game and do assignments for the project early then it's not too bad. One thing I will say is that learning Spanish in college is completely different than in high school. There is no longer an emphasis on learning vocab, and you're expected to learn grammar a lot faster. I'm someone who always struggled learning languages and hated Spanish class but this ended up being my one of my best classes and actually got me interested in learning Spanish to learn more about the Spanish speaking world.
Alma Mora is the sweetest lady, and I definitely recommend her as a professor. I do agree that most of the time I have no idea what she is saying or what's going on, but I think that's how it is in the Spanish department in general. It's the teaching method. Professor Mora barely gives any homework, and I find it to be an incredibly light load. You can skimp if you want; a lot of stuff is not graded, she just wants you to look over the material that will be covered in the next class. Professor Mora is also an easy grader; I was able to put in minimal effort and get A's. If you put in an effort to make is seem like you really care and really want to do well, Professor Mora is very receptive to that. Go to office hours a few times. Participate in class. Ask questions. It's easy. As for the classes themselves, very little material was covered, and they are quite easy compared to part II of each.
Mean-spirited and discourages students from learning in every possible way. Take the advice of past reviewers and avoid, avoid, AVOID.
Get in someone else's class if you can. She assigns so much homework online and in the grammar book. Also, in the grammar book, you can't just bring your book to class and let her check it- you have to write it in your book, scan it, then upload it to Courseworks by midnight. It's such a hassle, and she gets easily annoyed if something goes wrong in uploading it. She doesn't care if you can open your grammar book and show her you did it. Like the last reviewer said, she laughs all time and no one knows why. That was cool with me in the beginning, but I started to notice that sometimes she would be laughing at the way some people spoke Spanish. If they used the wrong words or said it really slowly or something, she would giggle at them. Lastly, I noticed that a lot of people in my class had no idea what was going on most of the time because of the way she taught. The most common example of this in her class was she would speak super fast and then stare at us. We would stare back.Finally we would figure out that she had just told us to do some activity, but literally no one understood her well enough to know what to do initially. She isn't the best professor, honestly. Find another one.
Oh my gosh no no no no. STAY AWAY. All these other reviews say she is very nice lady and honestly she is pretty normal. I would not describe her as particularly kind but she laughs a lot most of the time no one knows why. She assigns A LARGE QUANTITY of homework, pages from the workbook at least after every class and a lot of packets. Many grammar book and myspanish assignments and we had to watch 3 movies and do lots of work for each one with very little time to do so. The final project was absurd and required research, mini compositions, a wiki page, and 2 videos, one interviewing a chef that had to cook food in a restaurant that pertained to the assigned country (some people were given countries like Uruguay or Bolivia so it was near impossible) and another video of you "talking naturally" is Spanish in a restaurant and you had to order a dish that pertained to your assigned country and do additional research on it. I repeat STAY AWAY. This would maybe be worth it if I learned a lot but I did not, she does not teach well and I regressed in knowledge if anything. GET OUT NOW
Professora Mora is an excellent professor. This is my fourth semester of Spanish, and I have had her for the last two. She couldn't be more helpful, professional and kind. She never embarrasses students in class by putting them on the spot. Prof Mora does some correcting, but does not demand perfection when we speak in class, and the reduction of that anxiety for her students facilitates cognitive ability to learn- at least for me it does. There energy in class is positive. She has a sense of humor about life, and gives lessons tailored to areas in which the class is weak and needs extra instruction. Many students who had her last semester registered for her classes again this semester. Departmental suggestions: 1) Gramatica BÃ¡sica is great, especially the humorous bits! 2) The Spanish text book is not great. 3) MSL needs to give more and better feed back for incorrect answers. 4) WIKI technology needs to be updated to the 21st century. 5) Grad students who are inexperienced teachers should not teach classes. Overall, excellent Spanish program, and I recommend Professora Mora.
Mora is a very, very nice person. She often extends deadlines for students if they forget something or if something goes wrong on a project. However, she does assign a LOT of work. I had more work for this class than any other class- and this class wasn't a part of my major and just a requirement! She is very sweet but she's not a great teacher. She sometimes struggled to explain certain concepts in English as she's a native Spanish speaker. The course was manageable but expect to spend a LOT of time doing work for her.
I love Alma Mora! She is very accommodating, and wants everyone to do well. She has a good sense of humor and understands that most people in the class are not there by choice, but rather to fulfill a requirement. She does a lot of partner work and work in small groups, which helps students to get more practicing in. She will go over anything twice so long as you ask. The only negative thing I have to say is that she goes over the homework very briefly towards the end of class in spanish, so its sometimes hard to understand. This can be frustrating, but if you shoot her an email, she will get back to you that same day.
She's really nice, but a little crazy. I was anxious about taking a language, but the fact of the matter is she's always behind schedule and that works to your benefit in terms of workload, not Spanish learning. She really tried to foster a stress-free environment and emphasized conversation in class every day, and I would say she succeeded. Grammar was secondary to conversation, which was made abundantly clear the last week when she tried to teach us three tenses in two days.I'm heading into comprehensive intermediate now, and I'm a little nervous, though not so much about speaking - but actually knowing enough grammar/vocab.
I think she sucks . . . Don't take her!! Uninteresting, can't explain concepts at all (in spanish or in english), plus she assigns a lot of work. She scribbles her own "code" as feedback on each of the essays you turn in, and gives you a sheet that explains what each code means, which isn't helpful at all. By all means avoide this professor
You know those conversation classes your friends took where there was absolutely no work and attendance was not required? This class is not one of them. Midway through the semester Professora Mora tightened up and demanded a page in spanish for every class on assigned articles to make us participate. Which was a shame, because if she had just reached out to the class for topics that we genuinely wanted to discuss, we probably would have wanted to be so prepared on our own... She's pleasant enough, but if I were to take another conversation class, it would be with someone else.
I wonder if Alma realizes that we are Columbia students and we DO take 4 other classes. She runs through each chapter in 3-4 classes. In these 3 or session she, assigns exercises from the text due for each class period, and expects the entire work book chapter (20 pages of fill in the blank type stuff) to be done, and wants us to be ready for a quiz. The entire semester runs like that with 4 compositions, midterm, and final somewhere in between. Once we had a quiz and the Midterm in 2 consecutive sessions. She also expects a lot more in terms of proficiency from her student than she reasonably gets at this level. Expect many session to consist of blank looks as she yells in spanish about how we really need to start understanding more. Bodas de Sangre is brutal. No one knew what was going on and we sat there class after class in painful silence.
I guess I can't condemn her, but maybe Alma's more used to teaching a higher grade of Spanish. What happened was although she's good-natured, it was rather rare that Alma actually managed to connect with the class. Most of the time she gave off this aura of tiredness. Often her in-class assignments just didn't work.