Lanctot is OK, but the class basically sucks. Almost all of the readings are really long, boring, and difficult. You have to do time-consuming busy work (lengua y redacciÃ³n), write a 2 page paper every two weeks, which doesn't sound difficult, but it is when you don't understand the readings. Lanctot loves to lecture for at least 10 minutes each class about his own ideas about the readings, which isn't too bad. He never seems to be satisfied with your work, but maybe it's just me. Even when i did spend a long time trying to read the readings, the questions he asked during class discussion were so unlike anything I had read that I had nothing to contribute. There were many classes in which I literally did not speak one word (and I talk a lot.) This class made me feel like I can't speak Spanish, when I know I can pretty well. We spent a least a month talking about such BORING theories of cultural studies, and I really didn't understand the point of a lot of the readings we did. Don't take the class.
Brendan is an excellent Spanish teacher. His course is comprehensive but not difficult. Tests and writing assigments are fair. I had not studied Spanish for a year and a half before studying with Brendan, and my conversational and writing skills improved vastly over the course of a mere semester. I recommend him.
Lanctot was a very good instructor. I didn't find him arrogant at all. He was enthusiastic and entertaining, and his discussions were engaging enough that it was always easy to participate, especially considering that the class met at 9:00 am, four days a week. He was always helpful and approachable, both after class and during office hours, and was clearly invested in keeing things interesting. His spanish is easy to understand, he is very knowledgable, and it is apparent that he sees it as his job to teach his students more than just the grammar, but also about culture and literature. He gets excited and gestures a lot, and tends to write furiously on the board, but his enthusiasm was contagious, and ended up creating a really nice class atmosphere. He did a good job helping us though Bodas de Sangre, which was way too hard for 1201. I'd take his class again.
It's Spanish, so it's going to be pretty hard to make it actually "fun" and/or "interesting". Lanctot was adequate, nothing more, nothing less - graded easily, assigned a lot of useless workbook assignments that don't really help you learn anything, and tried to get us to talk during class. I've had better Spanish profs before, so I was sort of disappointed with the class (most of which was just review of Elementary Spanish I and II). There's better ways to get through the language requirement, believe me, but he won't make your life miserable. Just don't expect to love going to class four days a week.
Nice guy...it's true that he seems arrogant for first few classes; however, once the year gets rolling, he is quite friendly and amusing as an instructor. Keeps the course fun and is a very lenient grader. Very approachable during office hours and understands a student's situation regarding HW if you express it to him clearly since he is also a student himself. I recommend this guy.
Lanctot's a pretty young teacher, but he also, in my opinion, behaves more like a student than a teacher. He tends to be moody and is sort of arrogant; He knows spanish well, is good at teaching the material, and is pretty easy as far as grading is concerned.