Prof. Su is indeed a difficult pill to swallow, you have to get used to pandering to her moods and wants. It was very difficult for me to get used to her style of teaching, it's extremely unstructured and unpredictable, the material doesn't really follow any set syllabus. She expects all homework assignments to be in digital format, and it's a pain in the ass if you have a mac to open her documents (because it's always your computer that has the problem, not hers). I haven't been able to successfully send her ANY homework assignments because she hasn't been able to open any of them properly, and makes no effort to help me figure out what the technical difficulty is, and she therefore thinks I am lazy and don't give in any homework. Very unreasonable.
hsu laoshi is a nice, funny lady. she seems to genuinely like teaching the class and the students as well. her english skills are better than most, but still limited. because of this, learning grammar concepts in class is difficult, but as long as you buy the recommended english/pinyin book, you will do fine. she is a lenient grader (until you get your final grade, at least), doesn't mind tardiness or when you turn in work (within reason).
How adorable is this woman! I came into the class with no background on the language at all, and I've learned so much! She's an excellent teacher who makes the class really interesting. Her english has never been a problem with my class, and she relates rather well to us. Extremely understanding and sweet - she won't make you feel stupid if you screw up a bit. Take her class before she returns to Taiwan!
If it seems like she's being mean, it's because she has to be tough in order to get students through such an intense language course. Basically, if you're willing to put in a reasonable amount of time each night, the class shouldn't be too bad and may be quite enjoyable, especially if you're in a small class. On that note, I strongly advise that you switch into a smaller section so you get more individual attention. Okay so her english isn't the greatest but she's got enough down to get her point across so any student with half a brain should still sort of understand. Plus, she always tells you what to expect on a quiz or a test, like the types of questions that will be asked. If you do well, it would be worth every darn point you get for this course.
There are two types of people that take this intro class. The first type is the people who have grown up speaking Chinese and are conversational in the language. The second type is the people who are true newcomers to the language. If you are of the second type: DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS. You will be in the vast minority (2 beginners my semester), and the class is catered to native speakers. Prof. Hsu has very limited English skills, which makes her unable to field questions or provide much help. She is a very kind woman, but is ill-prepared to teach a class to non-native speakers.