TAKE BACK MY POSITIVE REVIEW -- DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS. You will be so unprepared for Intermediate I!!!! Romero will not teach you the appropriate grammar.
When you first take this class, you are going to think that it is the end of the world, because, I admit, Romero is difficult to understand before you get used to her, and, as some of the other reviews have pointed to, her assignments can often be confusing. However, I still learned a lot in this class and I genuinely really like her and she cares so much about her students. Much more than the average professor does. So, in short, I'd recommend it. Take the class and put in the effort, it is for sure worth the time.
I had read the overwhelmingly poor reviews of Professor Romero before taking Spanish 1120 but decided to go forward anyways- best decision. I'm so surprised at the amount of hate. First of all, she is generally one of the sweetest people and every single class it is so obvious how much enthusiasm she has for teaching and helping to improve the skills of aspiring Spanish speakers. Second, while she may not be the best technologically or as organized as perhaps some other professors, she tries her best and if you are able to look past these minuscule details, you will see that her interactive methods of teaching are truly invaluable. I took this class having had no formal education in Spanish, but knowing some French and speaking some other non-romance languages. In just one semester I have learned so much, and it didn't even for one moment feel overwhelming. I can now watch videos or Netflix shows in Spanish with Spanish subtitles and understand 80% of the dialogue. Simply being exposed to her speaking Spanish, even though you may not understand everything at first, will do wonders for your comprehension. Instead of being led by baby steps through the beginning, being immediately forced to navigate a faster paced class actually forces you to adjust and in my opinion pick the language up faster. Prof Romero does this in a spectacular way, she doesn't speak too fast, uses common and colloquial words frequently so that you start to recognize them, but also makes an effort to drill important grammatical concepts. I highly recommend this course and Professor Romero. If you are multilingual and like learning languages or are already familiar with a romance language, you will get a lot of out of this class. Professor Romero wants to see everyone succeed and is extremely accommodating and understanding.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT TAKE THIS PROF. I took the comprehensive beginning class because I took four years of Spanish in high school and this class covered all the past tenses in the indicative among the other tenses you learn in high school Spanish. I would recommend this course to someone looking to strengthen their skills (listening and speaking, vocabulary) before entering a faster pace college level Spanish course (intermediate I). The content of the textbooks helped me fill the gaps in my basic knowledge. That said, THIS PROF MADE THIS CLASS INSANELY DIFFICULT. Diana Romero is very friendly and bubbly but she can't explain anything to save her life. She never explained the tenses in English, no matter how many times my classmates and I told her we didn't understand in her very confusing Spanish. Her sentences were always all over the place. On top of being a poor explainer, she assigned SO much homework. I took her course in Fall 2019 and am currently enrolled in intermediate I, and when I tell you I did undoubtedly 3-4x the amount of work as I do now I am not over-exaggerating. In the first week of classes (also, my first week of college) she assigned about 10 hours of book problems. Even almost all the way through the next course in the department, I regularly go to do my assigned work in the orange grammar book (the standard barnumbia one) and have already done it??? I don't know what Prof Romero was on but it was CRAZY. Also, she assigned maybe 3x the amount of MSL every other week as my current prof does. I recognize that the class is comprehensive but she easily gave over twice the amount of homework as the intermediate I classes and any of the beginning I and II classes I've heard about from friends. To be totally honest, it would have been better for me to have taken beginning II instead of this class just to save my sanity. Romero drove me up the wall every week. If you're in a similar situation as I was and Romero is the only one teaching this class, DO NOT TAKE IT. TAKE BEGINNING II OR INTERMEDIATE I. Also, on top of being a bad prof & assigning mad amounts of homework, she was very condescending and was not very approachable one-on-one. She made me feel dumb for every question I asked. ALSO she literally never made sense and consistently would expect work from us that she never communicated that we needed to do. We showed up for class towards the end and decided she was going to do oral exams that day, with literally 0 warning. This kind of thing happened ALL the time because she sucks at communicating with students her expectations (they were not in the syllabus or anything).
The only reason I did reasonably well in this class is because I already knew nearly all of the material for the class. DO NOT TAKE A CLASS WITH THIS PROFESSOR. She assigns an insane amount on MSL and does not communicate her expectations for assignments/homework/exams at all. Tests are regulated through LAIC department, so they weren't too bad. Anything she had influence on was messy and WAY too intense. Overall, the professor is very disorganized.
I want to bring back the positive reviews! Contrary to the previous reviews, I found Prof. Romero to be extremely enthusiastic and thorough in this class. She had structured lectures, covered material at a quick pace (as is expected in a comprehensive class) but always answered all questions and was patient about reviewing grammatical terms. Her lectures had a good mix of interactive conversations/ activities and more formal explanations. The grading seemed very fair, although I find it absurd (in this department in general) that we must write our answers to the "Gramatica Basica" activities *in* the book itself, and this seems like a weirdly classist requirement. Aside from that, I really enjoyed her class and her teaching style. I definitely had an advantage in that I learned Spanish through immersion, so my speaking and listening are pretty strong especially compared to my reading/ writing. This made the fast pace of the class the perfect speed. I should definitely emphasize though that those who did the best in this class took it not to fulfill language requirements, but because they truly want to learn Spanish and improve their skills.
Diana Romero is a terrible teacher. Honestly one of the worst Spanish professors I have ever seen. I think my Spanish skills may have actually become worse while taking her course. If Diana likes you then you are set- she will grade more leniently for you and treat you with respect. This being said, even if she likes you there is still no guarantee that you will get an A, or do well. However, if Diana doesn't like you, then you can completely rethink getting that easy A in Spanish. If she does not like you, then she will be rude to you in class, and in her emails when you email asking her for clarification, and she will give your grade no slack. She also is not very willing to meet with you outside of class for extra help, and when you do meet with her, she only will meet with you for about 5-10 minutes. Diana cannot explain grammar. She expects you to just know how to do the work and grammar straight off the bat. This is an elementary level course, so please explain to me how anyone people in this course should be as fluent as Diana thinks you are. She speaks only in Spanish in class, which makes sense as it is a Spanish class; however its an elementary 2 class, so she needs to understand that students will not understand everything she says in Spanish. And when you ask her to repeat or clarify because you don't know what she says, she will just keep repeating it in Spanish and not speak in english to you. She also gives an absurd amount of work and a group project. The directions for the project are extremely vague and confusing, and she grades the project very harshly. She also gives homework in the Grammar text book and grades it very strongly for accuracy, even though she never get over it in class. Diana is awful, just plain awful. She is unwilling to help her students, rude and a terrible teacher.
I'm not sure why she has a silver nugget. She is very nice but her class is not. I'm not the best Spanish speaker but picked it up well enough to get an "A" in Spanish 1 but got a "C" in her class despite putting forth much more effort. She will post assignments sometimes hours before class and expect them to be completed. The projects she assigns are extremely confusing and of very little benefit. More often then not she replaces actually teaching the material with just having the class do exercises for an hour. If you enjoy a lot of busy work, sub-par teaching and getting bad grades then this is the class for you.
Why is Prof. Romero so highly rated?? Why?? She is a wonderful person, very kind and sweet, but her class is a mess. She will assign homework at 2 am and expect it done for class. She will change due dates, she will assign projects that make no sense. She is an incredibly harsh grader. Most students are failing this class, and I had to P/D/F it. DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS
I don't know who the person is being reviewed here, but my class, and friends in other classes taught by her, will attest that she is an awful teacher and one who has made our lives significantly worse. Putting positive reviews about her does a disservice to the Columbia community. The workload is immense and her whim is arbitrary. She goes by the textbook and can sometimes make class interesting, but more often makes it needlessly complicated by introducing tasks that have nothing to do with actually learning Spanish. This goes double for homework, where she is inflexible and Much of class is spent partnered into various groups of two or three with her yelling at us whenever we finished early because she was that anxious about us not slacking off. There was not a moment where we didn't feel judged, and judged poorly at that. All in all, this class is something that neither I nor my classmates would wish on anyone.
I grew up in a Spanish-speaking household, but had limited formal instruction in Spanish. If this sounds like your situation, and you want to learn to write and speak well in Spanish take this course. Prof. Romero put a lot of effort into the course, partnering with the University of Arizona to create a Wiki where we spoke to penpals and uploaded our essays. Prof. Romero similarly demanded a lot of effort on the part of the students, asking us to research a Latino neighborhood in NYC, visit the neighborhood and interview residents, write informative and narrative essays, upload videos and photos onto the class Wiki, and make a presentation about our project. Although this seems like a lot of work, the tasks built on each other so that the research paper on the neighborhood helped you write the following essays. I enjoyed the opportunity to visit a neighborhood and speak to my classmates about their projects. Ultimately, the course is what you make of it. I took the opportunity to speak in class and write and re-write drafts and now find that I am much more comfortable writing and speaking in Spanish. This course is much more than an intensive grammar review-- if you are looking purely for grammatical instruction, take another course.
I took Spanish for Spanish Speakers because I speak Spanish at home but had never taken a course in any of my years at school. I had one semester to fulfill the requirement and I thought this would be a good way to learn the basics that I hadn't gotten through my casual speaking at home with family. To start off, I can't say I got what I wanted from this class. It was great conversationally because all the students were pretty much fluent so the conversations we had in class were good but we flew over the grammar and she expected us to take in all of it. Second, Diana is a nice woman and a good spanish teacher but she expects SO much from the students in her class. I think if I hadn't been taking the class just to fulfill the requirement I would have been more willing to put in the work, but it is not what I wanted as a simple Spanish class. We had homework due for every class and on top of that we were writing papers, writing in forums, writing to penpals, and preparing presentations. The work was just piled on top of other work which made it really unclear when certain assignments were due, and she's a bit of a stickler for due dates. She also graded pretty tough but wasn't clear in what she wanted. Her attendance policy was also kind of ridiculous and she took it way too seriously. You get three absences for the semester, however she counts 2 tardies as a missed class, which means being 5 minutes late to class can eventually really hurt your grade. I felt that was a bit harsh since it was an early class and it met on Fridays. Overall, there were some great parts of this class but I wouldn't say it was worth the energy that I put into it.
This is probably the best and most rewarding Spanish class I have ever taken, hands down. Unlike most other graduate instructors I have ever encountered at Columbia, Diana actually puts effort, planning, creativity, and care into her class. She is incredibly organized and makes use of all kinds of technology--CU EdBlogs, Google Sites, MySpanishLab, in class audio/video, etc. Note: because she uses the online service MySpanishLab, DO NOT BUY THE BOOKS USED OR SEPERATELY, as only the new book SET includes access to this, and seperately the access is very expensive. Expect to learn a lot, but also expect to be a little confused in class and commit a good amount of time outside of class. The time commitment is NOT overwhelming, however, as it is spread throughout the semester evenly. Rarely will there be any sleepless nights caused by her assignments--they usually take no more than 20-40 minutes 3x a week, and she is reasonable and forgiving if you forget an activity or two. The only things that take longer are compositions, rare longer assignments, and one project (it was centered around hispanic/spanish art in NYC and was as fun and rewarding as any other project I've done here).
She is a very good professor. She gives daily homework, but as long as you stay on top of it there shouldn't ever be a problem. She never picks the homework up. Instead, she goes over it in class so if you don't do it then she will know when she calls on you. She is very nice and really makes an effort to help everyone in the class succeed. She responds back to e-mail fairly quickly. She doesn't speak too fast and makes it easy to pick up on the language. I always looked forward to this class. She is very into group work. I'm not sure if all Spanish classes are like this, but every class we had to work with a partner. It was usually good when you had someone who was a decent Spanish speaker, but sometimes it sucked. She is pretty easy going. If you forget to do your homework one night, she doesn't hold it against you for the entire semester.
Professor Romero is a really nice woman, but being in her class always made me feel a little nervous. She always called on students before they even had a chance to volunteer to answer a question. If you take her class, be sure to raise your hand before she has a chance to call any names that way you won't be caught off guard. Overall, her class wasn't too difficult. There is a decent amount of work, but she's a fair grader. She is extremely enthusiastic about teaching Spanish and doesn't waste a second of class. She's also really helpful outside of class and responds very quickly to e-mails. She moves pretty fast during class with her power-point presentations so make sure you pay attention. Also, make sure you participate a lot in class. She loves it when people in class start discussions and express their opinions about different topics.
I think she is a great Spanish teacher. She is very good at teaching grammar and makes class fun. But she moves quickly, so pay attention. She often shows interesting youtube videos. She gives insane amounts of homework. I spent way more time on Spanish than I anticipated. But you can get away with not doing all of the work because half of it she doesn't check and she tells you what we will go over in class when she assigns it. She's very organized and assigns work ahead of time. Uses courseworks a lot. If you are really interested in learning Spanish take her. If you're just doing it for a requirement then you might want to pick an easier teacher.
Don't take this class. Don't do it! Diana is a nice woman when you talk to her one-on-one, but she is not effective or easy to work with in the classroom. The level of homework she gives is simply out of control for a 3-point class, with endless grammatical exercises and weekly "mesas redondas." She starts class early, ends it late, and sends endless emails. There are four formal compositions required, and you will do draft after draft for her just to get a halfway-decent score. Diana also expects you to have a lot of grammatical background, so if you don't have that you will have to work to catch up. You can gain a lot from this class, but you will make yourself quite unhappy in the process. Diana is such a stickler on even the smallest things (like whether you accent every word properly when you email her) that it really hinders the learning process. A class for speaking students is a great idea, but don't take it with her.
Let me break this down for you, I couldn't tell if i hated the class or if I hated how she taught the class because I was too busy doing all the freakin homework. She is no joke about the homework. I spent so much of my time just trying to complete all the assignments that I honestly didn't learn much spanish, which is very sad. She has the ability to teach the class, I saw it a few times when I looked up from doing MORE homework! I am in intermediate spanish II now and I have about 1/3 the homework I had in D.Romero's elementary II course.
Don't do it to yourself. She gives ridiculous amounts of homework - which you won't finish in time if you have any other classes on your schedule. Then, to make matters worse, she calls on you when she just KNOWS you don't have that question done. I came in thinking that a 5 on the AP Spanish test meant I was well-equipped to take Romero's grammar and composition class. And well...I was wrong.
Diana is the best language teacher I've ever had - period. She gives a lot of homework, but it's so helpful that when it comes time for the (somewhat challenging) biweekly quizzes, you realize that you don't really need to study as much. She'll spend a ton of time in class going over grammar, and, if you answer incorrectly when she calls on you, she'll spend time going over what you did wrong. Speaking of which, you better do your homework, because her way of going over the exercises is to randomly call on everyone in the class; she'll know when you're not keeping up with the work. Also, as far as vocabulary's concerned, you have to learn it on your own, because she doesn't really much time on it (they'll definitely show up on the quizzes). If there are any negatives about Diana, it'd probably be her pace. She goes ridiculously fast, and as such, she has to assign the aforementioned piles of daily homework. This can be either a good or bad thing, depending on how well you learn languages. I'd highly, highly, highly recommend her for Elementary I -- you're going to learn A LOT. She's SO nice and friendly, has tons of patience, and seems to enjoy teaching our class. She's awesome.
Diana is a very happy person and a great teacher- if you want to learn Spanish, this is the class for you. However, if you are thinking that Elem Span will be a breeze you're mistaken. She assigns homework every night and moves pretty quickly. The vocab you are resposible for learning on your own but the grammar she'll spend a lot of time in class on. Great class if taken seriously - you get out as much as you put in
Its hard to review Diana badly (she's a lovely person and very good teacher). I've heard horror stories about mean or just plain incompetant professors in the department. She is neither. However. Her class was very demanding. A little too much. The exercises she assigned only took an hour a night maybe a little more to do workbooks. But there was so much material covered that I easily spent at least another hour a day doing flashcards and struggled. She seems to test you on different skills without warning. (No vocabulary for three quizzes in a row and endless structure variations.) Then, change without warning. A test with only vocab. Its hard to figure out how to do well. At one point, I just wanted to cry during I test. And I looked up and saw that my study partner was actually bright red and silently crying. The frustrating part was that extra effort, extreme extra effort, didn't seem to help you do much better. At one point, I just got frustrated and gave up trying to learn the extra and grade dropped on the quizzes only marginally. That being said. I learned a lot. So much so I'm thinking of taking her again just because I don't want to risk wasting a semester with a bad prof and learning nothing. However, as the semester is about to start, I am literally waking up in the middle of the night with panic attacks wondering how I'll handle her workload. So, I may not...Very nice and available women though...so...maybe its just me? FYI, she does seem to pick favorites in the first week of class, so sit up straight.
Diana Romero is a great professor. She is young, fun, and sweet. She is very hard-working and very patient if she knows that you are doing your best. She does not like to waste time in class and I spent a considerable amount of time studying for this course but you will be rewarded for hard work. Make sure to attend and participate and you will surely do well. This was my first experience with Spanish and Professor Romero made it an absolute pleasure. I've heard that there are easier teachers, but if you want to be prepared for the departmental final (which is not that easy), take this teacher.
You'll learn a hell of a lot of Spanish in Diana's class... but that's just the problem--you learn too much! Diana's method of teaching involves heaping piles and piles of homework on her students. I expected about 15 minutes a day, but normally found myself doing at least 45 minutes worth of work (sometimes it took me 2 hours). On top of textbook work, there are hand outs, and in addition to those are the online workbook assignments, which are a pain in the ass to do (and you're never actually told how much they're worth, so you won't know whether or not to bother with them). By the end of the semester, we were already well into the imperfect tense to find that it wasn't even on the department final exam (probably because the other classes didn't even get to it by then). That being said, Diana's a very kind lady who teaches very effectively. It's just that, with other classes to worry about, you might want to try an easier option
Diana Romero is an exceptional professor. She seems to possess the ideal demeanor for a teacher. She is even-tempered, good-humored, and utterly unflappable. She is always available for office hours, patient and willing to help, both in class and out. I have spoken to several of my classmates from this past semester and they all said that they planned to give her rave reviews. Only Spanish is to be spoken in class. During class she will occasionally explain something in English, but only when absolutely necessary.
A very good professor. In addition to being genial and cheerful, is able to come up with a variety of assignments that both exploit our knowledge of Spanish well and ensure that the class never drags.
Diana is a great spanish professor. She has a lot of energy, and she makes classes interesting with a lot of her own activities and worksheets. She is also very genuine and will always answer questions. The class is not that hard, but be aware that she will always expect you to do your homework assigmnents (most of which take less than 10 minutes) and she will call on people during class. Participation is key here.