professor
Diane Berthezene

Jan 2007

Looking back on my French days, I have to say that Diane is one of the best instructors in the department. She's very enthusiastic about the class, gives fairly easy exams, and, above all, is super nice. Sure, she may have a couple communication errors since English is not her first language, but she really tries to come up with interesting ways to motive the class. If you try a little, and actually listen to those CD's, then you'll do fine in her class. I highly recommend that you take any french class with her.

Nov 2006

Diane is a dreadful teacher. She doesnt actually teach you anything and her grading system is completely arbitrary. I even complained about this woman to my dean and the head of the french department. I cant believe she is still allowed to teach here. Run. Run fast...far away from Diane. I've taken lots of french classes at Columbia and i've loved all the teachers in the department except her. Trust me. anyone is better than her.

Apr 2006

Diane is young, energetic, and enthusiastic. I've taken French for many years and have always been frustrated by the lack of focus on pronunciation and speaking in most non-specific French courses. Because she is native to France, Diane asks everyone to read out-loud at least once every class period, and she is attentive to exactly what you need to practice (reading style AND pronunciation). There are also compositions, plenty of games, and interactive group activities to keep the learning style varied. I really, really, appreciated her enthusiasm for the class; especially because it meets four days a week, she never makes you feel like you're wasting your time. I can't emphasize enough how perceptive she is for each student's strengths and weaknesses; I felt like she genuinely cared that I was improving. I highly recommend her as a French instructor.

Mar 2006

diane is the most dreadful "teacher" i have ever encountered. absolte couchemare, as we say en francais. she did not teach me one single thing. she missed several classes and was in general a mess. avoid her at all costs. she should really be teaching 3rd grade or something - not that i would recommend that anyone leave their 9 year old with her - but this seems about the level of the knowledge she imparts. she did not answer emails and frequently argued with class members in a non-academic manner. RUN AWAY FROM DIANE AS FAST AS YOU CAN!

Jan 2006

I thought I'd refrain from CULPA forever, but I have to help Diane out a little here. Yes, she did miss three classes in three weeks, though she seemed deeply sorry once she apologized. She was entirely new to not only New York but also the U-S-A. Shit happens. Once judgements and foul attitudes are pushed aside, much can be learned from Diane, as she is young, Parisian and eager to correct and improve your speech. I disagree with the statement she had no lesson plans. Sure, on days when there were presentations, the presentation was the main feature, but it was its topic which was the plan. It's not like the student stood in front of us for an hour. On other days she could be quite creative, like when we played "tape a vowel sound to your back and let the class pronounce and you write it on the board". I thought it was brillant. Again, the worst thing about Diane's class was the general bad attitude set off by her absences. I imagine if we had gotten off to a better start we could have had a more productive semester. A general note to French schedulers and students however: conversation classes at 9am is not a good idea.

Jan 2006

This woman is an absolutely terrible teacher, avoid her sections if at all possible. She missed 3 days of class within 3 weeks with no warning (this was a 9am class, which made it doubly annoying to show up and find the teacher not there), and is completely irresponsible about answering e-mails, giving help outside of class, and anything else. She rarely had a lesson plan, and instead made each oral presentation, which was supposed to be 20 minutes long, stretch to fill the entire class. We never had homework, and only 2 quizes, which might have been nice for a light workload, but my French definitely suffered. Not writing for a semester, and only speaking/ hearing French twice a week actually hurt my skills, and this class is supposed to make you a better speaker.

Jan 2006

If you're going to take French 1202, make sure its with Diane. Hailing from France herself, her accent and speech patterns will aid experience and make class interesting and fun. She's an excellent human being who cares very much about her students. The only downside of the class comes from the administration and the French department itself, which unfortunately needs some help in organization and planning, but this fault does not lie at the hands of the teacher and therefore is unavoidable anyway. To restate what I've already said, if youre taking French 1202, make sure its with Diane. You won't regret it.