NOTE: Review written for online semester during COVID-19 pandemic. This class is a LOT of work -- mostly reading and online HW assignments -- but it will improve your French substantially. The French department changed the curriculum from relying on a textbook to custom-made vocabulary & grammar units with lots of online assignments like Tex's French Grammar, etc. I'm pretty sure Professor Queuniet said she personally designed the second half of the curriculum. So long as you keep up with the HW and review the vocabulary, you will be fine. Professor Queuniet gives lots of resources and is helpful with correcting errors, and gives very thorough feedback on all the HW. I will say that the bulk of the learning is now out of class -- everything is explained on PowerPoint slides that you have to read through and answer prompts for, and class time is used just to clarify and practice. However, since it's on Zoom it's very easy to not raise your hand to participate, in which case you don't get the same time or exposure as others. You definitely have to be proactive and on top of all your work to do well.
I'm pretty sure Queuniet didn't like me all too much. I forgot to turn in a vocab sheet quite in time, and she was pretty obviously miffed. That being said, I want to give her the highest possible recommendation! Sophie is a strong native speaker with an incredible vocabulary. She can call to memory random words, define them using only french, and still make it all interactive and fun. In a conversation class, you'd figure that there would be a lot of awkward silence, even from the professor, but it wasn't like that at all! She wasn't an overbearing, domineering professor that solely commanded the class. Nor was she a (pardon the French) laissez-faire professor, leaving it all to the students. Sophie was the excellent medium; she managed to steer conversations effortlessly from topic to topic, leaving all students satisfied. She brought in some french students to talk to, played "Taboo" with us, broadened our vocabulary immensely, and forced us to speak only in French. She was an excellently versatile professor, able to handle everything. That being said, she was by NO means an easy-A professor. If you struggle with vocab every so often like I do, she can be pretty brutal on quizzes. I haven't heard of any other Conv. Fr. teacher that gives quizzes yet. She also judges your presentations pretty harshly, but makes excellent criticism points. She wasn't an easy teacher, but if you really, really wanna improve your French, she's the professor to do it. The thing she did best was pronunciation - Sophie had a website that she would use to play little games to test our pronunciation. There were even some questions about it on our quizzes! My pronunciation was about a million times better at the end than it was at the beginning, and I'd considered myself fairly strong in that area. What a wonderful French teacher. To top it off, she brought us breakfast on the last day of class! Really cannot urge you enough: TAKE THIS DAMN CLASS.
What a wonderful teacher and woman. I've never been so encouraged to learn a language, and with such rigor and fun. Sophie clearly knows how to teach French, and how to relay difficult concepts to (frankly) lazy summer students. I appreciated that she corrected our pronunciation at every point. I walked into the class with barely any memory of French and walked out with what feels like 3 semesters' worth. Also, I took the course for fun, mostly, but after seeing Sophie's dedication, I studied hard and just wanted to do well for her â€”Â because she was putting in so much effort to teach us the material! Not only is Sophie the most effective teacher I've ever had at Columbia, but also she's the most patient and the kindest (with a great sense of humor, too). Very maternal and Mother Nature-like. I looked forward to coming to class everyday, and I'll miss her.
What an absolutely fantastic professor! She really went the extra mile for the 15 of us -- we had four compositions, four exams, lots of exercises, and she--not a TA--graded them *all*, added encouraging comments, gave us rewrite opportunities, and returned all graded assignments the very next day without fail. The course went two hours every day in the summer, M, Tu, W, Th--a punishing schedule--but she was always impeccably prepared, energetic, and fun. Since she is a native speaker, her accent was obviously a perfect model, but she could also explain the grammatical rules right away, without grasping for them. This is a fairly rare combination in a language instructor; normally one gets either the pronunciation or the fine points on grammar, but we got both. It's easy for an instructor to "wing it" on easy material, but it seemed like she truly prepared before class. As if this weren't enough, there are more semi-optional resources for your enjoyment than you could ever hope to look at on Courseworks--French music videos (with transcribed lyrics!), French movies, poem recitation, all of which it seems she picked out. Courseworks is used very effectively. There were even web-sites she designed for oral comprehension (hosted at Carnegie Mellon). I have taken many language courses in the past, some at universities with nominally first-rate language departments, but Sophie is the best language instructor I ever had, and the course was structured thoughtfully. Highest possible recommendation.
Professor Queuniet was an excellent teacher. She really tried to keep the class motivated and excited about the material, and if the class weren't at 9 a.m., she might have been successful. The grammar is important for the exams, but not so much for class discussion. The readings can be tedious and rather boring, but "La regle du jeu" makes it all worth while. Professor Queuniet is extremely attentive and will gladly explain any concepts with which you need help. She is also a native speaker, but admits she doesn't know everything there is to know about French, which leads to a lot of funny moments in class where she consults wordreference.com or the textbook. She doesn't do a very good job of explaining the different types of papers: resume, dissertation, explication de texte, and the one we didn't get to.
Sophie is *the* French teacher for a few reasons: 1. Sophie is a native speaker. 2. Sophie is exceedingly kind and patient. 3. Sophie actually cares about her students' learning (go figure!) 4. Sophie keeps the class atmosphere light yet still formal. 5. Sophie isn't afraid to admit that she doesn't know something; she will promptly look it up and give you the answer you desire. 6. Sophie is open to suggestions. 7. Sophie encourages learning from mistakes. 8. Sophie isn't afraid to criticize her teaching style or curriculum. 9. Sophie made waking up for a 9:00 class worth it and enjoyable-- dare I say even fun?
Sophie is was an excellent instructor for my French 1202 course; she was always well prepared for class, very responsive to student feedback, and adapted well to each student's level of French so that nobody felt left behind or too far ahead. The workload was average, we had a short quiz every week or two and a few assigned readings from the standard textbooks per week. What you'd expect for a 4 point course. On top of that, she's just such a sweetheart, and genuinely cares about your progress in the course. Sophie will make an effort to let you know what areas are pulling your mark down so that you have a chance to boost your grade before it's too late to change anything.