I agree with all of the positive reviews on Professor Johnson. Now that I am not a student anymore, (last semester Spanish, woo!), I can safely say this... EASY ON THE FUCKING EYES.
Ben is understanding, teaches well, and makes class engaging and even entertaining. If you can take his class, you will likely have a good time and learn the content well. His teaching is clear, especially of grammar topics, and it often seemed more clear than what I'd experienced from other instructors. He also is willing to clarify stuff in English, especially administrative matters, to make sure people understand. Google Translate felt accepted though for words we didn't know but wanted to use, which maybe is a good or bad thing. He was also willing to amend the curriculum and class schedule to meet our needs. When we asked to work on pronunciation, he came to the next class with a lesson on pronunciation. This is part of his extremely understanding nature which, applied to his teaching, makes him always willing to improve his teaching. Three big examples: 1) when a quiz had a listening section with an accent we didn't feel comfortable with, he graded leniently; 2) when we suggested a different format for the final presentation and gave impromptu feedback on the COVID project, he listened and changed the final; 3) when we had a quiz scheduled for a day when many of us had midterms, he changed the schedule to give us more study time. Overall, class was a fun time too. He gave us engaging topics to practice our Spanish with (e.g. talk about a celebrity breakup), had a relaxing sense of dry humor, and got in on the fun with us when we dressed up for Halloween (he put on a lion mask). The downsides: didn't have a ton of time to practice speaking Spanish, and some might find the class a bit disorganized. The end result was class environment that everyone seemed to feel very comfortable in. For our final presentations, while Ben's WiFi cut out (he was in a place where a big storm knocked out some wires I think), we all felt continuing our presentations, with some recording them, and willing to stay after class to support out classmates who still had to present.
Professor Johnson is the best! He is so kind, receptive, and helpful, and he has a great sense of humor that made this class really enjoyable. I was clear that he put so much effort into this course, and he was able to facilitate a great class environment even over Zoom. I highly recommend Professor Johnson!
Ben is a fantastic teacher, and like other reviews I highly recommend him. Spanish 3350 (Hispanic Cultures II) rushes through a ton of material- over 500 years of the history of Spain and Latin America are covered in 1 semeter. However, rather than focusing on memorizing dates, Ben emphasizes the readings, the social movements, and how either will relate. He is incredibly knowledable. It is worth noting that classes with Ben are never boring as he has a good sense of humor, and loves allowing students to do group work. Additionally, while he is not ethnically hispanic, he speaks amazingly fluent spanish, and I feel like I have learned a lot from him. At the beginning of the course, he seems a little intimidating (the course itself is a lot of work, and Ben always expects a full effort), but it is definitely very doable. I feel like I am a stronger reader, writer, and speaker after taking this class with Ben.
I have had Ben for two semesters now and I cannot recommend him enough. He is a really great professor, who seems to genuinely enjoy teaching. He brings a lot of enthusiasm and joking to what could otherwise be a boring subject. Moreover, he is a pretty relaxed grader and he is very sympathetic to the fact that students have a lot of other classes on their plate. He is also very patient with students still learning Spanish, and makes sure to talk slowly and clearly. As long as you do the reading (but you can skip a few), you will do fine. I found both his classes to be just enough work to teach me a lot about a new subject - but still so enjoyable as to be my favorite classes of the semester.