Juan Jimenez-Caicedo

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

Apr 2020

Professor Jimenez is a really nice and helpful teacher. He's available in & out of class, and is really dedicated to his students. The class can be a little disorganized sometimes, but I didn't find it nearly as bad as the other reviews made it out to be. He really encourages every student to talk, which for me, was really helpful--my oral/listening skills have definitely improved this semester at a much faster rate than they did in my high school classes. A lot of the class functions in small discussion groups to practice conversing, so I guess what you get out of it depends somewhat on the effort of your classmates. His grading is pretty easy--the quizzes are based directly on the textbook chapters, which means you know exactly what's coming and if you study you'll be fine.

May 2014

I could not agree more with previous reviewer. Professor Jimenez is a sweet man and a likable guy, but unfortunately if you are trying to learn Spanish in a structured environment, with a lesson plan that actually revolves around Spanish––go figure I know––then this is not the professor for you. I need not go into detail why because the previous reviewer's comments are a carbon copy of my own sentiments. It is disheartening to feel compelled to write a critical and rather negative review of a good-hearted person, but it is also frustrating to waste thousands of dollars and dozens of mindless hours on a course not living up to its rather simple objectives. Reviewing my own cost/benefit analysis of where my allegiance aligns, inevitably it was more important for me to speak up and be critical than to remain silent and not echo the previous reviewer's sentiments. This form of transparent communication that CULPA provides is an important tool to let future students know what they are potentially and plausibly getting into. But, it is not a sure fire testament by any account. With that said, do not take just our word for it. Negative reviews so often trump the positive ones. There will be others out there who are ready and willing to defend this professor on the grounds of his personality, on the grounds of his infectious teaching style, and on the grounds that something life-altering uprooted his trajectory mid-way through the semester, and thus is why he arguably became or transformed into a tangential and ill-focused teacher. They may or may not be right. I began to tune out about a month in. That is me. One person's opinion is hardly emblematic of the pulse of multiple sections. Nevertheless, it is important that you know and see both sides, and know this could have truly been a fluke of a semester for this professor. Only time will tell. Only when you weigh both sides can you truly make an informed decision.

May 2014

Great professor! This was one of the most interesting and engaging courses that I've taken. He has a very different method of teaching and stays away from the traditional lecture type course you may be used to. He hopes that his students grasp more than just the language. I thought this was an amazing aspect of the class. There are some reviews who felt it was a waste of time to go to class after March and that you should stay away from him. He is by far one of the most understanding professors and will help you as much as he can if you need him because he genuinely cares for his students. It is true he might of had a difficult time during that period after March, but that is not indicative of the teacher he typically is. He is a human being and is not perfect. As students, we tend to forget that. Overall, I recommend him to any student. I believe you will be pleased with him as your professor.

May 2014

I love Prof. Jimenez-Caicedo, and having taken two semesters of class with him, I can say for certain that there is a reason he has a silver nugget. However, his charisma aside, I feel obliged to review him objectively. Prof. Jimenez is extremely approachable, understanding, and encouraging, and can be a great professor when he chooses to be. My Spanish improved immensely after taking his class and I am forever indebted to him for he helped me through my most difficult time: having literally no previous exposure of Spanish, I walked into his elementary 1 class last semester finding that my classmates were already ahead of me. It was an intimidating experience--I would get a stomach ache every time I had to go to class because I was terrrified that I was going to be called on and be embarrassed in front of my classmates. However after these first few agonizing weeks, I actually looked forward to going to class. Prof. Jimenez was the most enthusiastic, energetic, hilarious, thought provoking and absolutely engaging professor you can expect. He helped me develop my skills and my confidence and made me fall in love with Spanish. I always felt so motivated that I genuinely enjoyed doing all the assignments, like the biweekly blog posts and the essays. Class was just so much fun and Prof. Jimenez turned us into a big group of friends. Overall, a great experience. However, I do share the feeling with the review below that by the end of March, things started to fall apart. Prof. Jimenez did not give any real instruction on anything relevant to the course material for the second half of this semester, and instead gave us lectures on Latin American culture and his personal life. While I enjoy the cultural elements of his class and appreciate his teaching philosophy of "changing the world through the word", I at times became frustrated at his endless digressions and student-led debates over simple grammar uses that were leading to nowhere. I was especially disappointed that he gave up the very helpful oral exercises when I was getting more and more into them. Also, he could be slow at replying to emails or giving us feedback on written assignments. I noticed that some of my classmates never discovered that he never gave some of our compositions back, but being a very organized person myself, I could not neglect the fact. I suspect that a lot of this disorganization had to do with his personal life, and I feel bad about writing this for there simply aren't any negative things I could say about him or the class before March. He has been a phenomenal teacher, and has a way of making us learn without realizing it, but I wished he could be more structured and prepare us better for the departmental exams. All that being said, he is still pretty much the most popular choice in the Spanish department. If you believe in having fun and have a passion for the language, you probably wanna be in Prof. Jimenez's class, but you'll need to push yourself a bit harder. Definitely make time for his office hours if you are struggling with grammar, if you need to discuss your writings, or if you just need some constructive advice. He is super helpful when you approach him personally.

May 2014

JP is a nice guy. He clearly loves his kids, and he clearly wants us to learn something about the world after taking his class. That said, I literally cannot fathom why this guy has any positive reviews, let alone a silver nugget. He just didn't teach us any Spanish. We got lectures in Spanglish on linguistics, Colombian history, the American education system, and the meaning of life (I kid you not). What we never got was an effective lesson on preterite vs. imperfect, on irregular verbs in the conditional, on ANY topic that was actually relevant to the course material. At the start of the semester, we'd occasionally do structured activities that helped us grasp the material, like reading things in small groups or having discussions relevant to the vocab list. But all semblance of real instruction fell away by the end of March. I have no idea why I kept on waking up at 8:40 for that bullshit. It's an easy course. You'll probably do fine. But if you want to learn a language, stay far, far away.

Jan 2010

This class would frustrate me at times, but ultimately I would recommend Professor Jimenez-Caicedo. Since this is the last semester of the Spanish language requirement, I think that there were many people in my class who were there only for that reason and didn’t really care about learning the language. This was a little disappointing, and dampened some of his efforts to engage the class in small group discussions. But that’s what you get with Int. II. In terms of material, I learned much more in any of my high school Spanish classes. Here, we hardly learned new vocabulary and we only reviewed the subjunctive. (Thankfully we were just reviewing, because I didn’t find his grammar explanations to be very straightforward.) However, we had many opportunities to practice the language we already knew- from class discussions to interesting, argumentative paper assignments. The class was heavily discussion-based with very little lecturing. Group discussions and activities (such as “charlemos”- free-form chatting in Spanish with a partner based on one or two questions) took up most of class time. Also, blog entries and movies we watched in class relating to current events and issues Latin America were interesting. Throughout all this, Professor Jimenez-Caicedo is very approachable and understanding. Overall, he is interested in his students ideas and encourages the expression of these ideas rather than meticulous grammatical perfection.

Dec 2009

If you are thinking about taking a class with Professor Jimenez-Caicedo, you DEFINITELY should! First of all, he is very friendly and supportive. He lets you actually talk in Spanish and express yourself without stopping you every other word to correct you (although he will give subtle corrections, but not to the point of being annoying or condescending). He has a very good sense of humor too. One of the best things about Prof. Jimenez-Caicedo is that actually explains why you need to use certain verb tenses or grammar point, and how the meaning of what you say actually can change a lot based on which verb tense you use. His explanations made things so much easier to understand! My only critique would be that Prof. Jimenez-Caicedo is sometimes a little slow handing back assignments. But in his defense he did have three sections of this class (that's about 60 students), which is a lot.

Nov 2009

Basically he is awesome. Flexible with due dates and understanding. Wants you to do your best and have a good time. Class is very enjoyable and doing the homework isn't a big deal. You practice speaking a lot which ends up being really helpful and you learn without realizing it.

Jul 2009

After taking Spanish 1102 with Juan in the Spring, I would feel wrong if I didn't write a review for him. Hands down, Juan is great. He had no trouble keeping our whole class engaged for the whole semester, which is especially difficult with a class that meets 4x a week. In short, Juan turned the class into a group of friends, who happen to be learning spanish together. We usually spent the majority of the class talking to one another and learning new things about everyone in the class, which eventually turned us into a big group that could speak together comfortably. Juan was most concerned with all of our individual development rather than being picky about grammar assignments and homework, which was a huge help and relief. I learned more spanish in one semester with Juan than in 4 years of high school spanish.

Apr 2009

I would take professor jimenez's class again in a heartbeat. He has a way of making you learn without you realizing you're actually learning things. His classes are structured, as you'll see how he writes the class agenda on the board, but the class flows so smoothly you'll barely realize you're going from one task to the next. He's got a great sense of humor, is extremely friendly and very encouraging. you will never have to be nervous about speaking out loud in faulty spanish in his class because he is super nice when correcting you. just generally a great guy. if you want to have a good time learning spanish, professor jimenez's class is the place to be!