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Alumni Course Evaluations

Here are some comments from course evaluations, including comments about our our energetic and intelligent language teachers at the IUP-Tsinghua center:

"X Laoshi is a really top-notch teacher who creatively combines the best elements of Western and Chinese pedagogical approaches to teaching classical Chinese to make this class a great learning experience. Particularly helpful was the frequent review of materials to teach and reinforce grammar and frequently used vocabulary. Also very helpful is her ability to let students engage with difficult passages by having them explain how they think the grammar works, then gently pointing out the weaknesses in the student's understanding."

"X Laoshi is one of the most facile, brightest minds I've encountered in China. She also possesses a sort of poise and maturity well suited to eliciting students' respect, and consequently, eager attention. She is unfailingly zealous and capable in stoking classroom debate, and manages to find interest in topics of seemingly little importance. On top of this, I find her to be a genuinely kind and considerate person, without thereby encouraging laxity in her student's performance. The textbook used in this course contained writings on many quite fascinating subjects, thought often expressing views with which I greatly disagree...Nonetheless, X Laoshi did an admirable job taking these views, which struck me initially as patently false or misleading, and constructing arguments around them to keep me in heated discussion, regardless of her personal take on the subjects."

"X Laoshi is clearly a very experienced, outstanding teacher. She maintains a good balance between discussing the text and drilling grammar and new words. The aspect of her teaching I admire the most is the method by which she drills the students. Namely, the examples she uses are interesting, and she incorporates words and patterns studied in previous chapters (thereby reinforcing the students' grasp on such words). Moreover, she continues to drill a word or pattern until she senses that everyone fully understands its usage and meaning."

"I feel that this is a great class. The text really does a good job in preparing a student for independent reading. I felt that X Laoshi did an excellent job with the material, and forced us to use the difficult vocabulary in class. She was also attentive to our weaknesses and always answered our questions clearly and quickly...the class and the teacher achieved their goals of increasing my vocabulary and better preparation for independent reading."

"X Laoshi is a truly outstanding teacher, especially for this type of class. She was always extremely well-prepared, and went to much extra trouble to do the background reading to better understand my research topic, as well as pointing out useful secondary source material. Her enthusiasm is catching and encourages the student to put in his best effort. Offering this type of instruction to grad students in the Program is extremely essential if the Program is to satisfy grad students' needs -- to do this it is absolutely vital that you maintain a cadre of teachers with a strong background in classical literature and history like X Laoshi..."

"X Laoshi is the best Chinese teacher I have ever had. She is always extremely well prepared for class and is quick to think of new methods to test my knowledge of newly learned vocabulary. She strikes a perfect balance between firmness and friendliness."

"X Laoshi was the perfect teacher for this class -- so smart, yet so good at expressing herself so that even we nitwits could understand... Out of everyone at IUP this summer, X Laoshi probably had the greatest impact on me, that is, she definitely pushed me the hardest and didn't let me get away with my broken but understandable kiddie Chinese. She forced me not only to express myself better (with just a few choice words, in class and out; no lectures) to use what I was currently learning or had just learned this summer, but also to dig out real thoughts, the kind usually reserved for "real" school and my own English writing. Only a few people have ever truly challenged me and through their challenges led me to take my thinking and articulation to another level -- X Laoshi is one of them. People that incredible are hard to find."