Elementary Modern Chinese
Winter 2018 - Good professor. He goes kinda fast in lecture to actually learn the words and characters but I think his emphasis is more on practicing speaking and listening to Chinese than writing. I ended up doing lots of flashcards and that got me through the class. The final is challenging and everyone has to participate in a skit at the end of the class. He can get really pissed if he catches someone on their phone or laptop and really wants people to attend lecture. Sometimes he'll do a participation quiz just to take attendance and he'll do role by calling your name to participate in class. There are weekly quizzes in discussion so if you slack on your character memorization your grade will take a hit, but it's really easy most of the time if you've done that. Homework isn't too bad and I mostly did it the night before and it only took 2/3 hours for workbook and characters.
She is good, no doubt about it. Professor Fu loves non-native speakers and really encourages them and pushes them. Her teaching style is excellent: she knows how to integrate material, explore new methods, and most of all make you learn even if you don't feel like you are. The beginning might be a little painful, and it is semi-time-consuming. But in the end, it is very worth it. If you want to learn, ask questions and she'll really make your time beneficial. Questions and participation is the key to success and also to enjoyment of the class. TAs are less reliable for Chinese classes. Try to get into a section with a good TA, because they will be with you three times a week. You can learn to pronounce Chinese, speak conversationally, and read and write certain things by the end. This is pretty good, considering most people think Chinese is an extremely foreign and strange language. If you're a native speaker, this is not the class for you: avoid it like the plague because it will be extremely boring. And again, it's okay to mess up and be wrong. She like that, even.
Winter 2021 - There's really not much to say about the professor, except that she's really good at teaching and that the grade distribution really is that good. Of course, Chinese is a memorization-heavy language, and there's no getting out of that. That said, the workload isn't too bad: about 6 hours a week of outside study should be more than enough in a typical week. That said, if you took Chin 1 with Yao, note that Chin 2 WILL be significantly harder than Chin 1. While I've never taken Chief's class, apparently Yao's exams are on a whole other level compared to Chief. Also, exams are 100% closed note. By the way, the last 2 weeks are intense; 3 lessons are covered, instead of the usual 1 lesson per week. In terms of course logistics, you will need THREE textbooks: the Textbook, the Workbook, and the CHARACTER Workbook. Homework is graded on effort, and in-class assignments are basically graded on effort, although if you repeat the same mistakes you will be docked points. Again, you must pick Simplified or Traditional and stick with it. Lecture and Discussion attendance are MANDATORY, but if you show up to them, they're free points. There are mandatory in-class assignments and quizzes. If you don't show up to them, you'll hurt your grade pretty badly. Also, as a heads up, lectures routinely go overtime, so keep that in mind when planning coursework Quizzes form the bulk of your grade, and generally involve you transcribing what Yao Laoshi says into Chinese-both into characters and pinyin. They're graded very generously. Exams are actually quite difficult as they're purely written and you have to memorize many radicals. Yes, this is Chinese 2, but you still have to memorize radicals. Fortunately, exams are not worth that much of your grade (like 30% total). By the way, the cutoff for a solid A appears to range from 93 to 95%. 93% is reasonable, but 95% is actually much harder to get than it seems. 90% is the cutoff for an A minus. Basically, show up, care about the class, do your work (it's really clear what you're assigned to do), and you should do fine.