Elementary Italian -- Beginning
Professor Ciavolella is one of the best professors at UCLA. He's really nice and he shows a lot of interest in the material (which is actually really interesting). I took Comparative Literature 1B with him Winter 2010, and it was seriously one of the best choices I've made class-wise. It was a really easy A: one 50-minute midterm, one 5-page paper, and the final. And going to lecture everyday and asking one question (there were 50 people in the class) paid off: I accidentally overslept the 8AM final and showed up at 9:45AM. Because he knew my face and knew I wasn't a slacker, Professor Ciavolella said he would give me extra time for his final should I need it! He's a really nice guy, the class is interesting, and it's seriously a great way to boost your GPA. If you can take a class with him, DO IT!!!
Definitely get Professor Marino for Italian 1. He is hilarious and always makes class enjoyable. Marino is really lenient on late work and doesn't require a lot of homework besides the online work. The only downside to his class is that it's so easy that Italian 2 with a different professor can be a little difficult in the beginning.
I have to disagree with the negative review. Sure he could give more homework, but if you are genuinely interested in learning Italian open up your book and read some more or do extra exercises. He's extremely nice, and often disrespected. Half the class doesn't show up, but he'll continue teaching just the same even if only 3 students arrive. It is up to the student to decide how much they will get from this class. If you go every day (and clearly, you should) then you will learn something even if you are lazy. Do the homework, practice on your own, and you will do fine. It's fun, he's nice, it's not overwhelming, and remember...it is a ten week introductory italian class...and learning it from someone who actually speaks italian is beneficial.