Introduction to Study of Language

Dominique Sportiche

Introduction to Study of Language

Linguistics department

Dominique Sportiche

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from 85 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.4
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 3.2
Easy
Heavy
Workload 3.3
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 3.2
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.2
Helpful
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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Useful Textbooks

Grades

Winter 2020
25.1%
21.0%
16.8%
12.6%
8.4%
4.2%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2018
27.6%
23.0%
18.4%
13.8%
9.2%
4.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2017
30.7%
25.6%
20.5%
15.4%
10.2%
5.1%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2016
21.9%
18.2%
14.6%
10.9%
7.3%
3.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2015
32.9%
27.4%
21.9%
16.4%
11.0%
5.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Fall 2014
25.6%
21.4%
17.1%
12.8%
8.5%
4.3%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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1 of 7

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Winter 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted March 28, 2021
Grade Received: C+

This class was hard! Everyone says that it’s an easy GE but it was very tough for me!! I should have taken it as Pass or No Pass and I regret it!! If you’re gonna do Ling 1, take it with another Professor!

Quarter Taken: Winter 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted March 28, 2021
Grade Received: A

Please avoid this professor. This is NOT an easy GE.

While Sportiche became more understanding over the course of the quarter, he was still used to in-person learning policies (this was his first time teaching in COVID) and was very strict in certain areas. He also does not allow you to ask questions in lecture, which was especially difficult because the course content is SO SO dense. The content is mildly interesting but the homeworks are HARD and my TA was not helpful at all (if you do take this class, avoid Phillip :/)

Do yourself a favor and choose a different GE, your GPA and future self will thank you.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted March 26, 2021
Grade Received: P

This was a HORRIBLE class and the other Bruinwalk reviews are really misleading. This was his first quarter teaching online and it was a whole mess. This is the hardest class I've taken at UCLA (and I've gotten A's in upper division stats courses) and I had to take it p/np. Thank god I passed but that was only because my study group slaved over the homework for HOURS every week (homeworks took combined independently and with my study group about 5 hours per week) and I studied for the final WAY ahead of time. The term paper is a breeze especially if you go through what you'll write about with your TA but that's the only easy thing about this class. DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS AS A GE. IT IS NOT EASY. Professor Sportiche is also EXTREMELY inaccessible as a professor- he made it EXTREMELY clear he would not be accommodating at all in answering student emails, in extensions for homework assignments or exams (EVEN WITH A DOCTORS NOTE), and for the grading scheme. People were getting COVID and needed extensions because they were sick but he refused to give it to them. WTF. This was an unsafe learning environment and I would not recommend anyone take his class ever- ESPECIALLY if you have a chronic illness. I'm usually a straight A student so I would have gotten a B if I took it for a letter grade but I didn't want it to tank my GPA.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted March 26, 2021
Grade Received: B

I personally struggled in this class a lot. The reviews are very misleading and as junior, I found this course to be one of the hardest classes I have ever taken. For a GE the professor expects a lot from students and makes the work very hard. During lecture he mutes students on Zoom so we cannot ask questions live and have to wait till section. The homework assignments are tedious and take a lot of time to complete. I had to ask classmates and TAs to help me for every single one. You have to do well on them because they are worth 45% of your grade. There is also a short paper on another language and that was a little easier, but if you don't understand the basic concepts in class it will be difficult to complete. He assigns chapters from the book used and questions are pulled directly from it for both the homework and final. The final was super hard and the only way I passed was because a decent amount of students complained and he made it open notes. He offers a few points of extra credit, but don't rely on that to help your grade. If you do all the work and devote a lot of your time to the material, you might be able to get an A. I would not recommend this professor. I suggest you take another class or instructor if possible.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted March 31, 2020 Grade Received: A+

This class was pretty easy for me. Homework 45%, final 45%, paper 10%.

The paper was pretty easy (it's not a real essay, essentially just 5 short answer questions broken up into parts) that was comparing English with another language you speak. It wasn't too hard but I can see difficulties for people who are not very fluent in their second language.

The homework was a bit more time-consuming but overall fairly easy. There was usually 1-3 extra credit points (with a cap of 100% possible on each individual homework, so no 110% grades) that would help make up for anything confusing. The homework on trees was definitely the hardest for everyone, but by the end of the course they were pretty easy--at least, with the sentences we were given. The lowest homework grade (of 7) was dropped.

The final was not very hard, and was open note because it was an online final. We had 2 hours to answer I believe 59 questions. I missed I think 2 questions and I don't know which ones it was but there were a few tricky ones on there for sure. I think 10 of the questions were on trees, which is a significant amount. There were some questions on different speech-related disabilities/diseases as well. I don't remember the other questions, they were kind of broadly related to a lot of things we discussed but there were definitely a lot of tree questions so take special note of that.

I was lucky to have a pretty good TA, I think this class tends to have about 50% good TAs and 50% not-so-good TAs so it's worth shopping around if you are intimidated by the course at all. Attendance was mandatory because it was the only way to turn in/pick up new homeworks.

Sportiche himself is an okay lecturer, I fell asleep a lot in his class but his online notes are a pretty okay substitute for his actual lecture. However there are things in his lecture that are not on his notes that were on the exam (and vice versa). So I would definitely recommend attending lecture still. He was kind of rude in his emails about how if you email him he won't email you back (a lot of people were emailing him asking for an optional final because of COVID-19 I believe) and he just sent out a mass email with a few sentences then the bolded sentence that he won't email you back individually because of the """"size of the class"""". It just seemed kinda standoffish for no reason, like, "no, I won't address your concerns." Honestly though it's not a big deal because the class isn't too difficult. Definitely worth taking for the Life Science GE for engineers if you hate biology like I do.

Quarter Taken: Fall 2018 Submitted June 21, 2019 Grade Received: A-

Sportiche's grading scheme is 45% homework, 45% final, and 10% final paper, allowing students to capitalize on the (incredibly easy) homework assignments and focus on preparing for the exam throughout the quarter by paying attention during lecture and to their homework. There is no midterm exam. I'd say as long as you do the homework and understand it on a base level, you should be just fine in this class. Sportiche doesn't post his slides, which could be a pain in the ass, but he makes up for it by posting a review sheet of the topics that he went over in class that week. The final paper tasks students with linguistically comparing English with another language they are familiar with.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2020 Submitted March 22, 2020 Grade Received: A

This class is so awesome. I loved it. I realized how much we humans take for granted our ability to interpret and produce language. Sportiche is an awesome dude as well. He really loves what he teaches. To succeed in this class, MAKE SURE you find a reliable group of friends to study with. You are going to want to score high on the weekly homeworks, which constitute 45% of your grade.

I am selling the required textbook: Pinker's "The Language Instinct" as an iBooks version for $4. I would recommend using this electronic version as you can easily find keywords by using command F, which is very helpful when doing the homework. The hard copy is slightly cumbersome.

I am selling all of the answers to the 7 homeworks (I got 100% on all of them), $20 for the whole set. Feel free to text me at 7149870551.

Good luck in this class, you will do amazing!

Quarter Taken: Winter 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted June 4, 2021
Grade Received: A+

This class is definitely a commitment, but you end up learning a lot. With long and somewhat boring lectures and a final that counts for a huge portion of your grade, it was a little intimidating. I recommend you only take this class if you have to for a major pre-req or if you are really interesting in linguistics, because there are probably easier GEs out there. But I have a lot of respect for Dr. Sportiche because he was very accommodating during covid and changed the entire format of the final to make it easier for students. The final exam has some questions straight from the homework which is nice. The class overall requires a moderate amount of time, but the time you do spend on it should be pretty focused. A lot of the material is very tedious--much more so than it should be-- but looking back I'm glad I learned it.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted March 30, 2021
Grade Received: A+

This class was 45% final exam, 45% homework assignments and 10% final paper. Prof Sportiche's lectures were pretty clear and included some interesting examples. It can be a bit long-winded and he doesn't post slides, but he does post notes that summarize the lectures in case you miss something. At the start of the quarter he was definitely kind of stand-offish about answering emails. But it's pretty easy to communicate with the TAs.

Section isn't mandatory and you can attend any section you like. Each one is basically just a TA answering questions/summarizing the past week of lectures and reading. It's helpful but not essential to attend.

The homework is based on lecture and reading material. You definitely do need the book but there are free PDFs online. It was a little hard to grasp all of the ideas in the HW but there is extra credit available on all of them and the lowest score is dropped.

The final paper was about comparing two languages and the TAs weren't that strict about grading. I thought it wasn't too hard but it could be more of a struggle if you're not particularly familiar with more than 1 language.

The final exam was open-note multiple choice and proctored via Zoom (no lockdown browser) after we emailed Prof. Sportiche with many complaints about the Respondus browser. I think if you understand each homework assignment as you go you should be fine for the final and for the class overall.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2021
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Submitted March 30, 2021
Grade Received: A

I wish I could have enjoyed this class, but the difficulty was exacerbated by it being winter quarter and online. I'm sure it's not that difficult in person and with another professor, but I literally just could not deal. The content itself would have been interesting if I wasn't halfway depressed January thru March. Lectures were boring (I didn't watch anything after week 4), the provided lecture notes were really really long, and section was absolutely worthless because participation wasn't mandatory and nobody ever had their cameras on or asked questions. Allowing students to attend any section ended up backfiring like that. So yeah, I ended up teaching myself through youtube videos, which is definitely possible as I (somehow) got an A. The final and essay weren't that difficult tbh. The homework wasn't bad but you really have to understand the content, otherwise you'll have to spend a couple hours searching for answers in the lecture notes or textbook. The textbook, The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker, was actually really enjoyable, I will say that. But that was the only part of the class I liked.

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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Needs Textbook
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Gives Extra Credit
  • Useful Textbooks
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