All Ratings and Reviews for Giuseppina Silvestri
So I took this class during online learning. While Prof. Silvestri is the actual professor, the class is almost entirely taught through recorded Harold Torrence lectures. Torrence is a great lecturer and the material isn't super difficult and is generally replicated in the reading. I have trouble paying attention to recorded lectures, so I primarily read the textbook instead. Grades are composed of participation (discussion section and a once a week mandatory attendance lecture w Silvestri); homework; two easy papers; midterm and final. Overall not super interesting in my opinion, but a pretty easy A.
I took this class during the COVID-19 pandemic in an online format.
This class is managed by Professor Silvestri, but the vast majority of the actual material comes from asynchronous, prerecorded lectures from the department. There were about 1-3 hours of these lectures to watch on any given week. While that seems like a lot, they were very interesting and very helpful for the midterms/finals, so I didn't mind them too much.
The workload of this class is extremely light; there are 6 short homework quizzes (MC), and two longer essays that are really easy (and fun) to write about languages. Both the midterm and final were multiple choice, with much more time given than needed. (3 hours for 50 multiple choice questions that are basically vocabulary recall/application). Overall, the difficulty of this class is quite low AS LONG AS YOU KEEP UP WITH LECTURES! If you fall behind on lectures, you will be missing material, as all the material is "either you know it or you don't." The textbook is also recommended, but not required (and you can find it online anyway). I found reading the textbook to be the most effective way to study vocabulary, and sometimes something would ONLY be mentioned in the textbook, though that would only cost you a couple points if you didn't know it on a test.
Professor Silvestri does host one live lecture a week for an hour, where she usually looks at a specfic case study of a topic we learn about in the recorded lectures that week. They are pretty interesting and attending them is required for a participation grade. They aren't super helpful for the tests however. TAs also host various sessions, and the discussion you sign up for is NOT the one you must attend (you can choose any session at any time by any TA, so long as you attend at least one session per week). Discussions are mainly review of the online lectures and supplemental — they are somewhat useful for tests but I didn't personally enjoy them much. (Results may vary with various TAs).
When it comes to communication with the professor, at least during this online format, it was quite minimal. Professor Silvestri is very approachable during office hours and lectures though, and overall is very nice. One thing to note is that she is quite unforgiving when it comes to things outlined in the syllabus; i.e. do not ask her a question that is answered in the syllabus.
In conclusion, this was a pretty fun and interesting class. An excellent choice for non-bio STEM majors to get their Bio GE, or for anyone to get their Linguistic Analysis GE. The class is easy, engaging and enjoyable so long as you put in the minimal effort of keeping up with the lectures. I would definitely recommend this class.
- Amazing video lectures
- 2 easy and straightforward essays that shouldn't take too long. The reports were about comparing the traits of two languages.
- 6 homework assignments overall (roughly 15 questions per homework, multiple choice)
- Fair exams, no tricks
- Lectures and discussions are mandatory
- The professor can act pretty passive-aggressively at times
- There is a lot of overlap between the video lectures, live lectures, and reading
- There are a lot of things, like IPA symbols, that you have to memorize
OVERALL: I would definitely recommend taking this class as a GE. The assignments were pretty light and usually doesn't take that much time.
Giuseppina is fantastic! I took her LING 20 class on the side of two heavier STEM classes and found the subject to be an interesting look at language more than half of the time. It can get a little technical with grammaticality, sentence structure, and phonological rules (language sounds). While the required homework (30% of your grade, graded pretty leniently) was usually short, it could be tricky- but the TAs would always be happy to help you through it and check your rationale before you turned it in. The midterm (35%) wasn't so hard, but the material got a decent amount trickier by the final (35%), which would require you spend some more time learning everything and getting support from her and the TAs. She offered 2% extra credit, and her lectures came straight out of the textbook, which is a free pdf another professor on campus wrote very well and with clear explanations of each topic. Though I didn't do as well as I'd have liked because I didn't allot enough time to studying for the final, I'd definitely take more classes with her. She's really sweet and always brought a positive energy to each lecture. Get feedback on your practice from the TAs and you'll do great.
This class is really easy, but I took it online so that might be why. There are homework quizzes(MC) almost weekly as well as a midterm, a final, and 2 short papers. Most of the lectures were pre-recorded and not done by Silvestri. They were very interesting but incredibly long. There was one live lecture a week but none of the material covered in those was super important. Overall, a very easy and interesting GE.
I found ling1 a very interesting class. Human language is a very interesting concept, and if you have the slightest bit of interest in language learning or linguistics, I highly recommend taking this class. If you already know you despise linguistics, you may want to not take this class.
I found Giuseppina's lectures interesting, but honestly For Ling1, the professor you have doesn't matter. Even though it's required to attend Zoom lectures live, (or to watch the lectures and take a quiz), none of the content discussed in the lectures is tested. Instead, material from prerecorded lectures by Harold and a few by Russel (R.i.p.) cover the course material. Harold gives very in depth coverage of the material, and pretty much verbatim of the textbook. Even though the lectures are long, I suggest watching them and paying attention. Russel covers the last two weeks, but his lectures are less in depth so you may want to read the textbook.
It's also required to attend a discussion section each week, but due to the distance learning, you were able to attend whichever you desire. Material in the discussion sections will be tested, so it's good to pay attention(Phillip Barnett covers the material well).
The analysis papers are relatively simply and easy to write. Just hit all the points on the rubric and you should be able to get an A. Though I have heard certain T.A's grade harder. Gabriel Teixeira graded my papers, and I think he's a pretty easy grader (my papers kind of sucked but I still got 100%).
I took this class online because of COVID19.
This class consisted of once weekly live lecture with Silvestri and multiple asynchronous lecture videos each week by either Professor William Harold Torrence or Professor Russell Schuh. I really enjoyed the content of Torrence's lectures - he made them engaging and clear. There was also a discussion section once a week which was basically just a review of the content for that week and were usually pretty helpful. The main content of the class and the content of the exams comes from the asynchronous lectures. The live lectures were mostly examples and case studies. In total, each week had about 2.5 weeks of pre-recorded lectures with 1 hour of live lecture (which was also recorded and posted later). The amount of lecture was a bit much, but manageable.
Professor Silvestri is a great professor. She is very knowledgeable, kind, and considerate towards her students. I thought the number of assignments was reasonable and easy to understand what was expected week to week.
Silvestri was very responsive to emails and it was clear that she cared about student learning and is passionate about teaching. Since this is a GE with ~500 people in the class, there was not a lot of personal interaction between the professor and students. Overall, I really enjoyed Silvestri's class and thought she did a great job teaching and organizing it. I would recommend taking it as a GE or as a prerequisite for various majors.
Something to watch out for this class: the professor provides a digital copy of the textbook for free at the start of the class, don't go buy the textbook at the bookstore because it is a waste of money and is actually a different textbook, IDK why they even have it there still on the shelf. For the class itself, sit near the front because its easy to miss something the professor says because she can be too quiet sometimes. The class is trickier than you might think and for those that are Ling. majors out there who think they already know a lot don't make the mistake of slacking off because the class is mostly about the formal representations of different structures in linguistics and is actually quite tricky. Overall she is a very helpful professor and the class isn't too hard as long as you pay attention from the very beginning.
I loved taking this class with Giuseppina. She was engaging, excited, and passionate about the topic. When I took the class, it was her first quarter teaching at UCLA, so at times it seemed like she was still finding her stride. That said, she was wonderful. She valued her student learning very clearly. The tests were fairly easy, with a lot of the material being put in a sort of "appendix" for students at the back of the test for reference. I only went to office hours once, but she answered my question completely. She assigns a decent amount of readings, but they do help with the classwork. The homework was due weekly and was generally easy.
(online because of covid)
Although this class was a bit more work than I had originally anticipated, I really did enjoy the content. In the online format, most lectures are prerecorded by week, around 1-3 hours, sometimes an extra reading or film, and then there was one required live lecture and required discussion each week (I usually just joined the zoom and then did other work--they never covered any testable topics that hadn't already been mentioned in recorded lectures or the textbook).
The workload was manageable: weekly-ish homeworks (less than that, really. iirc there were only 6 or 7), a midterm, two papers (which were actually pretty fun to write; they were pretty informal), and a final.
The midterm and final are on respondus!!!
I only took this class as a GE but I would say it's pretty good as far as GEs go. One thing I would caution is that because most homeworks are on quizlet, and live lecture never covers any required material, it is easy to fall behind on recorded lectures if you are not disciplined. Stay up-to-speed with all of the weekly material, because it can pile up quicker than you realize!
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