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I took Ian's Spanish linguistics class Winter 2016. So far I have taken five different Spanish classes in working towards the UCLA Spanish minor, and Ian's class has been by far my favorite. I came into the class a bit reluctant at first because I am not the biggest fan of linguistics, but Ian kept a rather dry topic interesting. He always incorporated a great sense of humor into his lectures, he would always clarify trickier topics, and he always made students feel comfortable in seeking additional assistance at his office hours.
There were no surprises in Ian's class because he always made clear when there was going to be a test or quiz, and he made sure that the entire class was excelling in the subject matter before administering any test. The homework was a good workload and Ian usually gave students a full week to complete it.. There was also a short presentation that students had to give in groups based on a chapter in the required reading. Again, it is not difficult at all due to the fact that Ian lets you decide at the start of the quarter which chapter your group will present. The class is broken down as follows:
*There is also extra credit on the midterm and final exam
I got a C+ on the midterm, but began meeting with him at office hours and began prepping early to do better on the final exam. My advice is to do well on the midterm. I had to put a little more effort in for the final to do well in the class, but if you do well on the midterm, you will be in perfect shape going into the final. The course content after the first midterm definitely begins to get trickier, so it is important to do well right from the start. However, if you don't do so hot on the midterm like I did, just make sure you do well in other areas so you are in good shape for the final. Overall I would say the final is slightly more challenging than the midterm. The hardest part of the final is definitely the linguistic trees that you have to do, but these can be mastered with enough preparation.
I cannot say enough good things about Ian. If you are a Spanish major or minor in need of an upper division elective I highly recommend taking a class with Ian at least once in your time at UCLA. He definitely pushes students to work hard throughout the course, but if you put in the effort and put in the extra time outside of class an A is definitely obtainable. I am looking forward to potentially taking another class with Ian at some point in the future.