Based on 28 Users
Walkow is one of my favorite professors. Most people think he is hard. That's true. His midterms are quite challenging and his final takes the full 3 hours to complete. But on the other hand, he explains concepts very clearly. His lectures are very well structured and his voice is loud and clear, so you can easily follow the lecture without getting asleep. Also, he gives you extra-credit opportunities. And you don't have to buy a textbook, all material are given on slides in clear and understandable manner.
What did i do to my GPA :( Why in the world i would trust a German like Martin. The class was good before we took the midterm, we actually enjoyed just a little bit, but the stress we got out of his class ahhhhhh. Guys u gonna have HW, a lot of HW, sooooo hard that u would hire a tutor to help you to pass the class with -C, he is not help at all. Who would trust a professor "Ling professor" who one day spelled Teeth as Tooth" omg, hilarious. HE kept changing the slides, made so mane mistakes in his ppw, so we had to print out again and again. In other words, I hated him, with the bottom of my heart. WIll never ever, even im obligated to take ling again, not with him. Oh btw, 50% of the class changed their major because of him, because hi was the worst intro to LING word. Good luck wit him.
Walkow's class was pretty easy. There were no midterms or finals. Only 4 essays and 5 mini-quizzes assigned throughout the quarter. The quizzes were easy because almost all the material was provided during the lecture. The class was somewhat boring to me but that's because it was at 8am. If the class were at any other time it'd probably be more interesting. The four essays are really about a page to a page and a half. (500-750 words). The course isn't hard and you don't really need to buy the textbook but it could be used for reference. Take the class and if you actually pay attention you can get an A.
Homework is worth 50%, midterm is 20%, & final is 30%. The homework assignments are due weekly, and many of them are rather challenging. Luckily, my TA was very helpful during his office hours, so that wasn't too much of a concern. The midterm and final are on a whole different level, though. While the first few weeks of class were good (enjoyable, even. maybe.), morale took a giant dip post-midterm. The midterm and final are HARD. Like, really hard. He does curve for the midterm, but not the final. Overall, this class was extremely discouraging as an intro class to the major. Clearly based on the other evaluations, the professor goes really easy on his Ling 1 class. However, if you're taking Ling 20 or any other upper division linguistics course, do yourself a favor-don't take a class with him.
This is my first evaluation in ucla.
Before entering as a freshman, I have heard from past students that Lin1 is a really easy class, with an easy A. However, this year it turns out to be different. Professor Walkow is a German.(according to himself) You can search online and you will find out he is a visiting professor from University of Massachusetts.(NOOOT MIT) University of Massachusetts does have a good Linguistic department though.
The class starts at 8:00, so you should get up early which is painful for most students. His lectures are
straightforward from the ppt, which you can find on the CCLE. But he always gives it out in the morning, so it is not possible for you to PREVIEW. However, you can read the book, and most of his examples and contents come from the textbook.(You don't have to buy it, but it can give you ideas about what's going on and hints for essays.)
No homework, no midterm, and no finals, which is great. Four essays and 5 quizzes occupy your whole grade, and essays are due every two weeks.(though many students do their essays at two days before the deadline)
Quizzes are online, with 30 multiple choices in 45 minutes. You can either take it on Friday's night or any time on the Saturday. Questions sometimes are confusing and are more complicated than the theories, definitions, and concepts he introduces in the class. Usually when the class is not doing well, he gives a curve.
Essay topics are weird, to be honest. The first one we had is " Can dogs learn human language". The reading material is experiments conducted by somebody I don't care. The second one is like "Does language we speak shape how we think", and the reading material is from a debate of the Economist, which is interesting. The third one is weird, and I wish you good luck because some of my peers got 100. The last one is DUE ON THE FRIDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING!!! It is really annoying.
Essays are graded by TAs. If you TA is harsh, then good luck.
Overall Walkow is knowledgeable and knows his material really well, but I still couldn't help myself from falling asleep in the last 20 minutes. His class is like a pain on Fridays, but you don't have to go to the lecture to get a grade for both quizzes and essays.
I took Walkow for Linguistics 20 (which is the intro class for Ling majors) and hated him with every fiber of my being--as a teacher. The homework was insanely difficult, there was no extra material outside of lectures to aid understanding, and the structure of the class was fast-paced. In hindsight, the class was designed to weed people out of a small, competitive major, a fault which didn't lie with Walkow himself. Still, I hated that class even though I knew I loved and enjoyed learning about linguistics.
This quarter, I'm taking Linguistics 120B (Syntax I) with Walkow, and my entire opinion of him and his class has changed. He was fair in Ling20, but he is clearly a syntactician with a passion for language and, as a result, is considerably more open a lenient with the class and his assignments. Certainly, the assignments are still rather difficult, but if you read the chapters for the week BEFORE the lectures and you do the problem sets in the chapters' ends (the workbook was immensely helpful here too!) you can stay on top of the course content with little trouble.
I've realized over the course of this quarter that Martin Walkow doesn't want you to memorize notational conventions and PSRs to apply them to Language, but to actually tease out the peculiarities and flaws in the theory describing how Language works. In short, he is teaching you how to think like a linguist through the material, instead of simply teaching you formulaic theories to apply to data via rote memorization. Walkow's class is hard, there's no denying that (and many people think Syntax is boring), but he is fair with grades--including admitting his own mistakes in writing or grading the hw/exams--and is absolutely willing to help you fill in things you don't understand, provided you have done your best to do so on your own.
If you want to learn about syntax and linguistics, and how to process data like a linguist, take your classes with him and Joe Buffington (the coolest and most helpful TA ever, who comes with the Walkow-class package). I thought for sure I'd hate this class and his teaching given the hell we all went through in Ling20, but he's a great guy, a good teacher overall, and a brilliant syntactician.
I'd recommend him to anyone truly interested in learning linguistics---but he's definitely not for the faint of heart (and/or those who seek to "skate" through classes).
Pretty much everyone at UCLA takes Ling 1 as a GE, and Walkow was a good professor. His lectures were clear and super organized, and he gave online quizzes and short essays instead of a midterm and final.