All Ratings and Reviews for Megha Sundara
I found this class to be much more interesting than Ling 20. Perhaps because of that, I thought the class was pretty easy. The slides were online, so yes you can skip lecture. Wouldn't recommend doing that a whole lot, as some slides are vague and are discussed in more detail within lecture. Quizzes are based on the slides, and the homeworks are quite simple. The IPA chart is a little annoying to remember fully, but hopefully don't have to remember much considering Ling 20 worked with the English phonemes in IPA a lot, so you just have to memorize the non-English ones. Also the guest lecturers are quite entertaining and insightful if you feel like you want to pursue one of those careers.
TL;DR if you like linguistics this can honestly feel like a GE.
Prof. Sundara is an effective and humorous lecturer. She has an indian accent, but understandable. Her curve is really really nice in this course(102 actually), I think the median gets an A-(in her syllabus, that should be B+). She invites a lot of wonderful guest speakers to give presentations, which help facilitate the study a lot.
Though the structure of the class may change (this is the first quarter it is being offered at UCLA). I found the course to be one of the more enjoyable linguistics courses I have taken. We had two small homework assignments (@ 5% each) that required 45-60 minutes of work (definitely doable). 4 timed online quizzes @ 10% each, an in-class transcription test and a take home transcription project each @ 10% and a final presentation @ 30% of the grade.
Professor Sundara is an engaging professor and a clear lecturer. Yes she has an accent, but it in no way inhibits your ability to understand her. She hands out lecture slides prior to beginning each seminar and the slides are made available online. She incorporates guest lecturers from various universities in the area to give the students a more in depth idea of what being an SLP means.
The quizzes are designed to be tricky, and she recommends reviewing the material extensively since there is only an hour maximum to take each quiz. Format varies from MC, T/F and short answer. Overall I highly recommend taking this course and any course with Professor Sundara. She is a great professor, you just have to put in the extra effort.
I am an applied linguistics major and I definitely recommend taking this class with Professor Sundara. She has a great personality and passion for teaching! The lectures were always engaging and she invites guest speakers toward the end of the quarter to come speak on topics covered in class. I also really appreciated the fact that she was very organized with lecture PowerPoints and keeping her class website updated.
The grading for the class is very straight forward-- Participation (5%), 4 Online Quizzes (20%), 2 In-Class Transcription (20%), 2 Homework Transcription (20%), Final (15%). 3% of the participation grade is your willingness, not skill, in discussion. The other 2% is participation of the psychology subject pool. You take 6 online quizzes and 2 of your lowest scores are dropped.
The previous review was clearly stated the grading method of this course, and I would like to add some additional comments for the reason that most people will stop to go the lecture after two weeks because they think that this class is an easy A, but, in fact, it is not easy at all( actually, the material is easy, but the grading is hard)!
a warning: TRUST THE GRADE DISTRIBUTION FOR WINTER 2015 INSTEAD OF FALL 2015, regardless of which quarter you take this course.
Please being patient for this long long review, I will share as more detail as possible to help you increasing the chance of getting a better grade.
NO extra credit will be given in this class, even though you see that the syllabus says that there is some extra credit for the psy subject pool.
Every % of the grade will make up a total of 100% of the final grade.
(1) 5% percent of participation will be divided in two 2 parts as the previous review mentioned. You should get 2% of the psychology subject pool because it is not extra credit . The rest of 3% percent grade is VERY hard to get because it is assigned by willingness rather than skills. Since so many people confused with the actually meaning of the word "Willingness" here, I must have to explain it. The 3% of "willingness" means that the grade will be depending on the total "marks" of your name that you signed up for each section, AND your name that recorded by TA for your questioning and answering in the sections(The MAX of the "mark" for each section is ONE, I guess, and your signature of attendance will be another ONE, so you will get 2 "mark" in total).
You will have an increasing chance to get all 3% of "willingness"as more as the cumulated "marks" you get. REMEMBER, the 3% will be divided into 4 parts, that means the top 40% of the class will get 3%, the next 30% of the class will get 2%, the next next 20% of the class will get 1%, the last 10% of the class WILL GET 0%!
(2) 6 quiz worth 40% of your total grade. You should form A GROUP OF 3 PEOPLE, rather than understanding everything when you are trying to take the quiz. 2 group mates should help another group mate to do one quiz at one time. DO NOT START THE QUIZ AT THE SAME TIME. After you finished one quiz, you should re-do it until you figured every single answer. Be sure to understand everything after you took the quiz! At the end, your lowest 2 out of 6 quiz will be dropped, and, please do me a favor, make NO MISTAKES on the rest of 4 quiz by choosing answers carefully.
(3) 20% of 2 in-class transcription test. The first one will be well prepared by professor Sundara's help, so you should go to her office hour. You have to be careful for the second transcription test. Only few people can get 90% up for the second quiz, I would plan to lose 1%~2% of the total grade for this test.
(4) 20% of 2 computer homework. The first one is plotting the format of vowels of your own voice. You SHOULD get 10 out of 10 if you are a true bruin(in fact, I saw a lot of people lose points for this homework. Each point is 1% of your total grade). The second one is a transcription task. I would plan to lose 1%~2% of the total grade for it.
(5) The last 15% is for the final. As you can see, if you want to get an A, there are no much room left for the final if you did not do well on part (1), and if you lost 2%~4% on part (3) and (4) as planed. So, you want to prepare the final carefully.
Here are some advice for the final:
1. Be sure to go to lectures for the last 6 weeks because there are about 60% of the grade of the final will be questioned about those knowledge. Besides, a lot of people start to not go to the class because (I guess they think) this course is too easy. Specially, read the material that posted before every guest lecture, and circle the part that mentioned by the guest speaker and related to the main concept of the course. Stupid Bruins do not show up and listen to the guest lectures because they are not presented by professor Sundara.
2. Memorize everything in the IPA chart especially the uncommon symbols(sounds that are not in English) in the consonant inventory. Also, you want to know spectrograms, voicing, place, and manner of articulation(here I am talking about the pictures), and be familiar with anything else that showed up in first 4 weeks. A book is very helpful for learning spectrograms and picture about place and manner of articulations. The time that you spent on read every chapter that assigned as a non-graded homework for every week will eventually affect your final and overall grade. This part worth 40% of the final grade.
If you read until here, It is my pleasure and I think you are safe for this course. Professor Sundara is strict, but reasonable. You probably have noticed that an A for this course has nothing to do with your intelligence. It is fully depending on your ATTITUDE.
At the end, I want to let you know that I spent 2 hours to make this comment, but I still feel that there are some minor things that I should but have not mentioned. Also, something might change as different quarter. So, please be careful about everything, and spend about 1 hour per day to read the book, learn everything, or memorizing the IPA.
WISH YOU HAVE A GOOD LUCK.
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