Michelle Fu Smith
very helpful teacher with many office hours before tests, but not very helpful to those who speak the language. don't go to office hours or ask her questions if you know how to speak even a bit of chinese i thought her reading comprehension of her tests were a bit unfair b/c you can argue the T/F both ways, but you will always lose, so no point arguing.
She is good, no doubt about it. Professor Fu loves non-native speakers and really encourages them and pushes them. Her teaching style is excellent: she knows how to integrate material, explore new methods, and most of all make you learn even if you don't feel like you are. The beginning might be a little painful, and it is semi-time-consuming. But in the end, it is very worth it. If you want to learn, ask questions and she'll really make your time beneficial. Questions and participation is the key to success and also to enjoyment of the class. TAs are less reliable for Chinese classes. Try to get into a section with a good TA, because they will be with you three times a week. You can learn to pronounce Chinese, speak conversationally, and read and write certain things by the end. This is pretty good, considering most people think Chinese is an extremely foreign and strange language. If you're a native speaker, this is not the class for you: avoid it like the plague because it will be extremely boring. And again, it's okay to mess up and be wrong. She like that, even.
Fu laoshi is a great teacher and is dedicated to her students. She certainly doesn't dislike students who know how to speak a little Chinese already, as a matter of fact she seems to encourage those students to ask more questions. She knows that most of her students have other classes to take and have different majors than Chinese, so she is very understanding. The only thing I didn't like about the class was that we had almost no speaking practice, other than that the class was great!
I really enjoyed Fu Laoshi's lessons and her teaching style in Chinese 4-5. However, I thought Chinese 6 could have used a change of pace. She maintained the same lesson structure as the previous classes, and I felt that it became easy to get bored. I wish she had incorporated more oral/speaking exercises in the classroom. Overall I really enjoyed Chinese 6, and if you pay attention you should have an easy time getting an A.
I had Chinese 1-6 with Professor Fu. She is an EXCELLENT Chinese language teacher. She is very detailed in explaining the grammar points and vocabulary usages which is very helpful for the serious language student. She makes her own detailed/organized notes alongside the textbook (she even prints/staples them for everyone in the class). Her efforts are noticeable. In addition, Fu laoshi is really good about trying to keep up with the latest teaching methods and foreign language acquisition research. As a foreign language learner who has nearly mastered one of the languages with the most difficult grammar (English!), she definitely knows what she is doing. I feel really lucky to have had Fu laoshi as a professor these past years and wish there were more upper division professors like her. One thing is I think the grading system could have been a little harder and the class a bit more rigorous. I did enjoy that it wasn't at the time since it's so busy w/ other classes but it's hard not to push Chinese to the side to do better in the other classes that grade so much harder. All in all, I highly recommend Dr. Fu. Her teaching methods, efforts, and teaching style are all top notch. You might not appreciate her style at the moment since she teaches 1-6 and those are for beginners, after you have had other Chinese classes/teachers you'll realize what you had! :)