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This class was very demanding but I learned a lot. Nogami-sensei teaches with Socratic method: you're expected to study the material beforehand then she cross-examines you during class. For students comfortable listening to Japanese, this is very beneficial and helps you improve speaking a lot. But for students less so, it will be very stressful and you're likely to fall further behind. Also, she doesn't really go over kanji, so you are expected to learn it on your own time.
If you're serious about learning Japanese, definitely take her class. Just know that you'll spend a lot of time studying and probably still not get an A.
Personally, I don't think this class is for everyone. In this class, you need to prepare the unit materials beforehand-- grammar, readings, and discussion questions. Professor Nogami likes to ask either broad or specific questions about the units during her lecture and discussions. She usually favors the students who were either proficient at Japanese or those who attempt to use Japanese. People who are less attentive/ dislikes to speak during the class should think again before taking the course. The teacher tends to be more strict and can be cold towards her students at times. She tries to engage us by using Japanese in the discussion and lecture, but she does so in a way that makes her students feel discouraged. For instance, she usually calls on people randomly during the readings and grammar, but eventually, she'll get on every student to respond to her questions. Sometimes she speaks too fast that others wouldn't be able to understand. And even if a student asked her to repeat the question once more, she'll end up skipping you and find someone else to answer her question. It'll be the same case for the students who don't answer/ understand her questions at all.
During the fall, I felt the class was divided into two groups; people who have studied Japanese since Genki 1 and students who have studied for a much more extended period. Many of my classmates could not keep up with the materials and ended up dropping or tried until the very end to receive an unfortunate outcome. My tip is that the students who are very open to talking in Japanese and possess excellent Japanese knowledge will do well. The feeling during her class was rather tense than enjoyable. At the end of the course, I didn't feel like I learned much; instead, I felt stressed about taking her class overall and rethinking about taking her courses during the winter and spring. You can try taking her class for the first week and see how it is. If you don't feel like the class will work for you, a better alternative is taking 100S. Although 100S can be very intensive, you'll have a better chance of finding another teacher to suit your needs. Not to mention, it'll be the same textbook so you can self-study until the end of spring.
Oh man this class was ROUGH. I repeat, this class is not for the faint of heart. I was one of the J10 kids who passed with an A but got hit like a sledgehammer by this class. In a way, I do feel like you are at a disadvantage if you are one of the summer kids since there's just so much vocab and grammar we just don't know. Get ready to work hard and put in your 110%. I would prep every day before class for two hours and I would still get lost. Prof. Nogami will cold call on people randomly so be prepared to answer any question at any time. It is really discouraging when you don't understand her question and she doesn't clarify. But don't give up!!! Even if you don't get what she's saying, just try your best to answer anyway. It's always better to be wrong than to not say anything because it shows her that you're trying your best. Unfortunately if you don't understand her or a word/phrase she uses, she won't clarify. She'll just move on from you and keep asking other people. Learn from your mistakes and misunderstandings. Try writing down all the words you hear but don't know so you can look it up later. Be early and never late because Prof. Nogami will call you out. I tried my hardest, participated as much as I could, went to office hours and gave it my all. But I always didn't do very well on the tests and struggled the entire quarter. So I barely scraped by with a C+. However, when I did go to office hours to talk to Prof. Nogami, she was always kind and helpful. She encouraged me to keep trying my best and told me she noticed my efforts in class. So try your best and she will notice!
The class has two types of vocab quizzes (kanji writing and kanji reading), two essays, three unit tests, a speech, and homework. There is also a final and a final oral interview one on one with her. For me the unit tests were the hardest (I got Ds on the first and third one...) but a lot of people did much better so it's honestly up to you. I'm just not very good at the tests. I did really well on the oral interview. She just asks about the units and what we learned and our opinions.
She is a strict and difficult teacher but she will push you to become better not only with your speaking but with your grammar, writing, and even thinking.
This class is a huge leap from the intermediate courses. I took J10 the summer right before, and the gap in expectations from the student is very stark. My class used the New Authentic Japanese: Progressing from Intermediate to Advanced textbook, and there's a lot of new vocabulary in each chapter. There's not a lot of hand-holding during class, probably because she's very on top of keeping to the class schedule. Students are expected to prepare ahead of class (ie. getting familiar with the content + learn the new vocabulary pronunciations.) She often picks students to answer her questions during lesson, which is good practice for your listening skills and speaking (this will come in handy for mid-term and final oral exams - she usually asks similar if not exactly the same questions from her lessons during these exams). Students who are less confident about their speaking and listening may struggle a lot and fall behind, but no matter how intimidating the class or the professor seems, I highly recommend visiting her office hours at least once - she is usually more patient and accommodating during those spaces (she's even willing to explain in English if it's easier to understand for the student.) I took J100B and J100C with the same professor as well - her style of teaching is also the same in those classes.
To the person who said I'm out of my mind, I'm pretty sure I made it clear that this applies to students who took J10 and are planning on taking J100A, which if you are taking J4 with her, clearly you are not studying upper division with her, nor are you planning on taking J10. I also am pretty sure I made it clear most people can take her class and have a wonderful experience. But that does not make her a good teacher for all her would-be students. She may be a 10 for most, but she can also be a 1 for some.
In J100A, she gains the attitude that she doesn't have to help or baby you because upper division classes are supposed to be difficult, despite the fact that she will be far more helpful to people she likes. This is something someone who hasn't taken an upper division class with her would not know. This is also something someone who hasn't taken J10 and is disliked by her for learning a different curriculum would not know.
And again, I have to reiterate, I am not that terrible in Japanese. At least not enough to get threatened with a failing grade. A- in J10, A- in J100I, and A+ in J110A.
I'm sure Nogami is a great teacher, for the majority of her class.
For the minority that did not take the prerequisite classes with her and instead took the J10 summer class, she is one of the worst teachers at UCLA. Skip trying to take 100A unless you got an A (Not an A- which I got in J10), are gregarious, and are confident in your Japanese skills that you've picked up outside of class.
Several students who I had taken the summer class with were forced to drop from the class due to "low performance" and being threatened with low and failing grades. Indeed many students from the summer class got passing grades as well. Out of the ones I personally knew, it was because of kanji proficiency from knowing Chinese, or due to lots of study and knowledge of Japanese from outside the J10 coursework.
Her reasoning? "I don't know who taught you, I don't know Takase-sensei, and I don't know how good the education you received was"
Things in quotes, no joke. These are things she actually told me.
Her solution? Systematically pick on and be unhelpful to non-suck-up students who took the Summer class.
Starting off with availability; she was not at her office hours half the time. Not to mention the fact she would scold you for not visiting office hours when she wasn't even at her office hours in the first place. I went many times and many times she was not there. Firstly, she changed her office hours from what was printed on the syllabus, and this caused confusion for students even towards 9th and 10th week. I remember going to an appointment office hour which was incidentally on the day posted on the syllabus. She told them that she did not have normal office hours that day and it was by appointment only. A couple other times I went and she was not there despite it being her revised office hour. Another time she was busy with another student, so I went to get some lunch. I got back half way through what should have been an office hour, only to find out it was an office half-hour. She had already left. Now besides office hours, her availability after class to summer students was limited. She would gladly answer the same question asked by a student she liked, and then scowl and respond "I already said it in class" to a summer student. Yet another summer student asked her questions frequently since J4-6 is different than J10 in order to make sure he understood, and she would always be irritated and give a "You again" look.
Availability - 1
As for instructor concern, I think it was close to not caring in the least. She refused to give any help outside of class to summer students because "she doesn't tutor or give private lessons outside of class or during office hours" despite the fact that she assumes people in J10 know things they don't. Instead of being helpful and trying to facilitate J10 students, she instead blamed them for not learning it. When a group of J10 students got together to consult with her because they were struggling, she took it as personal insult and got offended. Humble or helpful? Not in the least. "I know I'm a good teacher, it's your fault you're getting poor grades, other students are getting A's proves that it." What a wonderful logical fallacy, let us not forget who is deciding those grades. And when you have questions about the red marks on your paper, the paper that you got a lower score on desipte having fewer red marks than the person next to you, she refuses to explain what the red mark and comments even mean or the proper way to address them. Her concern is limited to telling people to drop out of the class so she doesn't have to hand out failing grades.
Concerned - 1
She is a hard teacher. She is an even harder teacher when she sytematically picks on summer students. A tally kept for a couple of weeks for the number of questions asked to J10 students, and "first" questions (New questions that have not yet been asked, but once answered, it becomes a simple substitution for the answers of the following people, or sometimes even an identical answer) was much higher. Coincidence? Not really. When you take notes in class because you don't already know what she is talking about since you took J10, she interprets that as you not paying attention. This was a systematic issue with several of the J10 students I knew. "I'm proud that I notice that and call on you then. It makes me a good teacher." So not only are you now unable to answer the question, you're un able to go home and research it so you can. One student resorted to simply spacing out and just staring at the teacher to avoid getting called on so often. It worked. Theres also the issue of her not explaining the connection between mistakes made on an essay and the grade given. No rubric either. It often seemed arbitrary. So were partial credit answers on tests. She would give higher scores for what appeared to be worse answers depedning on the person. She apparently does give extra credit though and extentions. Not to J10 students though. Only to "people trying very hard" in other words people she liked. I am sure every one of us was stuggling and working hard just trying to pass the class, forget even aiming for an A. She will be nice-ish for the first two weeks of class, from what I understand, an instructor's paycheck relies on the students enrolled which gets finalized for administrative purposes at the end of week 2.
Difficulty - 1
Simply put, many people who took J10 are going to have a difficult time. There are differences between J10 and J4-6 and she refuses to reconsile them. There is also her attitude towards J10 students, stemming from her questioning the quality of our education. To make matters worse, there was no text book and no reference materials making it even more vital to know what was taught in J4-6.
Effictiveness and Overall - 1
I know many students love her, but this is just a warning to J10 students out there. I really can't say anything nice about her because my experience was pretty negative.
In the end I took the J100I class and got an A- with Ikeda sensei (who is extremely nice and helpful) and does not rely on being devious in class to inflate his ego and instead teaches in an easily learnable way. I only had to ask him for help a few times, and that was in a few specific situations. (Naninani to iu hito, can you use it for the sentence of person who says naninani instead of person called naninani, or a high ranked person age-ing something to a low ranked person)