All Ratings and Reviews for Yan Shen
What an amazing professor Shen Laoshi is! She cover so much content, makes learning easy, tries to adapt to each student, and cares so much. I really adore her. I take this class because I enjoy her presence that much.
Professor Shen is a very dedicated teacher. The entire class is taught in Chinese, even when you ask for clarification. This usually isn't a problem, since intermediate-level classes should be taught in Chinese anyways. So I don't take it as a negative.
However, it seems like learning vocabulary outside of the class material is necessary to do well on exams and take-home essays because of how much has to be written and the limited scope of the textbook. If you don't go beyond the textbook vocabulary, your essays will seem very contrived.
If you aren't enthusiastic about learning Chinese, this class can get annoying. But if you do care for the subject, then Professor Shen is great.
Attendance is mandatory. On Zoom, Breakout sessions usually take up about 15-20 minutes per class. Homework is graded for completion rather than correctness. Purchasing the workbook is not needed, since she provides the homework worksheets online to be printed. The midterm and final will be most of your grade. This class uses the Cheng & Tsui Integrated Chinese series textbooks.
Shenlaoshi is honestly one of the best professors I've had at UCLA. She's super helpful and overall just a very nice lady. Her lectures were straightforward and clear. The workload consisted of weekly homework assignments and quizzes, oral recordings and occasional group projects. She's a pretty lenient grader so as long as you put some effort into the class, you'll end up with an A.
Shen Laoshi is an excellent teacher. She has more concern about student learning than just about any other teacher I've had at UCLA.She is also flexible in changing due dates, giving extensions, etc. so as to make things more convenient for students (very few profs are this understanding). She doesn't grade based straight on your ability to speak Chinese, which is definitely a plus for those who don't come in with a Chinese-speaking background. Also, she is very, very accessible, and gladly extends her office hours to see you. Her knowledge of Chinese is excellent and her enthusiasm is welcome. Her grading is more than fair. Definitely a prof worth having if you need to finish off the Chinese language series.
One caveat: Almost none of the class is conducted in English. This was initially a shock to me after Chinese 8, where almost everything was translated. Chinese 4-6 series is a big step up. Also, the class almost completely ignores pinyin so those who use pinyin as a lifeline for reading will be out of luck (textbooks do not have pinyin for readings, just vocab).
The review below sums it up. Though i do want to make one correction: she not only made Chinese bareable, but fun to learn, for me at least.
Also I want to add that she's the only professor at UCLA that i feel comfortable talking to one-on-one. i find myself wanting to go to her office hour just to chat with her. She takes the time to get to know everybody's names, and she talks about interesting facts and knowledge, she's simply an amazing professor!
In terms of hw, quizzes, and exams, and book report (the book report i think is only for 100A):
hw: the short essays aren't bad at all, and if you want to make sure you're using good punctuation and grammar, bring the essay to Shen Laosi during her office hour and she's more than happy to read it!
quizzes: study the vocabs, that's all there is to it!
exams: they are more than fair. she explained each part and why they worth x amount of percentage (for instance, there's a reading comprehension at the end of the exam, where you have to read an article and respond to a couple of questions. she said that she understands it's not easy, that's why it's only worth 5 percent of the exam)
book report: this includes an oral presentation and a 1000-word essay on a book of your choice. you should finish the essay ASAP, i didn't do it until the night before and i was like, "wow, 1000-word essay is so much longer than i thought!"
like the person before me, i would recommend taking her class, and i would totally fail my class just so i could take her again if it weren't for the thoughts of my parents glaring at me for doing so!
This is Shen LaoShi's first time teaching the chinese 4,5,6 series here at UCLA and she did a wonderful job. She's such a nice lady, ALWAYS willing to help and encouraging us to seek her help. She's well beyond prepared for every single lecture and discussion. Learning chinese, and I'm sure learning any language is very difficult, so it's up to the students to make the effort to learn. It's just a shame that there were lazy students in her class that tried to take advantage of this nice sweet lady. I highly recommend Shen LaoShi.
Course taken: Chin 100A
Pros: Shen Laoshi is an overall friendly teacher, who is ALWAYS available at her office hours anytime during the day to help you out with any concerns or time conflicts. She's always smiling and really passionate in what she does. And, she grades each individual student on a different scale, depending on their background and which Chinese series they took.
Cons: I felt that she asked way too much out of us. Coming from Fu Laoshi's class, I was not used to this amount of workload. Every week there were 2 quizzes, and every other week there was an assigned essay of increasing length from 350-600 characters (5 essays in total for the whole quarter). Having taken Chinese for 2 years at UCLA, I understand that this subject requires a lot of time input and effort. I honestly found her way of teaching Chinese not effective. You can't expect some students to learn more Chinese by asking them to write and write and write.. It was unfortunate that she didn't put more time on teaching grammar because that would have helped a whole lot with our essays' grammatical structures. Half the time, I wasn't even sure if my sentences made sense. I did go to her office hours to have her look at one of my essays, but she only spent a few minutes glancing at it and gave me pointers on the "bigger picture" of my paper and nothing about my grammar was mentioned. Writing is a major emphasis in this class and because of that, I rarely had time to go back to old chapters to review since I was so caught up in preparing for the next paper. Last but not least, there seemed to be no consistency in her lectures. Each and every day of each week, I came to class not knowing what subject areas she would focus on. Some days she would teach random parts from the textbook and on other days she would teach off some PowerPoint slides.
I like Shen Laoshi and all. But, I'm simply not a fan of how she teaches Chinese. After 10 weeks with her, I felt that I forgot how to speak and write basic Chinese as the weeks progressed on.
dang, i have to say that she is one of the best prof here at ucla!! She truely cares about student's learning ( if she sees that u r doing poorly on a test, she'll come and talk to you and help you to improve). She also has a very sincere heart treating her students and like what everyone saids, her class is an esay A as long as you put in some effort.
Courses taken: Chinese 100 A, B, C
I really like Shen laoshi. She's probably the best UCLA professor I had so far because she is always so willing to help students. Her lectures are well organized and generally easy to follow. I understand that this is an upper div Chinese, so students with a heritage background like myself would have a easier time to understand the material. This may be challenging for non heritage students, but she always tries to slow down to answer any questions. Though her lectures can be sometimes dry but students are always welcome to join in the discussions. I have to admit my Chinese had improved over the three quarters. I will continue to stay in the Chinese dept since they just have nice and kind professors.
Shen laoshi is a great teacher! She tries her best to make the class enjoyable and easy, though still making it necessary for the students to study and keep on top of the subject material. Homework is graded by effort and completion, so you don't have to worry about being right all the time. And she gradually increases the difficulty of the class so that you're not overwhelmed right off the bat. If you're diligent with memorizing the vocab, do all the assignments, and understand the grammar enough to use it somewhat, you've got an easy A.
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