Yu-wen Yao

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Class Most Helpful Review
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CLASSES

CHIN 1
Elementary Modern Chinese See Full Profile

Overall 4.7 Easiness 3.8 Workload 3.7 Clarity 4.2 Helpfulness 4.7

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There's really not much to say about the professor, except that she's really good at teaching and that the grade distribution really is that good.

Of course, Chinese is a memorization-heavy language, and there's no getting out of that. That said, the workload isn't too bad: about 4 hours a week of outside study should be more than enough. It's really intimidating at first, but just push through during the first 2 weeks and study for the class.

In terms of course logistics, you will need THREE textbooks: the Textbook, the Workbook, and the CHARACTER Workbook. Homework is graded on effort, and in-class assignments are basically graded on effort, although if you repeat the same mistakes you will be docked points. You will have to pick either Simplified or Traditional and stick with it. Lecture and Discussion attendance are MANDATORY, but if you show up to them, they're free points. If you don't, you'll hurt your grade pretty badly. Also, as a heads up, lectures routinely go overtime, so keep that in mind when planning coursework

Quizzes form the bulk of your grade, and generally involve you transcribing what Yao Laoshi says into Chinese-both into characters and pinyin. They're graded very generously. Exams are actually decently difficult as they're purely written and you have to memorize many radicals, but they're not worth that much of your grade (like 30% total).

By the way, the cutoff for an A appears to range from 93 to 95%. 93% is reasonable, but 95% is actually much harder to get than it seems.

Basically, show up, care about the class, do your work (it's really clear what you're assigned to do), and you should do fine

(Fall Quarter 2020)
CHIN 1A
Elementary Modern Chinese for Advanced Beginners See Full Profile

Overall 4.4 Easiness 1.8 Workload 1.2 Clarity 4.6 Helpfulness 4.2

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Professor Yao is a really nice teacher. She keeps lectures intersting with her sense of humor and energetic presence. She is more than willing to help you through her office hours and is very helpful. The only thing i have to say is a word of caution about the A series. I believe that the description of the 1A class does not fit the students that take the class and the grueling rate at which it is taught. I personally struggled a great great deal and felt that i was nowhere near the level. Many students i was in the clas with had even lived in China for years or had been in Chinese school for 8 years...be careful when selecting the advanced versus regular course.

(Feb. 19, 2006)
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CHIN 2
Elementary Modern Chinese See Full Profile

Overall 4.6 Easiness 3.6 Workload 3.4 Clarity 4.0 Helpfulness 5.0

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There's really not much to say about the professor, except that she's really good at teaching and that the grade distribution really is that good.

Of course, Chinese is a memorization-heavy language, and there's no getting out of that. That said, the workload isn't too bad: about 6 hours a week of outside study should be more than enough in a typical week. That said, if you took Chin 1 with Yao, note that Chin 2 WILL be significantly harder than Chin 1. While I've never taken Chief's class, apparently Yao's exams are on a whole other level compared to Chief. Also, exams are 100% closed note. By the way, the last 2 weeks are intense; 3 lessons are covered, instead of the usual 1 lesson per week.

In terms of course logistics, you will need THREE textbooks: the Textbook, the Workbook, and the CHARACTER Workbook. Homework is graded on effort, and in-class assignments are basically graded on effort, although if you repeat the same mistakes you will be docked points. Again, you must pick Simplified or Traditional and stick with it. Lecture and Discussion attendance are MANDATORY, but if you show up to them, they're free points. There are mandatory in-class assignments and quizzes. If you don't show up to them, you'll hurt your grade pretty badly. Also, as a heads up, lectures routinely go overtime, so keep that in mind when planning coursework

Quizzes form the bulk of your grade, and generally involve you transcribing what Yao Laoshi says into Chinese-both into characters and pinyin. They're graded very generously. Exams are actually quite difficult as they're purely written and you have to memorize many radicals. Yes, this is Chinese 2, but you still have to memorize radicals. Fortunately, exams are not worth that much of your grade (like 30% total).

By the way, the cutoff for a solid A appears to range from 93 to 95%. 93% is reasonable, but 95% is actually much harder to get than it seems. 90% is the cutoff for an A minus.

Basically, show up, care about the class, do your work (it's really clear what you're assigned to do), and you should do fine.

(Winter Quarter 2021)
CHIN 3
Elementary Modern Chinese See Full Profile

Overall 5.0 Easiness 3.0 Workload 2.7 Clarity 4.3 Helpfulness 5.0

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If you've taken Chinese 2 with Yao Laoshi, you probably already know how she rolls. If you haven't, you'll be in for a treat: She's a very, very good professor. Funny, has engaging lectures, and is great at teaching.

Of course, Chinese is a memorization-heavy language, and there's no getting out of that. For Chinese 3 will definitely need to work for your grade; 8 hours of outside study per week should be expected if you haven't studied Chinese before. If you thought Chinese 2 with Yao was hard, Chinese 3 will be even harder. Exams will still be closed note, except this time, you'll have 2 lessons per week, not just one lesson per week. We're on the quarter system, and during some weeks, you'll definitely feel the brunt of it. Don't fall behind.

For lectures, I'd prioritize doing the following to avoid falling behind:
1. Read the textbook, especially the grammar.
2. Do the preview worksheet
3. Grind characters.

In terms of course logistics, you will need THREE textbooks: the Textbook, the Workbook, and the CHARACTER Workbook. Homework is graded on effort, and in-class assignments are basically graded on effort, although if you repeat the same mistakes you will be docked points. Again, you must pick Simplified or Traditional and stick with it. Lecture and Discussion attendance are MANDATORY, but if you show up to them, they're free points. There are mandatory in-class assignments and quizzes. If you don't show up to them, you'll hurt your grade pretty badly. Also, as a heads up, lectures routinely go overtime and they're NOT recorded, so keep that in mind when planning coursework.

Quizzes form the bulk of your grade, and generally involve you transcribing what Yao Laoshi says into Chinese-both into characters and pinyin. They're graded very generously. Exams are actually quite difficult as they're purely written and you have to memorize many radicals. Yes, this is Chinese 3, but you still have to memorize radicals. Fortunately, exams are not worth that much of your grade (like 30% total), but probably the hardest aspect of the course.

By the way, the cutoff for a solid A was 93.5 percent when I took it. 90% is the cutoff for an A minus. So the little things, like blowing off quizzes and discussions can hurt your grade quite badly.

Basically, show up, care about the class, do your work (it's really clear what you're assigned to do), and you should do fine. You'll definitely learn Chinese.

(Spring Quarter 2021)
CHIN 3A
Elementary Modern Chinese for Advanced Beginners See Full Profile

Overall 4.4 Easiness 1.4 Workload 1.4 Clarity 4.6 Helpfulness 4.2

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No reviews have been written yet.
CHIN 4A
Intermediate Modern Chinese for Advanced Students See Full Profile

Overall 4.6 Easiness 2.1 Workload 1.4 Clarity 4.6 Helpfulness 4.7

Most Helpful Review

The other reviews for Professor Yao all say it already: she's incredible, definitely one of the most efficient, funny and engaging teachers I've ever had. I P/NP'ed this class because it wasn't a requirement for my degree, but had it been a letter grade it would've been an A-. The emphasis in her classes is not getting everything right but rather trying your best, and it shows in how she doesn't grade assignments punitively. She even canceled a couple of assignments this quarter to take it easier on us. I'm going to be honest, this class does have a heavy workload but it 100% pays off because it's excelent practice. Her sense of humor kept me going this quarter and I'm sad I probably won't get to take another class with her again.

About the grading:
> 15% participation
> 20% homework assignments
> 10% quizzes
> 35% exams (one on week 5 and another on finals week)
> 20% oral exams

(Fall Quarter 2020)
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CHIN 5A
Intermediate Modern Chinese for Advanced Students See Full Profile

Overall 4.7 Easiness 1.5 Workload 1.8 Clarity 4.5 Helpfulness 4.3

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Professor Yao's is one of the best professors here at UCLA. She demands excellence from her students but also at the same time motivate her students to master and learn the material well. She always engages the students in her discussions and lectures with her wonderful sense of humor. She is a very caring mentor, an energetic teacher, and a wonderful friend. I give her my highest recommendation.

(Feb. 27, 2009)
CHIN 6
Intermediate Modern Chinese See Full Profile

Overall 4.6 Easiness 1.8 Workload 1.6 Clarity 4.4 Helpfulness 4.6

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What can I say? I had a great time in Chinese 6! Yao Laoshi had so much energy and was constantly making the class laugh. Everything she did in class contributed to making the class more enjoyable. Her slides with pictures will entertain you for hours! And of course, she teaches Chinese as well :)

Chinese 6 with Yao Laoshi was BY FAR the most enjoyable class I've ever taken. It really made it worth for me to go to campus everyday! I highly recommend her if you're up for lots of Chinese fun!

(July 22, 2003)
CHIN 6A
Intermediate Modern Chinese for Advanced Students See Full Profile

Overall 4.9 Easiness 1.4 Workload 1.5 Clarity 4.5 Helpfulness 4.8

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No reviews have been written yet.
CHIN 101A
Advanced Readings in Modern Chinese See Full Profile

Overall N/A Easiness N/A Workload N/A Clarity N/A Helpfulness N/A

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No reviews have been written yet.
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