All Ratings and Reviews for Yu-wen Yao
I JUST CAME HERE TO SAY THAT I LOVE YAO LAOSHI SHE IS SO FUNNY AND SO ENGAGING. BEST PROFESSOR EVER LOVE THAT WOMAN!
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
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
I will admit I had my regrets before the quarter, because I wasn't sure if this class was worth it (it really messed up my schedule for the quarter), but after taking this class, I can confidently say that it was 100% worth it. 姚老师 is an extremely effective, engaging, funny, and considerate professor, and is someone you can really relate to, especially since Chin 4A typically has a pretty small class size, so you have this nice classroom environment.
Lectures usually involve slides, talking about new vocabulary, grammar forms, and talking about the textbook passages and also cultural facts, which is really cool. You're learning more than just the Chinese language here, but also history of some of the words, Chinese culture, and you might even hear some of 姚老师's own life stories and experiences. Each lecture begins with some sort of quiz (vocabulary quiz on the textbook passage on Tuesdays, sentences quiz on the textbook passage on Thursdays), or if you don't have a quiz, you have some sort of examination (whether it be written or oral). Make no mistake, this class is a lot of work (as learning any language should be), but it's really fulfilling and well worth it in my opinion. Don't be afraid to make mistakes during lecture, because it really helps you improve your speaking and thinking skills, and due to the small class size, you won't be worried about embarrassing yourself in front of hundreds of students. Lectures are often extremely funny, engaging, and we can talk about all sorts of stuff, to the point where it truly is like a "discussion" instead of a lecture. In fact, her class has been one of the few classes were I looked forward to going to lecture everyday, and learning something new about Chinese.
The grading breakdown is 10% Participation, 20% HW/Essays, 15% Quizzes, 35% Written Exams, 20% Oral Exams. There are two written exams (one midterm, one final), and two oral exams (one with the midterm, one in week 10 before finals week), as well as four essays throughout the quarter. Don't be scared by making mistakes, as this is a class where you can learn, make mistakes, but still do pretty decently in terms of grades (if you're truly worried you can take this class P/NP if needed). Yao won't hesitate to mark or correct something that's wrong, but as long as you're showing effort and truly trying, you'll still get a good grade, as she takes off like 0.1 points for each mistake. For one of my essays, my entire paper was red from her remarks, but I still made out with the grade from that paper, so it shows that as long as you're trying, you shouldn't be worrying about your grade (she's very lenient in grading). Written tests are just like any language exams, and our oral exams consisted of giving speeches in front of our classmates, and we had a lot of creativity in choosing our topics.
If you have time, I highly recommend visiting her office hours. Not only is it a requirement, but you also get 1-2 hours extra per week just conversing in Chinese about literally anything, and it's a good experience to sharpen up your speaking skills and learn more about the professor, yourself, and your fellow classmates.
Overall, I cannot stress how much this has improved me as a Chinese speaker; I came in with only basic conversation skills (and frankly probably couldn't read a Chinese newspaper), and I come out having given an oral presentation in Chinese and writing academic essays. While I still can't read everything, it shows me how much I've got to learn but more importantly how far I've come to get to this level. This class has given me the inspiration to continue in the 456 series, and I truly believe if you're sincerely interested in learning Chinese, this is one of the best bets you can make, no regrets!
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.
Did you really think that this was going to be easy? Learning Chinese can be SO tedious and painful... Not so with Yao Lao Shi! She makes every day just SOOOOO *FUN* and... and did I say FUN?! Her enthusiasm and warm personality is contagious. You will get to know just about everyone in the class as this class really becomes something like a clan/family. It would never be like this without her direction and initiative. Yao Lao Shi works really hard and cares about that she does... she will make you do the same for the class. Her class is so fun, people who were no longer able to take the class visited for the entire class time here and there, just so they could hang out. Seriously, this class is just as fun as hittin up a bar in L.A... ;) All in all, I HIGHLY RECOMMENED HER, and I will dare anyone that took her for all three quarters in 2003: Fall, Winter, and Spring to disagree with me. I am a graduating senior... I've had a lot of professors... she was one of the last two professors I had to take in order to graduate. She made me CARE, *AND* have fun in the class, DESPITE my HORRIBLE case of senioritis... c'mon guys, you know how BAD that can get!!! I'm just trying to put into words how AWESOME she is... it's quite hard NOT to like her.
good teacher, really funny and concerned with student learning. some lectures get monotonous but bareable. only thing bad is that attendance is calculated into grade, but its a understandable policy. but overall great teacher
Yao lao shi is simply the best Chinese professor I have ever had. I always looked forward to this class, because she made everyone feel comfortable about participating in class. She managed to make a somewhat difficult language course into something that was fun and interesting for everyone. I miss having her for Chinese! Take her, you won't regret it.
if you are serious about learning Chinese. Take the class with Yao laoshi. She is strict, but fair. You will not regret it.
This professor rocks. My only regret is not taking 4 with her. She makes Chinese so fun. Never a dull moment. She's frickin hilarious. I couldn't believe how much energy this littly lady had! Take her if you have the chance, no regrets for sure. The workload isn't even much compared to others.
Did this review contain...
Thank you for the report!
We'll look into this shortly.