just coming on to confirm in 2021 that yes Jose is just as awesome as all these reviews say, I promise. I loved class with him. my only regret is that this is the only class he teaches :( I would take every class this man taught if there were more. I'm genuinely sad my time in this class has ended, but ill smile because it happened. if you're looking to take Spanish for whatever reason, this is the guy to take it with. even if you're not looking to take Spanish, you should still consider taking this class.
First semester into college and this was my absolute favorite class. José made everyone get to know one another really quickly making everyone feel at ease. We learned through his funny powerpoints and through his numerous games. His methods of teaching are very effective if you are a visual learner as I am. I never left the class in a bad mood. You can also tell that everyone genuinely enjoyed going and sitting through class. Cannot emphasize enough how incredible this class was. Learn Spanish just so you can have this teacher!
José is one of the best professors you can take a class with at Columbia. Period. I took a 5:40-6:55 class with him on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, but he never made this class boring. I always looked forward to taking class with him, and as someone who had zero experience with Spanish before taking Spanish I and II with him, I admit that it was intimidating at first. But I guarantee you that he will make you fall in love with Spanish and him. First of all, there will be no English spoken in the classroom. And it's unbelievably helpful in picking up a foreign language, because you're forced to quickly adapt to listening to and speaking Spanish. But I think for someone who didn't know any Spanish at all, his kindness, enthusiasm, humor and care for his students made the language as a whole extremely attractive. In terms of grades, as long as you return his enthusiasm and show that you are willing to be serious about learning the language and that you care, you will get a good grade. I personally didn't deserve the grade I received, but because I had never missed a single class and always participated, I got a grade better than I expected. That said, I found it incredibly disrespectful that other students took advantage of his easy-going and casual nature to talk while he was lecturing, or refuse to speak Spanish, or simply just not attend class. The thing is, by disrespecting him and not taking his classes seriously, you're doing yourself a disservice by not taking advantage of this brilliant professor. José deserves every single teaching award that could possibly be given to a professor, and I'm so incredibly fortunate to have been able to take this class with him. I'm still taking Spanish even though I've already fulfilled my language requirement with something else, and although the professors I have taken since then are also brilliant, I will always miss José.
Jose is literally revolutionizing the way that grammar is taught to nonnative students--he has published tons of papers and his workbook is used in the proficiency level courses. His view of grammar is superinteresting (according to him, it is alive and no one but him and the people in class know it) The first half of this course is tougher than the second in that it is more philosophical and has more terminology--at the time it doesn't seem important to know the specific terminology but you should not only know the terms but know what they mean and be able to apply them. The second half of the course is learning how grammar and time is all about spatial movement--it sounds crazy but my understanding of spanish grammar has increased exponentially. Take the course and take good notes in class. Ask questions when you're confused. You'll learn a ton.
Joselito is the man. Lucky for you, he basically refuses to speak English. Your Spanish will become that much better because of it. He's so understanding and fun. You'll want him to become of your best friend -- but he likes to run off rather quickly after class. He's surprisingly shy when he's not "performing" in class. Oh well. He's actually a pioneer in the linguistic world and employs new unconventional ways of teaching that were clearly effective. There are of course the kids that have taken Spanish all high school, but you catch up quickly. I knew basically 0 Spanish and came away with an A+. If you study it, practice it, and actually pay attention in class and participate, it's almost impossible not to get an A.
I had Jose for Intermediate Spanish II from 7:40-9 PM on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. THAT'S RIGHT -- A thursday and friday night class. This sounded like suicide at the beginning BUT jose is the best so it turned out to be amazing. He is one of the best professors, if not the best professor, that I've had at Columbia. He is a great teacher that knows his stuff - he co-wrote the Gramatica Basica book and tries to teach grammar without memorization. Because we don't learn in the normal, boring, textbook manner, we have a lot of fun. We learn without realizing that we learn! This class will also help your speaking skills immensely as no English is allowed... The best part about Jose is his fun, witty, enthusiastic manner. Take his class! You'll see what I mean and you won't regret it.
Not only one of the best professors I've ever had, but by far the most effective language teacher I have ever had. He has a very unique approach to teaching spanish, particularly grammar. He removes memorization from the process and teaches the class a logical approach. On top of all that, he is funny and caring. He will always meet with you in office hours or after class. That said, he is a tough teacher that expects a lot from his students (although the workload isn't bad). He also speaks very little english, which at times is hilarious when he tells jokes in english, but can be difficult if you're struggling with an idea and he can't explain it to you in english (which is just as well because that is probably the most effective way to learn spanish). I think that all of this adds up to a class where you will be pushed, learn a lot, and be happy to do so.
This course helped tremendously with my grammar in all languages. Jose is a great prof whose primary goal is to enrich the students' understanding of Spanish and language in general. He does not assign a lot of work, and insists that a big part of the class is reflecting on the ideas he introduces to us about the way grammar can be viewed in terms of spacial relations. Strangely, it can work. I would estimate that my proficiency in Spanish was in the bottom half of the class, but it did not matter at all because the ideas are fundamental. Also, Jose is hilarious and friendly to everyone, and the class is fun. For the sake of other Spanish students, I hope this course is offered in the future.
LITERALLY the best professor I've ever had. Could not be funnier, more enthusiastic, sweeter, or better in any way. So easygoing, carefree, lighthearted, adorable. I wish I could take every single class with him but unfortunately he does not teach above the Intermediate Spanish I level. I cried after the final, because I knew I got an A but also because it was my favorite class EVER. He has a way of making everyone in the class fall in love with him and with each other and never want to be anywhere else but in that classroom, basking in his hilariousness and intelligence and passion. I could go on and on. I'm pretty sure that everyone did well in this class. You'll get an A if you're enthusiastic and fun, regardless of how well you actually perform on the EASY tests and papers. Come to think of it, nothing but the midterm and final was actually graded....We got to revise the SHORT papers we did and knowing him he probably gave everyone full credit anyway. This being said, I learned so much from him without the annoyance of traditional class/homework. He made me want to become fluent and continue my Spanish studies. ALSO HE IS HILARIOUS if you haven't caught on. I LOVE HIM and you will too, it would be impossible not to unless you generally hate life and everything that is wonderful.