Based on 88 Users
This class was hard! Everyone says that it’s an easy GE but it was very tough for me!! I should have taken it as Pass or No Pass and I regret it!! If you’re gonna do Ling 1, take it with another Professor!
Please avoid this professor. This is NOT an easy GE.
While Sportiche became more understanding over the course of the quarter, he was still used to in-person learning policies (this was his first time teaching in COVID) and was very strict in certain areas. He also does not allow you to ask questions in lecture, which was especially difficult because the course content is SO SO dense. The content is mildly interesting but the homeworks are HARD and my TA was not helpful at all (if you do take this class, avoid Phillip :/)
Do yourself a favor and choose a different GE, your GPA and future self will thank you.
I personally struggled in this class a lot. The reviews are very misleading and as junior, I found this course to be one of the hardest classes I have ever taken. For a GE the professor expects a lot from students and makes the work very hard. During lecture he mutes students on Zoom so we cannot ask questions live and have to wait till section. The homework assignments are tedious and take a lot of time to complete. I had to ask classmates and TAs to help me for every single one. You have to do well on them because they are worth 45% of your grade. There is also a short paper on another language and that was a little easier, but if you don't understand the basic concepts in class it will be difficult to complete. He assigns chapters from the book used and questions are pulled directly from it for both the homework and final. The final was super hard and the only way I passed was because a decent amount of students complained and he made it open notes. He offers a few points of extra credit, but don't rely on that to help your grade. If you do all the work and devote a lot of your time to the material, you might be able to get an A. I would not recommend this professor. I suggest you take another class or instructor if possible.
This was a HORRIBLE class and the other Bruinwalk reviews are really misleading. This was his first quarter teaching online and it was a whole mess. This is the hardest class I've taken at UCLA (and I've gotten A's in upper division stats courses) and I had to take it p/np. Thank god I passed but that was only because my study group slaved over the homework for HOURS every week (homeworks took combined independently and with my study group about 5 hours per week) and I studied for the final WAY ahead of time. The term paper is a breeze especially if you go through what you'll write about with your TA but that's the only easy thing about this class. DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS AS A GE. IT IS NOT EASY. Professor Sportiche is also EXTREMELY inaccessible as a professor- he made it EXTREMELY clear he would not be accommodating at all in answering student emails, in extensions for homework assignments or exams (EVEN WITH A DOCTORS NOTE), and for the grading scheme. People were getting COVID and needed extensions because they were sick but he refused to give it to them. WTF. This was an unsafe learning environment and I would not recommend anyone take his class ever- ESPECIALLY if you have a chronic illness. I'm usually a straight A student so I would have gotten a B if I took it for a letter grade but I didn't want it to tank my GPA.
Sportiche's grading scheme is 45% homework, 45% final, and 10% final paper, allowing students to capitalize on the (incredibly easy) homework assignments and focus on preparing for the exam throughout the quarter by paying attention during lecture and to their homework. There is no midterm exam. I'd say as long as you do the homework and understand it on a base level, you should be just fine in this class. Sportiche doesn't post his slides, which could be a pain in the ass, but he makes up for it by posting a review sheet of the topics that he went over in class that week. The final paper tasks students with linguistically comparing English with another language they are familiar with.
This class was pretty easy for me. Homework 45%, final 45%, paper 10%.
The paper was pretty easy (it's not a real essay, essentially just 5 short answer questions broken up into parts) that was comparing English with another language you speak. It wasn't too hard but I can see difficulties for people who are not very fluent in their second language.
The homework was a bit more time-consuming but overall fairly easy. There was usually 1-3 extra credit points (with a cap of 100% possible on each individual homework, so no 110% grades) that would help make up for anything confusing. The homework on trees was definitely the hardest for everyone, but by the end of the course they were pretty easy--at least, with the sentences we were given. The lowest homework grade (of 7) was dropped.
The final was not very hard, and was open note because it was an online final. We had 2 hours to answer I believe 59 questions. I missed I think 2 questions and I don't know which ones it was but there were a few tricky ones on there for sure. I think 10 of the questions were on trees, which is a significant amount. There were some questions on different speech-related disabilities/diseases as well. I don't remember the other questions, they were kind of broadly related to a lot of things we discussed but there were definitely a lot of tree questions so take special note of that.
I was lucky to have a pretty good TA, I think this class tends to have about 50% good TAs and 50% not-so-good TAs so it's worth shopping around if you are intimidated by the course at all. Attendance was mandatory because it was the only way to turn in/pick up new homeworks.
Sportiche himself is an okay lecturer, I fell asleep a lot in his class but his online notes are a pretty okay substitute for his actual lecture. However there are things in his lecture that are not on his notes that were on the exam (and vice versa). So I would definitely recommend attending lecture still. He was kind of rude in his emails about how if you email him he won't email you back (a lot of people were emailing him asking for an optional final because of COVID-19 I believe) and he just sent out a mass email with a few sentences then the bolded sentence that he won't email you back individually because of the """"size of the class"""". It just seemed kinda standoffish for no reason, like, "no, I won't address your concerns." Honestly though it's not a big deal because the class isn't too difficult. Definitely worth taking for the Life Science GE for engineers if you hate biology like I do.
This class is so awesome. I loved it. I realized how much we humans take for granted our ability to interpret and produce language. Sportiche is an awesome dude as well. He really loves what he teaches. To succeed in this class, MAKE SURE you find a reliable group of friends to study with. You are going to want to score high on the weekly homeworks, which constitute 45% of your grade.
I am selling the required textbook: Pinker's "The Language Instinct" as an iBooks version for $4. I would recommend using this electronic version as you can easily find keywords by using command F, which is very helpful when doing the homework. The hard copy is slightly cumbersome.
I am selling all of the answers to the 7 homeworks (I got 100% on all of them), $20 for the whole set. Feel free to text me at 7149870551.
Good luck in this class, you will do amazing!
Contrary to what a few people have said below, this was a fantastic GE. Sportiche is a nice guy and a funny lecturer. There is one homework packet per week, and if you put in the effort to do it all correctly then you will ace this class. I attended most of the lectures, did some of the reading, studied for the final for an hour or so the night before, and got an easy A. The class was interesting and I feel that I have a pretty good understanding of elementary linguistics now. If you try, you'll do fine!
Took Ling 1 for my last GE as a transfer in the comm department. A little tougher than I wanted. Going to discussion helps quite a bit because his lectures can be confusing to take notes on. Having a buddy in this class is a must to do the homework worth 45% of the grade. No MT, only Final. The paper is super easy, lecture not necessary. Don't know how this compares to other GE's but I guess it wasn't too bad.
The professor was very passionate about linguistics and concerned about student learning but I would certainly never take this GE and I do not recommend it to anyone. I went to every lecture, some office hours, and the review sessions and the level of material is much too high for a GE, which makes sense since this is the first time he has taught a lower division class. If you want an easy GE (which you should because there are some out there) do NOT take this class.