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Non-English speaking professors...

Hawk

Platinum Member
Feb 3, 2000
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I have had a lot of these, but this quarter I have the worst of all. He doesn't speak English very well (heavily accented), every other word he says is "ah" or "ha", kinda like "um" for him, plus he can't teach worth crap. Or at least my 3 friends and I don't have a clue what he's trying to say when we do understand his English. What the heck can we do?

BTW, this is UCLA I am talking about.
 

pen^2

Banned
Apr 1, 2000
2,845
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ouch. we have bunch of TAs like that here at GAtech... no professors that i know of tho...
 

prodigy

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
14,822
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Is his class the only one available? If so you're SOL. Is this a class that you can learn from the book? If not, I'd drop if you haven't passed the last date to do so.
 

Hawk

Platinum Member
Feb 3, 2000
2,904
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Well, it isn't the only class, but another professor is just as bad, and the third one is decent, so I've been sitting in at that class, though the registration process is over, so I can't officially switch to that class.

Anyway, the book is almost as bad as the professor, and it's no use trying to read it. <sigh> Just hope I can get a decent grade and be done with it. Oh, and my TA speaks English pretty well, but he doesn't know how to teach, so I am trying to find another TA session to go to. =)

Anyone else have this problem? Especially in UCs?

Yeah, and I may drop it, but that seems to be wimpy...=) Thanks for the suggestions though.
 

PG

Diamond Member
Oct 25, 1999
3,426
44
91
I had this problem in Minnesota. I think it's a problem everywhere. I paid to learn basically squat for several classes. Maybe you can talk to the head of the department about the problem. In my case the head of the department was also hard to understand. I think you should try to complain about this to somebody, but try to be nice about it or some people will just brush you off as a racist. Yes, I know you aren't, and you just want to learn, but be careful how you proceed. Good luck.
 

Double Trouble

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
9,272
103
106
I had a lot of the same at U of Texas in science classes. It has nothing to do with being racist -- I couldn't care less if the teacher or TA was Chinese, Greek, whatever, so long as he or she is understandable and has enough of a grasp of the language to help others understand.

This is a big issue in a lot of schools, and I'm not sure there's an easy answer to it.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
2
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I've had this as well. Tagej it is easy to answer it - have whoever does the hiring decide if the person is understandable or not! Nothing will make a person stop going to class quicker than not being able to understand the prof.
 

Hawk

Platinum Member
Feb 3, 2000
2,904
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Wow, didn't know everyone has this problem...too bad the professors have tenure or whatever, and it's really hard to get rid of teachers because of that(so I hear).
 
Apr 5, 2000
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I had 2 teachers like that last semester. I dropped one of those classes (my cousin who was in that class who had a 4.0 gpa made a C in it because he couldn't understand him) but toughed it out in the other one. If its too hard learning straight from the book, drop it and take it next semester.
 

Silverbullet28

Senior member
Jul 4, 2000
666
0
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I have the same problem. The Calculus class I am taking now has a teacher who does not speak English very well, this makes things that much more difficult in a subject I suck at anyway. :(
 

Ariel

Senior member
Aug 1, 2000
744
0
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I had the same problem in Colorado my freshman year. I had a Biology class in a huge lecture hall. My teacher was Chinese with a very heavy accent. The worst part was that we were assigned groups and assigned seats. My group was assigned seats in the very back row. After class I asked him if I could move down closer to the front row so that I could try to better underdstand him. He told me flat out NO. He said that all groups must sit together. So, I talked to my lab teacher about it and she agreed to talk to him and he told her NO. I tried sneaking in the first few rows and he would tell me to move. It was terrible.
I ended up getting an A in lab and a D in lecture.
 

denali

Golden Member
Oct 10, 1999
1,122
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The only real solution to this problem is to go to a small school that does not research oriented. At a research oriented school profs are not hired on their ability to teach but on the reseach abilities.
 

PCAddict

Diamond Member
Nov 19, 1999
3,804
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I ran into the same problem when I was in college. The com-sci professor that I had for 4 semesters in a row spoke in broken English and was difficult to understand. That combined with the fact that I knew a hell of alot more about the material than he did made it an easy decision when I got the hell out of there after finding out he would be teaching all of the remaining courses I needed to take in my major.
 

Mday

Lifer
Oct 14, 1999
18,646
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i have a ta that can't pronounce things correctly... luckily it's just that ONE that i have this semester...
 

bUnMaNGo

Senior member
Feb 9, 2000
964
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heh that's what the UC system is all about... at UCR I had several professors who couldn't speak English very well... quite a few TA's as well... at UCI, I had a Hungarian professor for Boolean Algebra who couldn't speak english, and a Korean professor for Linear Algebra who couldn't speak English... the TA for that class was some Russian guy who couldn't speak English as well... in my Software Engineering class, both of my TA's couldn't speak English... however up here at UCSC, I only have one TA who can't speak English very well... oh well, that's what study groups are for =\
 

shopbruin

Diamond Member
Jul 12, 2000
5,817
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hawk you sound like you have a professor that my roommate has... absolutely cannot understand the professor for anything... what class is this for? math perchance?
 

Hawk

Platinum Member
Feb 3, 2000
2,904
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Wow, yeah! It's math 33a at 9a.m.!!! Is it the same class?! Hahaha, that's kinda funny.
 

The Dancing Peacock

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 1999
3,385
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Hey hawk, that's what you get for taking those classes. :p I'm a Soc major at UCLA, and when I used to be Econ and I'd run into the same situation, and in my pre-major math classe too. It was tough. I didn't understand the stuff, that's why I switched to Soc, but it sure didn't help.


late.

TDP
 

perry

Diamond Member
Apr 7, 2000
4,018
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BrotherMan, I had a Calc II professor a couple years back that had a really thick Russian accent. So did his TA. Needless to say, I got to take that class twice. Made an A the second time with a good professor. Can't think of any in the ECE school that I can't understand tho. Seems that once you get to your major classes they profs get better.
 

Hawk

Platinum Member
Feb 3, 2000
2,904
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Wait, Peacock, so you are saying it doesn't matter? We are screwed either way? =) And I had a Russian guy last year for two quarters, wasn't as bad after the first quarter, got used to his accent (almost). =)
 

Gatsby

Golden Member
Nov 6, 1999
1,588
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Its a common occurance even at Hopkins where I attend. Although most of the teachers are comprehendable some of the TAs are not. its always just the luck of the draw.

Gatsby
 

SuperTool

Lifer
Jan 25, 2000
14,000
2
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well, maybe if more americans could handle theoretical math and sciences, you would have more american professors :):)
Just be glad you have a TA with all the hi-tech hi-paying careers that those guys could be persuing instead.
 

FrontlineWarrior

Diamond Member
Apr 19, 2000
4,905
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If it's POPA then GET OUT OF THERE QUICK! He can't teach AT ALL! All he does are the stupid example problems in the beginning of the chapter, and he's absolutely HORRIBLE. I had him for 32A.
 

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