Questions and Answers - Spring 2004

This section will contain answers to the general type questions that you send me.  I will usually answer specific course content questions individually.  If I find that several of you are having the same kind of problem, I will send comments to the appropriate language group.  

Q. - Since it's second semester, are we starting off with second semester French material?
A. - No, not at all.  Beginning  students (in both French and German) will start with the first semester materials.  In these online courses, I'm working with students at various levels, and I offer both beginning and continuing work each semester. 
Q. - Do I send my e-mails to french@westenskow.net or fren105@yahoo.com?  
A. - You can send homework to either address, whichever is easier for you to type or remember.  The same thing is true for German students who can send their homework to either german@westenskow.net or german105@yahoo.com.   You can send your general messages to the  addresses above or to my school account, westenskow@msun.edu.   
Q. - If you assigned exercises for Thursday through Saturday, does that mean that they have to be sent to you by Saturday or between Sunday and Wednesday?
A. - Your work should be completed and sent to me during the period indicated.  I try to give you some flexibility because sometimes your circumstances will not permit you to get your work done at a particular time.  Therefore, there is no penalty if you are a few days  late. If you fall too far behind, however, you will find it difficult to catch up and be prepared for your exams.  Check your class schedule and be aware of test dates so that you can submit homework early enough to have additional review and study time.  In theory, you will study my corrections and comments and, as a result, do better on your exams.
Q. - In the Plans, you say that certain exercises need to be written out and sent to you?  Do you mean by e-mail, or do we actually send them through the mail?
A. - All homework should be e-mailed to me, preferably as Word documents attached to your e-mail message.  I will almost always correct your e-mailed assignments and return them to you within a day.  Anything sent by mail won't get back to you for at least a week, and you won't have a chance to benefit from my corrections before exam time.
Q. - How do I get to and do the homework assignments?
A. - First of all, you should go to your plan for a particular lesson at
http://www.westenskow.net/plans.html .  Select your lesson and follow the Plan step by step.  If you aren't sure exactly what exercises should be sent in as homework, check the Assignments page at http://www.westenskow.net/homework.html .  If you still have questions, just let me know.
Q. - How do I find out my grade on the homework assignments?
A. - I don't put a letter or number grade on each homework assignment. I do, however, keep track of whether or not homework comes in on time. I also note the general quality of the homework.  I don't necessarily expect perfection, but I like to see some evidence that you studied the material before sending in the assignments.  Then at the end of the semester, I assign a score (between 0 and 100) to the homework performance and figure that score in as 10% of the semester grade. 90% of the course grade is based on exam scores, but the homework grade is enough make a difference, especially for students who have borderline test scores.

Sending in the homework assignment should be just the first step in learning the material, however.   Most of the exam material will be taken from the homework exercises, so you should do them again and again until you have mastered them.