Not too easy. Not too difficult.
I would totally recommend this class with Professor Zheng. She did a fantastic job introducing Mandarin to us and providing a solid foundation for lifelong understanding. The course load was on the heavier side, although most was repetitive and time-consuming.
I have never learned Pinyin before this class, and the Professor did a great job introducing it to us. Knowledge of Pinyin is vital to beginning to learn Mandarin. Although there were a lot of character quizzes, I found that they really helped in memorizing and understanding new characters.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
If you are just starting to learn Mandarin, this is the perfect course. Even if you grew up speaking Mandarin at home, but are not very good with reading and writing (my situation), this class will provide a great refresher.