The New Revised Syllabus

JISHOU, HUNAN — I now have a new schedule, which will change slightly next month after we return from the National Holiday Sept. 29 to Oct. 3. The Thursday afternoon class moves up one time block.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8:00 – 9:40 Oral Business English 2005 – Room 4418 Oral English 2007 – Room 4420 Oral English 2005 – Room 4218 Written English 2005 – Room 4418 Written English 2008/g1 – Room 4420 Oral Business English 2005 – Room 4418 Oral English 2007 – Room 4420
10:10 – 11:50 Oral English 2008/2 – Room 4418 Oral English 2008/g2 – Room 4421 Written Business English 2005 – Room 4218 Oral English 2008/1 – Room 4418 Oral English 2008/2 – Room 4418
15:00 – 16:40 Written English 2008/g2 – Room 4419 Written English 2008/g2 – Room 4419
16:50 – 18:30 Oral English 2008/g1 – Room 4218 (until Oct. 1)
Sat. and Sun. classes only 27 and 28 September

We’re meeting Monday and Tuesday classes on the weekend, so that the freshmen get a full week’s worth of classes. Their military drills ended today. Mercifully, I will get the weekends off again beginning next month.

Typical of locations in hot climates, the university does not schedule classes between 12 noon and 3 pm. The tradition is to take a long lunch and/or a siesta. Beginning in October, classes will resume at 2:30, so all my afternoon blocks will start a half-hour earlier.

In high-school teacher terminology, this looks I have 11 preps, one for each class. In practice, however, I can probably use the same prep for all the freshmen classes, reducing the number to 6. Each class is 100 minutes long, with two 45-minute sessions separated by a 10-minute break. That’s 18.3 hours of contact time a week.

By comparison, last year (and for most of the 20 previous to that) I met five classes a day, five days a week. Each class met for four 40-minute sessions and one 85-minute session a week. That works out to be 20.4 hours of contact time.

So I’m not going to complain. I teach fewer hours and have fewer classes each day. The drawback, from the pedagogical standpoint, is that I meet each class only once (sometimes twice, for oral and written English) a week. So, it’s harder to build the rapport and trust necessary to facilitate effective learning for all the students.

But we’re managing.

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