Sunday, September 03, 2006

work begins again

Tomorrow marks the start of the fall term for us Smoovians. I'm hoping this term goes better than the previous one.* We'll see. Along with teaching five different preparations, I'm also restarting the French class (which I might cancel if there's a lack of interest) and continuing the English Circle, which I'll likely expand to include students of all levels.

I'm also hoping to institute something I feel has been lacking: exercises that give a more direct answer to students' questions regarding their progress. A friend of mine in New Zealand does this through videotaping, which allows for distinct, nearly objective before/after comparisons. I might try something similar, but with audio. I have to wait until payday rolls around, and then I'll buy myself one of those nifty iRiver MP3 thingies. The idea will be to give the students a slew of questions to answer around Week 2 or 3, then have them answer those same questions again around Week 10 or so. (By Week 10, a goodly portion of each class will be gone, of course!)

Gonna be a busy twelve weeks. We've got a long Gaech'eonjeol/Chuseok break after about Week 5, but the national holidays are replacing our normal holidays, not being added on to them. The dream of a two-week break this term must therefore die.

While I've got you here, let me recommend this piece on Islam by Dr. Hodges. In the piece, the good professor (1) analyzes three suggestions by journalist Youssef Ibrahim for combatting Islamism, and (2) discusses why those strategies are likely unworkable and even undesirable.

*This is specifically with regard to advanced classes, of which I'll be teaching two this term.


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