Tuesday, July 24, 2007

near-midterm assessment

I'm teaching courses in three levels of our intensive English program this time around. Three lesson preps. That's a much-reduced schedule from what I'd been assigned before my June vacation. Being down from six preps to three has its perks; I get to sleep later, for one thing (though that's not really a good idea). On the down side, I have to make up over 70 hours of work this semester, which means being asked to do slave labor when requested. The makeup work I do is "comped" toward my missing hours, but because I'm on salary, I'll receive no extra pay for it. I'm not really complaining, though; the makeup work usually takes less than the allotted time. In other words, if I'm told that Task X will be counted as ten hours toward my 70-plus hours of "undertime," I can complete the task in three hours and still receive ten hours' credit.

The students in Levels 2 and 3 are doing fine; I enjoy teaching both classes. Level 1, on the other hand, is stocked with unmotivated girls who spend all their time talking in either Korean or Japanese. Only one or two students are making any effort to speak in English. It's a lot like dealing with high schoolers again, because that seems to be about the maturity level of this group. That's unfortunate. I've had other Level 1 classes that were much better behaved.

We'll be losing the Japanese students well before the end of the semester, which might be a good thing this time. As I may have mentioned before, I've been largely impressed with the Japanese students who have attended classes in our department. Overall, they're hard workers and motivated learners. I'm chalking present circumstances up to a bad crop. Simple as that.


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