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How long is too long?

 
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strider



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 160
Location: France

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2003 1:48 pm    Post subject: How long is too long? Reply with quote

How long should an English lesson be?

The shortest lessons I have done have been just an hour (much too short) and most of my lessons now are 4 hours (too long!)

In your opinion, what is the idea length of time for an English lesson, and why?
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Showem



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2003 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All depends on what's being taught.

I find one hour just fine for one-to-one conversations. An hour and a half (standard lesson length here in Germany) is okay, but I sometimes feel a bit squeezed if it's a new concept like a new tense or such. Over 2 hours can be too long without a break, but I've had some really good classes when that were 3 full hours in length. The participants are able to sink their teeth into the material without distractions and or we were able to set up longer simulations or roleplays. But, a break or two is always necessary. Just have the break, but in English.
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Celeste



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Posts: 74
Location: Fukuoka City, Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the last post. I find that in a one on one situation, it is very taxing for both the teacher and the student to go for more than one hour. In a class situation, most adults can go for up to three hours provided they have a break every 55-85minutes. I tend to like having only one break per class, so if I am in a situation where Iam going to be teaching for three or more hours to the same group of students, I have to watch their reactions closely to see if they need an extra break. (Remember, the mind can only comprehend what the seat can endure.)

Last edited by Celeste on Thu Jan 30, 2003 7:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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Roger



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 274

PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2003 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and don't forget the cultural background of your own students! Can they work on their own (not an obvious option in East Asian countries), are they prepared to study in their spare time, and will they try to use their newly-acquired knowledge on some extracurricular activity such as watching a TV programme or reading?

How old are they?

In a school setting, lessons almost never exceed two periods. After that, there might be a serious attention span deficit.

I have taught "Oral English" to Chinese adults for up to three hours. It was feasible but only because I varied the programme: Warming up exercises (often a game), then core programme, then another amusement and a review of what had been covered.

But normally, two hours are pretty exhausting, especially with large classes (more than 20 participants, in the evening!).
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