Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Exchange Students

Well, one of my classes next semester has 22 students registered (a full class) and the other one has eight. The truth is that classes are supposed to have at least ten students to go, but at a campus center they will often let a class go with just eight. A campus center is a location away from the main county, in one of the surrounding counties, usually about 30 to 45 miles away. The class that has eight students is at one of the campus centers, so it will probably go and it will probably get more students as well before the start of the semester.

When I check my roster, one thing I look at is the number of exchange students. Last semester, I had six exchange students. Exchange students bring an interesting perspective and I enjoy that but since this was a public speaking class, it also brought a challenge for me and for the exchange students. Last semester I had five students from Japan and one from The Congo, who was living in Canada (after spending part of his teen years in France).

The student from The Congo spoke very well but the English of my Japanese students often left a bit to be desired. Certainly their English was better than my Japanese, but still it was difficult at times for me to be able to understand them because of their accents. Sometimes they used the wrong word because their English needed some improvements.

Some of my Japanese students were good speakers and good students, but it still was a challenge. Needing to critique their speeches, I wanted to make sure I could understand their speeches and that they could understand my comments. As I said, it was a challenge.

The semester before this one, I only had two exchange students in my class. I do not know that a Public Speaking class is a good fit for students who do not speak English fluently, but it I am going to have some, I would like to keep it to a minimum. It looks like this semester, I will only have a couple of exchange students again. I think that will be much more manageable. As I said before, however, the exchange students often bring a new perspective, and that is certainly one aspect I enjoy. I will let you know how the semester progresses.