Hiroshima Studies in Language and Language Education Issue 23
2020-03-01 発行

The Impact on English Education of Adopting the Quarter System at Hiroshima University

This article reports the impact on English education of adopting a quarter system at Hiroshima University. First, the changes between the semester and quarter systems on course patterns are described in detail. Second, the English instructors’ responses from the survey on the quarter system gathered in the spring semester are summarized. The advantages and disadvantages of the quarter system as well as ideas for improving the class for the fall semester are reported. The survey showed that the responses are closely related with the course patterns the instructors had. With one 180-minute class a week, the advantage was that they could teach more intensively and use a richer text in a class; however, the disadvantage was that the students could not concentrate for 180 minutes. As for the 90-minute class twice a week pattern, the advantage was that the next class came before the students had forgotten the content of the class; on the other hand, the disadvantage was that eight weeks was not long enough to build rapport with the students. Importantly, multiple instructors, regardless of the course patterns, said that the total amount of the students’ learning was less in the quarter system than in the semester system. Some said that it was 40-50% less. It is also essential to point out that most instructors were struggling with adapting to this new system. Based on these results, ways of adopting different patterns of the quarter system as well as reducing class size are discussed.
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