Thursday, July 02, 2009

Work-related news

I'm doing pretty well this year on this blog: last year I only posted once, so as of this post, I've already doubled last year's total! Since I decided to divide this post in two, here's to three times the number (once I post the other)! Here's the work-related news:

The new English Teaching Course (Curso en Enseñanza de Inglés) was approved, so this will be the first of hopefully many summers when it will be offered. We are very excited about this development, because it is a major step towards offering a bachelor's degree in English, and because it is the first thing we are doing that is officially and separately approved by the state board of education. We were under the impression that the diploma course we offered was unofficial and therefore not that useful to our students, but discovered recently that no university diploma courses are ever separately approved here. They are considered valid because the university that gives them has that authority, not because the board of education approves them individually. At least, that's the latest version from our contact with the board of education; who knows what they'll say next. Either way, we're trying to get the word out about all this and so far we're having some interest. Not as much as we'd like, mind you, but some. Because of the fun program we had last summer in our diploma program and word-of-mouth and some promotion we've done, we have close to ten students already pre-registered for the diploma course, which is probably a record, since we're still over a week away from official registration day (Sunday, July 12). But for the teaching course, we still only have one pre-registered (and several serious interests). We would have done more promotion, but because we did quite a bit of promotion last year and had less than 20 students in the summer program, the administration is limiting our promotion this year (and the spending that goes with it). However, we already have some people who are signing up now that say they found out about the program from last year's promotion, so it wasn't a total loss.

Right now we're scrambling to get the things done that we need to for the summer, as well as some other important non-summer-related stuff. I'm working on lesson plans for the new classes I'll be teaching. The summer is divided into two modules with four classes each, and I'll be teaching two classes each module: Grammar 1 and History and Roots of English for the first module and Grammar 2 and Linguistics for the second. I'm also working on a translation of the history of the school for a woman who's publishing a book in the US on it, making some final changes to the policy book for the newly-created technical training school (mostly created to be able to offer the teaching course, though there will be other courses offered later, probably in music and PE), and translating the student missionary forms for that department here (which is pretty much made up of my boss at the moment, though she does work some with the chaplain's office). We are also having problems with the book distributors, because we need our books for the summer ASAP but there are details we have to work out and they haven't answered our last email. So we'll see how that goes. Busy, busy, busy!