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Attendance and Tardiness in EFL Classrooms

Bill Pellowe, Dominic Marini

Podcast Notes

Today's panel is

  • Bill Pellowe, Kinki University Kyushu School of Engineering and ELT Calendar.
  • Dominic Marini, Fukuoka International University.
Today we revisit the topic of attendance, with a focus on how to encourage students to be on time for our lessons. We also discuss the consequences for students who are habitually late or absent.

Attendance is not part of the overall student grade in Dominic's courses, because he expects students to come to the lesson. Dominic explains at the beginning of the semester that if you're five minutes late, you'll be counted as absent. Also, if you miss three classes, you're out (you fail). This may be how he has earned a reputation as a strict teacher, as well as how he earned the nickname Kubi (which means your fired in Japanese). As a result of this policy, the students who anticipate spotty attendance will usually drop out of the class early in the semester, which benefits the rest of the students.

Dominic came up with this 'five minute rule' after noticing that late students tended to come in right at whatever limit was set for them. When he had a 30-minute rule, late students came in at the 29-minute mark. When the rule was shortened to 15 minutes, students rushed in 14 minutes after the start of the lesson. The earlier we can get students into the room, the more opportunity they have for learning.

Of course, one result of any kind of strict policy is a large number of failures. We talked a bit about this as well.

Bill didn't give much information about his policies because he didn't think they were very effective. He decided to implement something similar to Dominic's policy.

mp3 file
size: 7.97 MB
time: 16:29
Apr 15, 2007

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