period vs. lesson


In my country, school time often lasts for about 4 and a half hours. That four and a half hours is devided into 5 … (breaks are not included) Trouble is, I can’t find the correct word to fill in the blank. Should it be “session”, or “period”, or what else?

Please help.
Thanks a lot.

Hi Nessie

Where I live, those would be called “periods”, and periods of time that last longer than an hour are often called “blocks” (high school and middle school).

  • She has French during first period, math during second period, etc.

More than anything, it should be forbidden :wink: How do people learn anything under these unacceptable conditions!

I would opt for “period” too, in BrE; or simply “lesson”.


Periods. We say of divisions in the school day that they are “periods”.

Thanks a lot, everybody :slight_smile:

Hi Amy, so you mean if the period lasts longer than 1 hour, we must call it a “block”, and in the US, blocks in highschool and middle school often last longer than 1 hour? How exactly long are they?

Hi Ralf :slight_smile:
I don’t know, but here we start school at 6:45am. During the first 15 minutes we do something call “lesson and homework checking”, which is supposed to be the period of time when students check each other to see whether they all do the homework, or that they have all learnt the old lessons, or that they have prepared the new lessons. However, that’s just the theory. In antual fact, during that 15 minutes, most students stay in their class to chat or review lessons while a group of students (which can be called (literally translated) “red flag”) go from class to class to check if the students of those classes have cleant the floor, taken out the garbage, or if they wear decent uniform). (Stupid ritual, isn’t it? :lol: ) Then the class start at 7am. As I said, there are usually 5 periods (each lasts 45 minutes), 4 breaks (3 of which lasts 10 minutes, the other lasts 20 minutes). School ends at 11:35am.

Sorry for all this, just wanna let you know detailedly :smiley:

Hi Nessie,

I will never ever say again that my school time was hard. It clearly wasn’t! Apart from the school uniform I can’t see much resemblance :smiley:

Where do you live?



I think a “period” would usually be a specific length of time (e.g. 45 minutes).

Longer lessons would be formed by “double periods”; thus “double Chemistry” might = a 90 minute lesson.


Hi Nessie

I’m not really sure how many schools in the US might use the word ‘block’. At my niece’s high school, a ‘block’ is 82 minutes long.

I’d say a ‘period’ would generally be between 45 and 50 minutes long.

:lol: I’m sure it wasn’t, Ralf. Because we don’t just study in the morning or afternoon: we study in both the morning and the afternoon :lol: , though the curricula are not the same (usually 7 periods a day for high school students - 5 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. And, tutorial classes (which is very important here) isn’t counted :lol: ) By the way, there are a lot more funny (if not ridiculous) things about education here (esp in rural schools like mine), which will take me a week to tell, so if you’re interested, I suggest you come here in person :lol: :lol:

As for this resemblance, last year my school’s uniform changed from ‘áo dài’ to shirts and trousers (after 10 years of ‘áo dài’ as the traditional uniform). And for some reasons only God knows, this year it changes again from shirts and trousers to ‘áo dài’ :lol: :lol: (this wise uniform changing costs the students quite a lot :evil: )

I suppose you’ve got the answer from the ‘áo dài’, haven’t you? :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks, Amy. It seems that educational system varies from country to country :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks, MrP :slight_smile: I think I’m quite used to these ‘double periods’. They are very popular in Vietnamese high schools. Of the 5 periods each morning, we aften have two double periods and one singular period :slight_smile:

Nice uniforms in Vietnam :wink:

Thanks, Ralf :slight_smile:
I hope someday you can come to visit Vietnam (you see, apart from some diehard shortcomings, it is quite a lovely country and there’re lots of interesting things to discover :slight_smile:

Hi Nessie,

I’ll surely visit Vietnam some day! So far I’ve never been to Asia, but next month I’m going to Nepal. Can’t wait, so excited!