Ninety per cent of language teachers are under an enormous workload, spending seven days a week, five hours a night marking students' compositions, a survey revealed yesterday. The survey, conducted by the Professional Teachers' Union, shows Chinese and English school teachers have to spend 35 hours a week after school, including weekends and holidays, marking students' assignments. The union's chairman and legislator Cheung Man-kwong said it was 'extremely inhuman' for teachers to work such long hours. 'A language teacher spends almost his whole life marking assignments,' he said. Among the 580 Chinese and English language teachers interviewed, 50 per cent said their workload was heavy and 40 per cent said it was extremely heavy. The survey, carried out in January, sent 1,000 questionnaires to teachers at 200 secondary schools and 300 primary schools. Nearly 60 per cent responded. The biggest pressure came from marking too many compositions and exercises, said 83 per cent. They had to use holidays and leisure time to complete the chores. The union proposed that the Education Department increase the number of language teachers and limit the number of classes they teach to two instead of three. The union also said the department should encourage teachers to adopt more flexible teaching methods, such as using audio-visual material in their teaching. Primary Chinese teacher Fung Pik-yee said she usually spent Saturdays and Sundays marking work. Betty Suen Mei-ying, 45, a veteran English teacher at Rosaryhill School, said she spent up to 10 hours marking compositions. 'For Form Six and Seven, I need 20 minutes to mark one. There are 30 students in a class so it takes at least 10 hours to finish it.'