The definition of 'segment' from English Oxford Living Dictionaries:

segment (noun)

1. each of the parts into which something is or may be divided.

I hope we can say "segments of the community"; "a segment of a television program", but is it okay to say "a segment of an academic daily routine"?

For instance, there's an English Language Academy, and 3pm to 6pm is its timing, which means duration of 3 hours.

Following are the 3 segments of their academic routine in that English-language academy:

Segment 1. From 3pm to 4pm, the teachers teach Grammar.

Segment 2. From 4pm to 5pm, the teachers teach the students to read English-written Books and Newspapers.

Segment 3. From 5pm to 6pm, the teachers let the students make their own Speeches.

Here, there's question in my mind that, is it appropriate to use the word 'segment' here, or there are other better alternatives to it? I suspect that 'segment' is commonly used in TV programs.

  • 2
    For this specific context, these are sessions. For routines in general, it's just parts. Nobody says segments, and even less people use it with regards to time. A worm has segments. A day has not.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 13:33
  • If you want to be informal, you can call just about anything like this (temporal or not) chunks. Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 14:17

3 Answers 3


As has been mentioned, period is a very common term, but different schools use different designations. My kids' high school uses blocks. This usage is closest to this definition (from the Oxford Dictionaries):



  1. A large quantity or allocation of things regarded as a unit.

    ‘a block of shares’
    ‘final examinations will be taken in a block at the end of the course’

In this case, it is a block of time.

Other schools may use other terminology, and it may be as simple as class -- you have grammar class followed by reading class and then speech class. You could also use instruction (e.g., grammar instruction) or lesson (e.g., reading lesson). It really is school (or school district) dependent.

Note that this is (in the US) for middle and high schools (ages 11-18 or so). Elementary schools generally don't have well-defined periods at the school level. Each teacher sets their own schedule and it's generally just "calendar time" or "math time" or even just "centers" (sort of project-based learning). They do refer to instructional time or instructional minutes as general phrases.

(Full disclosure: my wife is an elementary school teacher and I am running for the board of education.)

EDIT: I just heard from my wife who said:

We distinguish [segments of the day] by subjects: TIG, ELA, Math, Social Studies, Science, etc. Some elementary schools have a language block, math block, etc. Every school has their own way of doing things.

So individual segments of time are simply named for the subject (e.g., "Next, students, we will have social studies, followed by Science"). And if you want a generic name for any or all of those segments of time, block, period, lesson, or class are all good options, depending on what is in use at the specific school in question.


Period would seem appropriate, especially given this usage:

1.3 Each of the set divisions of the day in a school allocated to a lesson or other activity.

  • Period is often used for such stretches of duration, and primes Time reference. Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 14:16

When I was at school (which is nearly forty years ago so things might have changed) the portions the academic day was divided into were known as "periods" (British English here). For example, Monday morning might be: first period, English Language; second and third periods, double maths, and so on.

This may not be entirely useful outside of the South-Eastern UK, I will admit.

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