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Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress





Stages in a person’s education (UK System)


  • Crèche: first stage in a person’s education; a place where very young children start their education, where they mostly play but also do some early learning activities.
  • Nursery school: school for young children.
  • Primary school: between the age of five and eleven, where children learn the basics of reading, writing, arithmetic etc…
  • Secondary school: institution which provides secondary education. It’s when students enter a comprehensive school or a more traditional grammar school (to which they gain admission by sitting an exam).
  • Comprehensive school: there is no selection test for this kind of school.
  • Public schools: in UK are in fact private, fee-paying schools.
  • Sixth form college: institution, where students from 16 to 18 study for high-level qualifications.
  • College: teacher-training college.
  • Degree: university qualification normally lasting three years.
  • Diploma: high school or further education diploma.
  • Further education: higher education at university or college.
  • To take / do / sit an exam: to participate in an exam.
  • To resit an exam: take it again if you did badly the first time.
  • To pass an exam / do well: you get a high grade.
  • To fail an exam: you don’t get the minimum grade.
  • To skip classes / lectures: miss deliberately.
  • Continuous assessment: students are periodically tested and assessed in order to evaluate how they are doing.
  • Projects: pieces of planned work finished over a period of time.
  • To graduate / become a graduate: to finish university.
  • Graduation ceremony: official occasion where students become graduates. Parents and friends can attend.
  • Field: area of study.
  • Post-graduate courses: courses you can attend after your graduation, such as a Master’s degree or PhD.
  • Master’s degree: a course done after Bachelor’s.
  • PhD: specialisation in a certain field after having acquired Master’s.


Types of classes in higher education


  • Lecture: generally when a professor at university gives a lecture in front of an audience (students) where students can also ask questions.
  • Seminar: it is when a small group of students meet at university with a teacher to discuss a particular topic.
  • Workshop: like a seminar but longer and with interactive activities.
  • Tutorial: where a teacher gives instructions to a student or a very small group of students (eg two students).




  • LMS: Learning Management System; computer system that controls all aspects of teaching and learning.
  • Distance learning: without attending classes (eg from home).
  • Blended learning: using a mix of classroom and online learning.
  • To monitor students’ activities and progress*: check regularly.
  • To submit work: send / give work to the teacher.

*progress is uncountable.


Talking about education: titles and common questions


  • Professor: senior university academic who is a well-known specialist in his/her subject.
  • Lecturers or tutors: university and college teachers.
  • Compulsory education: which you must do, by law.
  • Grants: money to pay for fees, accommodation, etc. (Do students get grants for further education?).
  • School-leaving age: by law, the age at which a person can leave school.


Language tips


  • To pass an exam: (I passed all my exams and graduated in 2010).

NOT I succeed at/in all my exams.

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