Brainstorming Education Vocabulary

Level: Intermediate

Topic: General

Grammar Topic: Vocabulary

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Type: Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan Text

Brainstorming Education Vocabulary
In pairs or small groups, brainstorm at least three things into each of the categories below. 
You will get one point for each correct word or phrase that isn’t in the answer key. 
Educational institutions 

Qualifications 

Punishments

Rooms and buildings

Things connected to money

People

Collocations with “test” and “exam”

Things which are different in British and American English (including because the 
educational systems are different)

Abbreviations (= short forms) of education vocabulary

Opposites

Words which have similar but different meanings

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2012

Answer key
Educational institutions
cram  school,  primary  school,  kindergarten/  nursery/  pre-school/  playschool,  uni,  grad 
school, (technical/ vocational/ junior/ two year/ 6

th

 form) college

Qualifications
school  leaving  certificate,  BA/  BSc/  bachelor’s  degree/  first  degree/  four  year  degree/ 
university degree/ undergraduate degree, junior college degree/ two year degree, master’s 
degree/ master’s/ MA/ MSc/ MPhil/ MBA, postgraduate degree, PhD/ doctorate, post-doc, 

Punishments
lines, detention, physical punishment/ corporal punishment (e.g. caning), extra homework

Rooms and buildings
cafeteria, lab(oratory), students’ union, dorm/ student halls

Things connected to money
grant, scholarship, fees, living expenses

People
pupil, professor, lecturer, lab assistant, student, mature student, postgrad student

Collocations with “test” and “exam”
take, retake, fail/ flunk, pass with flying colours, scrape through, entrance, end of term, 
final, open book, multiple choice, national, school leaving, essay-based, oral

Different in British/ American English
secondary school/ junior high school, grad school, term/ semester, revise/ review, junior/ 
second year student, sophomore – third/ final year student, senior, three year degree/ four 
year degree, fresher/ freshman, Oxbridge/ Ivy league, redbrick universities, the meaning of 
public school

Abbreviations
BA, BSc, MA, MSc, MBA, PhD, post-doc, SAT, uni, finals, co-ed, PTA, Oxbridge, lab, 
postgrad, dorm, grad school

Opposites
pass – fail, undergraduate – postgraduate, attend – skip, major – minor, co-ed – single 
sex, fresher/ first year student/ freshman – final year student/ senior

Words which have similar but different meanings
pupil/ student, quiz/ test/ exam, essay/ dissertation, university/ college, freshman/ new 
recruit, lecture/ lesson, lecturer/ professor, grant/ scholarship, certificate/ qualification, 
academic year/ calendar year, hearing test/ listening test, BA/ BSc
What are the differences between the things in the last category above?

What do the abbreviations stand for?

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2012