Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching

English Terms for Educational Events

One of the challenges of doing a literature review in education is the variety of terms used for educational events by the various English-speaking populations of the world. Sometimes we use the same word but in different ways. Sometimes we have different words for the same thing. Sometimes we have distinctly different concepts for a process.

This information is an effort to identify points of departure so those seeking information on a particular topic are not limited to their native version of English but can better interpret documents from other traditions. This is merely an entry point to understanding the literature. There are fine distinctions beyond the scope of this document but you should have enough vocabulary to be able to ask the questions you need.

Thanks to Diana Kelly for many of the terms for Ireland; to Jyotsna Akula for many of the terms for India; to James Wisdom and Bland Tomkinsen for many UK terms; to Eric Kristensen for help with Canada; and to Patrick Lordan for finding resources.

If I've omitted a country that has substantial variation, please let me know. I appreciate contributions and corrections! I'd like to add Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and complete Canada and the UK.


For All Categories:

Which Country are you interested in?
Choose as many as you want:

United Kingdom


For All Countries:

Which Category are you interested in?
Choose as many as you want:

Persons in Education
Organized groups of people (Institutions)
Recognition of Learning


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