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The population may be classified by the language 1 or dialect 2 habitually spoken. A distinction is drawn between an individual’s mother language 3 or mother tongue 3 which is the language spoken in his home in his earliest childhood, and his usual language 4, which is the language customarily used by him. The distinction between the two is not always very easy among people who are bilingual 5 or multilingual 5.
- 1. language n. — linguistic adj.
Religious statistics 1 divide the population by religious affiliation. A distinction is generally drawn between the major religions 2 and their principal denominations 3, rites 4 or sects 5 . Persons who have no religion may describe themselves as agnostics 6, freethinkers 6 or atheists 6.
- 4. rite n. may also be used in the sense of a religious ceremony.
The population is also often classified by educational status 1. A person who can neither read nor write is called illiterate 2. A literate 3 person is one who is able both to read and to write. A person who is able only to read but not to write may be called semi-literate 4 and such persons are sometimes classed with the literate and at other times with the illiterate population. The term "semi-literate" is also used colloquially to denote a person who can read or write only with difficulty. Statistics dealing with these groups of persons are called literacy statistics 5. Educational status is, however, also often expressed in terms of years of schooling completed 6 or in terms of the highest certificate 7 or diploma 7 or degree 7 awarded. Such certificates will vary with the educational system 8 of each country.
- 2. illiterate adj. — illiteracy n.
- 3. literate adj. — literacy n.
It is usual to distinguish between three levels of education 1 or stages of education 1 which are in ascending order: primary education 2, secondary education 3 and higher education 4. The nomenclature for the educational institutions 5 in which these different stages of education are provided differs between different countries, but generally primary education is given in primary schools 6 (344 B) or elementary schools 6, secondary education in secondary schools 7 and the most advanced form of higher education in universities 8.
A. In Great Britain, a grammar school provides secondary education with an academic bias, a different kind of secondary education is provided in a modern school. A public school is one of a body of select secondary schools outside the state educational system altogether. Higher education below university level may be provided in technical colleges or continuation colleges. The term college is used in a variety of senses. A college may be the constituent part of a university, or it may be a secondary school, or even a professional body such as the Royal College of Physicians. A university college is an institution which has not full university status or it may be a constituent college of a university.
B. In the United States elementary schools are known as primary schools (343-6), grade schools or grammar schools, secondary schools are known as high schools. A public school is any school administered by a public authority; in contrast a parochial school is administered by a religious organization, frequently the Roman Catholic Church.
A class 1 (cf. 130-8) is a group of pupils 2 with the same teacher 3 who meet in the same class-room 4 and are generally instructed simultaneously. A group of pupils who are at the same level of educational advancement are said to be in the same grade 5 in the United States of America, or in the same class 5 or form 5 (cf. 206-1), in Great Britain. The term student 6 is generally used for those receiving higher education, but is also interchangeable with "pupil" at the secondary level.
- 2. A scholar in Britain is generally a pupil or student who has been given a scholarship from public or private funds; the use of the term as a synonym for pupil is archaic. In the United States of America such a student would be called a scholarship holder or scholarship student.
- 6. A university student who has not yet taken his first degree is an undergraduate. A graduate (cf. 151-1*) in Great Britain is the holder of a university degree; in the United States of America the term may be used for anyone completing his studies at the university, high school, or even primary school.
Current school statistics 1 may distinguish between the number of pupils enrolled 2 and the number of pupils in attendance 3. A comparison of these two figures gives an attendance ratio 4. Compulsory education 5 implies the existence of a range of ages where school attendance is obligatory by law. This makes it possible to specify the number of children of school age 6 or the school age population 7 according to a legal criterion.
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