Тема / Топик по английскому языку:
Schooling in the United States

Americans have shown a great concern for education since early colonial times. Today, there are some 43 million pupils and students in public schools at the elementary and secondary levels, and another 6 million in private schools throughout the country.

The USA does not have a national system of education. The function of the Federal Department of Education is merely to gather information, to advise and help finance some educational programs. All educational matters are left to individual states. 50 states are free to determine its own system for its own public school. In 1986, 50 percent of the funds for elementary and secondary education came from state sources, 43 from local funds, and only 6% from the federal government.

There are two major types of schools in the USA - public and private, or fee-paying. Four out of five private schools are run by churches, synagogues and other religious groups.

Most schools start at nursery level at the age of 3. Elementary education starts at the age of 6 and continues till 10-11 years. Secondary education is provided from the age of 11-12 years. Intermediate school includes grades 6 through 9 for ages 11 (12) up to 14 (15) years. Schools of this stage are called intermediate schools or junior high schools.

A senior high school may include grades 9 through 12 or 10 through 12. Senior high schools in the United States can be classified in 3 major categories according to program. A senior high school may be comprehensive, general or vocational. A comprehensive school is open to all youths of a community area and offers a broad program of academic, prevocational and vocational education.

A general school is also open, but it offers a more limited program. Extensive program of prevocational or vocational courses and advanced courses in academic studies are usually excluded.

A vocational school is for students of the community who are interested in its specialized area of training and a program of general education.

A specialized school is for pupils with special capabilities who are qualified to concentrate in a particular area of study. It is for the academically, musically, artistically gifted.

The American secondary school provides the course program of school subjects and a program of extracurricular activities, including organized sports. Most schools publish their own student newspapers, have orchestras, bands, choir, theatre and drama groups, etc.

What makes American education at the secondary level so different from most other countries is that all such programs, whether academic, technical, or practical, are generally taught under one roof.

High school students who wish to attend a college or university go through one of the two standard tests - SAT and ACT. They are given by non-profit, non-governmental organizations.

Topical Vocabulary

- to show a great concern for education
придавать большое значение образованию
a public school
государственная школа
at the elementary and secondary levels
на уровне начального и среднего образования
a private school
частная школа
- a national system of education
национальная система образования
to advise and help finance some educational programs
давать рекомендации и помогать в финансировании некоторых образовательных программ
educational matters
вопросы образования
state sources
государственные источники
a local fund
местный фонд
- fee-paying
to be run by smth.
управляться чем-либо
- to start at nursery level
начинаться на уровне дошкольного образования
elementary education
начальное образование
secondary education
среднее образование
an intermediate school
средние классы
a junior high school
средние классы (первая ступень средней школы)
- a senior high school
старшие классы (вторая ступень средней школы)
a community area
район по месту жительства
to offer a broad program of academic, prevocational and vocational education
предлагать широкую программу академического предпрофессионального и профессионального образования
- an advanced course in smth.
усложненный курс по (какому-либо предмету)
academic studies
общеобразовательный курс
- a specialized area of training
специальная область подготовки
a program of general education
общеобразовательная программа
- a specialized school
специальная школа
special capabilities
особые способности
to be qualified to concentrate in a particular area of study
получить квалификацию в определенной области знаний
the academically, musically, artistically gifted
академически, музыкально, художественно одаренные
- the course program of school subjects
общая программа школьных предметов
a program of extracurricular activities
программа внеклассной работы
to go through a test
пройти тест
to be given by non-profit, non-governmental organizations
проводиться некоммерческими, неправительственными организациями

Answer the questions:

  1. What proves that Americans show a great concern for education?
  2. Why can you say that there’s no national system of education in the USA?
  3. What are the two main kinds of schools in the USA?
  4. What are the stages (стадии) of schooling in the USA?
  5. What types of high school are there in the USA?
  6. What is characteristic of American secondary education?
  7. How are students wishing to attend a university tested?

Translate into English:

  1. Американцы всегда придавали большое значение образованию.
  2. Все вопросы образования в США, где нет национальной системы образования, решаются штатами.
  3. Два основных типа школы в США - бесплатные, или государственные, школы и платные, или частные.
  4. Большинство частных школ управляются религиозными общинами (группами).
  5. Основные этапы образования в США - это начальная и средняя школа; средняя школа включает первый этап (средние классы) и второй этап (старшие классы).
  6. Средняя школа может быть общеобразовательной, общей, профессиональной или специальной.
  7. Различные типы средней школы предлагают различные программы академической, практической и профессиональной направленности.
  8. Тесты для учащихся, которые хотят поступить в колледж или университет, проводятся некоммерческими, неправительственными организациями.