I want to know the difference between the two phrases "School of English" and "English school"? Can anyone explain to me please?

  • 2
    In general, a "School of English" would be a school that specialises in teaching the English language to non-native speakers. Whereas an "English School" would be a school run by and/or attended by English (maybe, British, or Anglophone in general) teachers/students, usually covering a much broader range of subjects. The distinction comes about because "English" means both one particular language and one particular nationality, but many Anglophones (esp. Americans) are hazy about the difference between British and English as they relate to "nationality". Oct 21 '14 at 17:16
  • Similar confusion abounds in countries where English is taught as a foreign language over the ambiguity of English teacher. Does English refer to the subject or the nationality, and what if my English (language) teacher is not English.
    – user6951
    Oct 21 '14 at 17:28
  • @FumbleFingers Could you have a look at the School of English at University of Leeds' website. From their website it looks like the term spans non-native speakers to all competent speakers of English.
    – learner
    Oct 21 '14 at 17:29
  • The Leeds University usage is at least "slightly unusual". I notice they revert to more standard terminology in the "About Us" page, where they say The 2013 QS World University rankings place Leeds among the top 40 English departments in the world. And for all I know, there may be an element of needing to teach basic English to foreign students (or even, regrettably, some of the native Anglophones studying other subjects, whose command of English is below expectations). Oct 21 '14 at 17:48
  • School of English is much like School of Witchcraft and Wizardry or School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The of-clause refers to the subject(s) taught there. Oct 21 '14 at 18:03

To answer simply, the difference between the two phrases is their specificity (level of specificness).

  • A School of English denotes that the school teaches English.
  • An English School may denote the same as the phrase above, but may also denote that the school itself is English which as @FumbleFingers notes in their comment to your question can refer to its location, or the nationality of its origin, its administrators or its attendees.

To illustrate with an example, the phrase English School of Mathematics is proper English (as in the language) describing an English (as in the nationality) School of Mathematics.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .