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Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English volume
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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. The statistics that present information on these topics are called statistics of language 6.
- 1. Language, n. - linguistic, adj.
Linguistics, n.: the study of the nature, structure, origin and meaning of language and human speech.
- 2. Dialect, n. - dialectal, adj. A dialect is a variety of language that is distinguished by its pattern of pronunciation, grammar or vocabulary.
- 5. Bilingual, adj. - bilingualism, n.
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. Individuals who can read and write are called literate 2; those who have reached a certain age and cannot are illiterate 3. Often completion of a particular grade or level of schooling is assumed to confer literacy. Educational attainment statistics 4 classify individuals by grade attainment 5, years of school completed 5 or, more rarely, by age at leaving school 6. Another type of classification is based upon the diploma 7, degree 7 or certificate 7 obtained, and depends on the organization of instruction 8 in each country.
- 2. Literate, adj. - literacy, n. Literacy statistics are the part of education statistics that refer to the ability to read and write. The literacy ratio is the proportion of the population covered that is literate. Its complement is the illiteracy ratio.
- 3. Illiterate, adj. - illiteracy, n. A person who is able to read but not write may be called semi-literate, and such persons are sometimes classed with the literate and at other times with the illiterate population.
- 4. The school-age population (346-7) is often classifed by grade or level of enrollment, and attainment is then presented only for the population beyond normal school age.
The education system 1 includes all institutions, public and private providing instruction in a country. Where both types exist a distinction is made between public education 2 and private education 3. After pre-school education 4, it is usual to distinguish between three levels of education 5 which are in ascending order: primary education 6, secondary education 7, itself often divided into several cycles 8 or tracks 8, and higher education 9. The latter includes, among others and at different levels 10★, courses of study that lead to a university degree 11. Technical education 12 or vocational education 12 may be offered either at the secondary or higher education level.
Types of educational institutions 1 and their names are a function of each country’s particular educational system. Pre-school education (343-4) is offered in nursery schools 2 or kindergartens 2. The institutions that offer the three levels of education mentioned above (343-5) are usually called respectively: primary schools 3 or elementary schools 3, secondary schools 4 and colleges 5 or universities 5; in addition to the latter, there may be various kinds of professional schools 6. Technical education (343-12) is given in learning centers 7★, technical schools 8★, technical colleges 9★, technical institutes 10★ and educational institutes 11★.
- 5. The term college is used in a variety of senses; a university college is either an institution of higher learning which has not full university status, or it may be a constituent college of a university.
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. In the U.S., a graduate student is one who is pursuing a second degree, the equivalent of a post-graduate student in the British system.
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.
- 4. The attendance ratio is the ratio of pupils in attendance to pupils enrolled, whereas the enrollment ratio is that of pupils enrolled to the school-age population.
Other statistics concern educational progression. An individual progresses normally grade by grade, from the lowest class of elementary school, to the end of his studies. Leaving school 1, where compulsory education is enforced, is exceptional during school age, barring illness or death. The dropout rate 2 is the probability of leaving school before obtaining a degree, either during the year or at the end of a grade, and it is constructed in the same way as a probability of dying in a life table; its complement to one is the retention rate 3. Such rates can be used to compute a table of school life 4, from which it is possible to infer the mean length of schooling 5. At the end of the school year, pupils or students who do not terminate their studies, may either repeat the grade or move on to the next grade, with or without change of track 6. According to the fate of these pupils or students at the end of the academic year, proportion repeating a school year 7★ are established.
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