Today you’re going to learn some common English expressions for talking about education.
This lesson will also help you put these phrases into practice by asking you questions that use the expressions – so you can pause the video and say your answer, or write it down!
And at the end of the lesson, I explain a very common error in English when talking about what you studied in school or college – make sure to watch to the end so that you can avoid this mistake.
If you’re watching this video, it means you want to improve your spoken English. Watching YouTube videos is one way to do that, but it’s even better to take a course like my Everyday English Speaking Courses! There are two levels of the course, and you’ll learn hundreds of real English phrases that are useful for daily life.
#1 – cover a lot of ground
If a class or a course covers a lot of ground, it means it teaches a lot of material.
“We covered a lot of ground in the first two weeks of the course – we’ve already finished four chapters in the textbook!”
What’s a class or course you’ve taken that has covered a lot of ground?
#2 – draw a blank / mind went blank
If you are asked a question and you draw a blank or your mind goes blank, it means you cannot think of the answer. Maybe you actually do know the answer or have a response, but you just can’t think of it in that moment.
“I totally drew a blank when it came to the final question on the exam.”
Talk about a time your mind went blank when faced with a question.
#3 – on campus
The word campus refers to the property of a college, university, or school.
“There are three dining halls and two gyms on campus.“
Say a few things that were on the campus of your school or university.
#4 – teacher’s pet
The teacher’s pet is the teacher’s favorite student, who always behaves well, studies hard, and tries to please the teacher.
“Mark always helps clean up the classroom; he’s a teacher’s pet.“
Who in your class was a teacher’s pet?
#5 – know by heart
If you know something by heart, it means you have memorized it. You can remember it easily without having to check a reference.
“We studied that poem so much that now I know it by heart.”
What is something that you know by heart?
#6 – goof off / goof around
If students are goofing off or goofing around, it means they are acting silly and not being serious.
“The teacher scolded the boys who were goofing off in the back of the classroom.”
Talk about a time you were goofing off, or you saw someone else goofing off.
#7 – drop out of school
To drop out of school means to stop attending school permanently. (If you just take a break but intend to go back, then you are “taking a semester off” or “taking a year off”). A person who does this can be called a high school dropout or a college dropout.
“She had to drop out because of some serious health problems.”
What are some reasons a person might drop out of school? Do you ever think it’s better for someone to drop out?
Common Error in English: “I’m graduated”
A lot of English learners, when talking about what they studied in college, say:
“I’m graduated in sociology.”
However, that’s not the way native English speakers express this idea. We use graduate only for the event of finishing high school or college, for example:
“I graduated in 2010.”
“He’s going to graduate next year.”
“The whole family attended her college graduation.”
When talking about what you studied, we say “I studied,” “I majored in,” or “I have a degree in”:
“I graduated in 2010. I studied sociology.”
“I majored in Latin American literature.”
“I have a degree in veterinary medicine.”