Spanish Vocabulary for Talking About School & Education

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  • 0:01 Vocabulary Comprehension
  • 4:42 Advice From an…
  • 6:17 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Chris Travis
This lesson introduces students to Spanish vocabulary for talking about school and education. It also provides a sample scenario to practice listening comprehension.

Vocabulary Comprehension

This lesson is very useful, whether you plan to help Spanish-speakers who are advancing in their education, or you are looking to communicate your own plans and educational goals. First, let's review some key vocabulary and then listen in on a presentation made by a bilingual admissions counselor at a university.

Vamos a considerar, primero, una lista de frases y palabras que son cognados/cognates que significan la misma cosa en Inglés y en Español (have the same meaning in Spanish and English). I'm sure you can easily guess the meanings, so instead of saying it in English, listen to each expression and repeat it after me as it appears on the screen.

  • Educación de adultos
  • La universidad
  • El examen
  • El profesor
  • El semestre
  • Admitir
  • Estudiar

Muy bien. To practice, allow me to describe one of the concepts, and you can match my description with the expression. Después de la escuela secundaria, normalmente cuando los estudiantes tienen unos dieciocho años, van a la. . . universidad. Muy bien.

Marta dice que le gustó mucho su . . . el semestre pasado porque es muy inteligente. A qué me refiero? Al profesor. Sí.

Ese programa es muy competitivo. Este año van a . . . sólo 8% de los solicitantes. Estamos hablando del verbo 'admitir.' Excelente.

There are other words that are considered false cognates/cognados falsos. These are dangerous expressions because they make us think of a word in English that really is not the correct equivalent.

For example, título can refer to someone's professional title but is also the word for diploma, what every student is striving for. Solicitar means to apply more than to solicit, and we should stay away from aplicar in an educational setting. Maybe you want to use it when applying some glue to something - aplicar - but not to apply to a school or for a job.

We use the verb asistir for 'to attend' because atender is supposed to be used when someone attends to the needs of another, such as a salesperson in a store. Suspender can mean 'to suspend,' but it's really used to suggest a failing grade, 'to fail,' while aprobar is used for 'to pass a class.' El maestro suspendió a Julio porque no trabajó mucho, pero aprobó a todos los otros estudiantes.

Here is some additional vocabulary to review. I will use each expression in a sentence as you see it displayed.

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