Episode 22: School Systems in The U.S. & U.K.


In today’s episode we’ll be reviewing some cultural differences between the U.S. and U.K. This episode was a request from a listener, and they wanted to hear about school systems in each of

our countries. Listen along as Jen and Dan describe the similarities and differences while you practice with a real conversation.

Additionally, you’ll hear some idioms and expressions used commonly in English to add to your vocabulary bank!

You can download the guide for this episode right here. If you've already signed up, you can download this week's file with the same password you received in the past!

Podcast Notes:

For more learning, including the full vocabulary list and definitions (from below), a more complete language focus explanation, and idiom example sentences, download this week's episode guide.

Download The Full Episode Guide Here

Vocabulary Sample:

in the midst



social services


Language Focus: Cultural Differences - The UK vs US

  • duvet VS comforter

  • reception VS preschool

  • primary school VS elementary school

  • year VS grade

    • mark VS grade

  • secondary school & sixth form VS middle school and high school

  • vocational vs technical (compulsory until 16, then sixth form is optional to prepare for college)

  • uniforms: optional in primary school and necessary in secondary school (UK)only required at some private schools in the US

  • Ivy League VS The Russell Group

download the episode guide for more information about these websites, including the links, details about how to use them and more! 

Idioms and Expressions

chicken and egg situation: a situation where it’s unknown which of 2 things came first or caused the other

or what have you: and/or anything else that is similar

bag of nerves: a person who is very nervous

a little fish in a big pond: a person that is lower in age/status or some other reason in a group of people

easy peasy lemon squeezy: very easy [just a phrase that rhymes]

across the board: applying to everything in a similar group or of what’s being mentioned

bookworm: a person who studies a lot

off the top of one’s head: the immediate thoughts in one’s head without over thinking

pass with flying colors: to be very successful in a class/test

take a backseat: to let someone else deal with something, to become less important than someone/something


Let’s Connect!

We want to hear from you!

Tell us about the school systems in your country? Is it more similar to The U.S. or U.K.?

Additionally you can answer the following question:

Did you enjoy going to school? Tell us about your experience!

You can comment below this episode in the comment section!