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Thread: Headmaster/director

  1. #21
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    Re: Headmaster/director

    I realize that this is an old thread, but it has already been resurrected. In the US, heads of private schools can call themselves anything they wish. While principal and headmaster are most common, a smaller number do use director, such as this school.

  2. #22
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    Re: Headmaster/director

    DO they really??

  3. #23
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    Re: Headmaster/director

    I worked at that school 25+ years ago--same director is still there.

  4. #24
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    Re: Headmaster/director

    Thank you very much Fabullist. This is all hugely interesting to me, as I generally like to study such curiosities. I'm keen on pretty everything regarding the Anglosphere and the culture, the politics, the education systems, etc. of the countries belonging to it.

    I really hope that more people from the UK will soon join the discussion. Especially that some users here, like timpeac, who lives in England, said earlier in this thread that they've never heard of a "school director".

    Yet, Skins is a popular British TV series and it seems that there the term "director" is used to describe the school's principal. The person in question really didn't look like someone who is employed solely for the purpose of supervising school's musical activities. I doubt a biology teacher would feel insecure in front of such person, while everybody might feel this way in front of the headteacher, I suppose.
    Last edited by linguos; 9th July 2011 at 9:23 PM.

  5. #25
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    Re: Headmaster/director

    But "director" is NOT what is used everywhere in the UK or US, is it?

  6. #26
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    Re: Headmaster/director

    I think not. I'm very keen on the British culture and I read a lot of articles on education in the UK, yet this episode of the Skins is my first encounter of this word being used in a school environment. Have a look at Hermione's insightful comment, which states clearly, that it must be a very rare case. Of course, I'm speaking only about the UK here, not the USA.

    However, it's interesting as other European languages use equivalent terms to describe the person who's first in command at school (German Direktor, French directeur, Polish dyrektor, etc).
    Last edited by linguos; 9th July 2011 at 9:33 PM.

  7. #27
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    Re: Headmaster/director

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander2024 View Post
    But "director" is NOT what is used everywhere in the UK or US, is it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ceremoniar View Post
    I realize that this is an old thread, but it has already been resurrected. In the US, heads of private schools can call themselves anything they wish. While principal and headmaster are most common, a smaller number do use director, such as this school.

  8. #28
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    Re: Headmaster/director

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander2024 View Post
    DO they really??
    Yes.

    Off the top of my head, I can think of three or four private schools in Austin that have directors. There's also at least one school that has a superintendent.

    In general, these titles are not common in the United States.
    I always keep the 3D glasses. Shhh...

  9. #29
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    Re: Headmaster/director

    So far in this thread we have established that for most of the native speakers using the term "director" to describe a headteacher of a secondary school is rather odd, apart from maybe some private schools which would use this term in their official documents but probably not within the school corridors, where the person managing the school would still be referred to as the "principal" or "headmaster/-teacher".

    However, this link: http://scr.hu/screenshooter/6903270/myuorbn shows that nowadays, even school textbooks written by native speakers for the learners of English at elementary level teach this word to beginners as if it was a standard word for a person running a school (the excerpt comes from the New English File: Elementary, Oxford University Press 2002).

    Does it mean that there is a growing tendency in the UK to replace the more traditional terms with this relatively new one?

    If not, I think it's not a good idea to use it in the book for beginner ESL students, especially as even some native speakers - as this thread showed - wouldn't be sure what "school director" is supposed to mean.

  10. #30
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    Re: Headmaster/director

    Thanks a lot for the good post, linguos.

  11. #31
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    Re: Headmaster/director

    Quote Originally Posted by linguos View Post
    Does it mean that there is a growing tendency in the UK to replace the more traditional terms with this relatively new one?
    No, I don't think so.
    Quote Originally Posted by linguos View Post
    If not, I think it's not a good idea to use it in the book for beginner ESL students, especially as even some native speakers - as this thread showed - wouldn't be sure what "school director" is supposed to mean.
    I'm not sure what it means. However, I notice that this is about the "Winterbourne School of English". So this is not a school in the sense that many of us use that word (British English) meaning the place we go to as children to learn (or indeed in the American sense of university) but rather a school of English for foreign learners - this is a business. As such, I'm not surprised that it doesn't have a "headteacher" because, although headteachers rarely teach, they have normally come through the teaching ranks to head up a school. Here we have a relatively small business of a few teachers exclusively teaching English.
    ‘If a chap can’t compose an epic poem while he is weaving a tapestry, he had better shut up.' William Morris.

  12. #32
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    Re: Headmaster/director

    You're right here, timpeac, however, in the example I gave earlier in this thread, we were talking about a normal British state sixth-form college, not a private specialized school run like a business as in this example. For some reason the scriptwriters of the TV series titled "The Skins" decided that it's OK to call a secondary school headmistress a "director".

    Also, what I was referring to in my comment (the one you quoted) was that in my opinion textbooks for beginners should use simple, common and standard words and when they make some exceptions then they should clearly state that this or that word is an exception and in what contexts it can be used.

    It's the same with "have got" - when I was at primary school, we were taught that "Have you got any sisters?" was the standard British way to ask such a question, while "Do you have any sisters?" was supposed to be predominantly American but gaining some popularity in the UK nowadays due to the americanization of the British TV...

    Had I not found this wonderful forum, I would still think that "have got" is acceptable even in official English and all because none of those ESL textbooks mentioned otherwise. I would just like the publishers to be a bit more careful.
    Last edited by linguos; 14th December 2012 at 1:00 AM.

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