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supervisor, tutor, lecturer, fellow , don, professor

Discussion in 'English Only' started by wolfbm1, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    Hello.
    "Cambridge University has a teaching system ... [which] is based on weekly, hour-long meetings called 'supervisions' when the member of the teaching staff (the supervisor) and the student (or two students) discuss their week's work. ... Students usually have two or three supervisions per week which may be complemented by lectures, classes and seminars." Source: UNITED KINGDOM AT A GLANCE by Roman Ociepa.
    A lecturer gives a lecture. A supervisor conducts a supervision. A tutor conducts a tutorial.
    What do you call an academic teacher who conducts a seminar or a class? Is it a professor?
     
  2. KarenRei Senior Member

    Kópavogur
    American English
    At the college/university level, a person who teaches a class is a professor (or assistant professor, or teaching assistant, or any variety of other possibilities). A person who conducts a seminar, I think "speaker" would be the best word.
     
  3. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    Thank you, KarenRei. According to OALD (an online dictionary) a seminar is "a class at a university or college when a small group of students and a teacher discuss or study a particular topic
    Teaching is by lectures and seminars."
    Can a student say: "It is difficult to ask the ............ to explain something I don't understand during the seminar. I often have to stop him in the corridor."
    What word can the student use in the gap? Teacher? I don't think that the word "speaker" works in that sentence.
    Also, in what situation can a student address his academic teacher as "don" or "fellow."
     
  4. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    It is a bit different in different universities. But since you are asking about Cambridge:

    Every undergraduate student is a member of a college. He or she will have a personal tutor, who is normally a fellow of the same college. Most (but not all) fellows also have a teaching position at one of the faculties or departments of the university, where he/she can be (according to seniority) a lecturer, reader, or professor. Any of these can be the supervisor of a doctoral candidate. “Don” is an unofficial designation for any member of the teaching staff. Hope this makes it clear.
     
  5. KarenRei Senior Member

    Kópavogur
    American English
    Yes, I'd use speaker in that context too. Now, if the person happened to also be a teacher, then you absolutely could use the word "teacher". If they were a professor, you could say "professor", and so forth. But if all you know about the individual in the context that you're writing is in general "this is a person who delivered a seminar", then I'd say "speaker".

    Don and Fellow are both titles. At least in the US, though, the title "Don" is either never or almost never used in that context; if you say "Don" about someone, unless it's their name, most people's association will be with the Mafia! Anyway, referring to someone by their title is a very formal way to talk about them. Something like, "Our next speaker is a fellow of the Stanford School of Law". A fellow is someone who is part of a fellowship (the definition of fellowship varies based on context)

    As for how Cambridge uses titles, however, I can't comment on that, as I know little to nothing about Cambridge.
     
  6. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    The last two entries overlapped. Let me reassure you that Cambridge dons have nothing to do with the Mafia. At least not usually.
     
  7. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    This is fine, but it doesn't answer the specific question which asked what one calls the member of the teaching staff taking a seminar.

    I suspect they don't have a specific title in many universities, and also that nomenclature in different universities is different.

    I'm also not clear that the fact that the quotation is about Cambridge means that the question applies specifically to Cambridge. The questioner talks about tutorials, a term not mentioned in his quotation.
     
  8. KarenRei Senior Member

    Kópavogur
    American English
    Here's a great example of how there's no real terms for the person who runs a seminar:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seminar

    "with a seminar leader or instructor"
    "John Hasnas lecturing at Towson University during a seminar"

    Basically, seminar doesn't really have a particular noun for the person who runs it or verb for what they do, like "high school class"-"teacher"-"teaching" / "college class"-"professor"-"teaching" / "lecture"-"lecturer"-"lecturing" / etc. I think nobody would bat an eye if you said any of the following:

    "John was the speaker of the seminar and he lectured about computers"
    "John was the leader of the seminar and he taught about computers"
    "John was the instructor of the seminar and he spoke about computers"
    "John was the head of the seminar and he talked about computers"
    ..etc.
     
  9. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    Thank you, fdb. So, an undergraduate student at Cambridge has a tutor and a doctoral candidate has a supervisor. The undergraduate student also has a reader during a seminar and a lecturer during a lecture. He could also address a tutor, a reader and a lecturer as "don", e.g. I asked the reader (or don) to explain X to me at the seminar.
     
  10. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Close, but not quite. Here in England "lecturer", “senior lecturer”, "reader", and "professor" are successive titles in order of seniority (and of pay). They are job titles. Seminars and lectures can be delivered by a lecturer, or a senior lecturer, or a reader, or a professor.
     
  11. jarabina Senior Member

    English - Scotland
    Generally speaking in the UK seminars are usually led by teaching assistants or by lecturers (this last category would generally be used to include senior lecturers and readers amongst the students). So for instance a student might ask 'which lecturer do you have your seminars with?' and the answer could be any of the above. This does not apply to Oxford and Cambridge where the systems are very different.
     
  12. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    Thank you. So, a seminar in England can be delivered by a lecturer. What about classes with a small group of students? Who runs them?
     
  13. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Seminars and tutorials can be led by a lecturer (in the broader sense of the word, which includes readers and professors) or by a teaching assistant (usually a doctoral student).

    By the way: you would not address anyone as “don”. It is used for talking informally about a university teacher. For example a newspaper might write: “Cambridge don arrested”.
     
  14. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    Thank you, fdb. :) I understood that at the University of Cambridge there are only tutorials, seminars and lectures.
     
  15. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    Thank you, KarenRei, for the link and example sentences. :)
     

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