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Picture of BobHale
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I'm on a number of facebook groups related to my work and they often have ads for EFL schools. One always carries the words "Enrolling exceptional students now."

I wonder if they realise that exceptional doesn't necessarily mean "exceptionally good". There are two ends to every bell curve.
 
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In the USA, the term is more and more often used for those at the least able end.
 
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I also love it when they advertise for "an enthusiastic teacher". As if they think other schools might prefer an unenthusiastic one.
 
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I've never heard of EFL schools before, and I assumed from your post that the "E" stood for exceptional. How wrong I was. This is what Wikipedia says:
quote:
English outside English-speaking countries
EFL, English as a foreign language, indicates the teaching of English in a non–English-speaking region. Study can occur either in the student's home country, as part of the normal school curriculum or otherwise, or, for the more privileged minority, in an anglophone country that they visit as a sort of educational tourist, particularly immediately before or after graduating from university. TEFL is the teaching of English as a foreign language; note that this sort of instruction can take place in any country, English-speaking or not. Typically, EFL is learned either to pass exams as a necessary part of one's education, or for career progression while one works for an organization or business with an international focus. EFL may be part of the state school curriculum in countries where English has no special status (what linguistic theorist Braj Kachru calls the "expanding circle countries"); it may also be supplemented by lessons paid for privately. Teachers of EFL generally assume that students are literate in their mother tongue. The Chinese EFL Journal[4] and Iranian EFL Journal[5] are examples of international journals dedicated to specifics of English language learning within countries where English is used as a foreign language.

Is that what you mean?

Yes, "exceptional" can mean either gifted or disabled, as this site points out.
quote:
The physical attributes and/or learning abilities of some children, however—those called exceptional children—differ from the norm (either below or above) to such an extent that they require an individualized program of special education and related services to fully benefit from education. The term exceptional children includes children who experience difficulties in learning as well as those whose performance is so superior that modifications in curriculum and instruction are necessary to help them fulfill their potential. Thus, exceptional children is an inclusive term that refers to children with learning and/or behavior problems, children with physical disabilities or sensory impairments, and children who are intellectually gifted or have a special talent.

However, "exceptional" seems to most commonly refer to those with "cognitive or developmental disabilities," also called "special needs."
 
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Well I do work teaching English in China. Smile

Yes, that's the EFL that I meant. I also agree that "exceptional" is more often used in the west to mean "special needs". That usage is almost unheard of in job advertising for EFL teachers. It seems to be exclusively used to mean the very best, the elite.
 
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I also love it when they advertise for "an enthusiastic teacher". As if they think other schools might prefer an unenthusiastic one.
Not sure that's true. When companies advertise for someone who's organized and energetic, you don't necessarily think other companies are seeking disorganized, lethargic employees, do you? I think it's just a natural attribute to be seeking in an individual.
 
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Indeed. So natural that it shouldn't need to be said at all, I'd say.
 
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Okay, now I see your point.
 
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If you're an atheist can you be enthusiastic? http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=enthusiast

Yes, I'm committing an etymological phallus see. I think that's where they get the term, "cock up."
 
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Very interesting how the word enthusiasm has changed over the years. I had not known that, Geoff. I assume no one uses it that way today?
 
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Similar to "giddy"
The OED:
quote:
Old English gidig insane, is shown by its guttural initial to be a graphic variant of *gydig < prehistoric *gudīgo- , apparently < Old Germanic *gudom god n. and int. The primary sense thus appears to be ‘possessed by a god, ἔνθεος ’
 
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Originally posted by goofy:
Similar to "giddy"
The OED:
quote:
Old English gidig insane, is shown by its guttural initial to be a graphic variant of *gydig < prehistoric *gudīgo- , apparently < Old Germanic *gudom god n. and int. The primary sense thus appears to be ‘possessed by a god, ἔνθεος ’


Which speaks volumes about the present world state of affairs. Did I say, "present?" I guess it's been that way ever since people invented gods.
 
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Today psychological diagnoses have replaced those antique religious terms 'enthusiastic' and 'giddy': manic and psychotic.
 
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I wonder if you are right, Bethree. Interesting concept. I think about Freud's hysteria.
 
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I hear listeria causes hysteria in Hesperia. Roll Eyes
 
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