UNRESOLVED ESL ISSUE No. 5: Programme vs program?

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(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/2bP9n2i

In this series of posts I’d like to raise a few ESL issues with you ESL teachers to find out your preference or your opinion.

Today the issue is should students be learning the difference between ‘programme’ and ‘program’? And more importantly – is there actually any difference.

Many people simply say one is from the UK and one is from the US, but often I find even teachers are a bit confused, thinking that a ‘program’ is related to computers, and a ‘programme’ is related to courses.

Any good answers to share?

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4 thoughts on “UNRESOLVED ESL ISSUE No. 5: Programme vs program?

  1. Hello! This something that I always has an issue with in the past. After a lot of research I have found that Americans do not need to worry about the word programme. Just use program. The noun programme comes from the French, and only those following UK writing conventions need to make a distinction between program and programme. Just apply the correct one to whatever version of the curriculum you are teach (whether that be American or English).

  2. Hello! I have been reading a few of your posts and they are great! I have been teaching ESL for a few years now and I find that when I am teaching an American curriculum that I do not need to worry about the word programme. So in this case just use program. The noun programme comes from the French, and only those following UK writing conventions need to make a distinction between program and programme. I am from the UK so it used to be a little bit of a problem. The word came about in the 17th century (in the sense ‘written notice’): via late Latin from Greek programma, from prographein write publicly, from pro before + graphein write. According to the guys at Oxford university, we will eventually just use the American version and the English spelling of the word will fade.

    I hope that helps. There is also this great little explanation online:
    http://www.dailywritingtips.com/get-with-the-programme/

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