What is the difference in usage/meaning between クラス and 学級? Why did I never learn the latter in language classes?


1 Answer 1


クラス at school can refer to:

  1. a group of students who learn together (このクラスには生徒が35人います。)
  2. a lesson, a lecture (5分後に数学のクラスが始まります)

In kanji, the former is 学級, and the latter is 授業/講義.

学級 and クラス (in the first meaning) are basically interchangeable, but 学級 is typically used in elementary and middle schools. For some reasons, people start to prefer クラス maybe after entering high school. (Does this explain why you didn't learn 学級?)

学級 - Wikipedia

And there are many set phrases where only one of the two can be used. For example, クラス替え is usually not called 学級替え, and 学級閉鎖 (due to flu outbreak, etc.) is far more common than クラス閉鎖.

  • 個人的な経験から言えば、各科目の授業を別の教室で、かつ別の生徒たちと受けるシステムの国の人に「学級」の説明をするのはかなり困難な場合があります。何年何組という概念がないので、説明しても頭の中にイメージとして描けないんです。従って、上の1番の説明などを読んでも、自国を基準にして、「この」クラスは35人でも、次のクラスは全く別のメンバーで20人編成・・というような想像をしてしまう人が割合と多いんです。蛇足ですが。
    – user4032
    Sep 24, 2014 at 14:49
  • @非回答者 あ、そこまでは頭が回りませんでした…。ありがとうございます(アメリカは日本みたいな学級があるみたいですね)
    – naruto
    Sep 24, 2014 at 14:52
  • 2
    In elementary schools the concept of a class is similar. We don't have ~組, of course, and in junior high and above the system changes, but elementary schools will have a single group of kids being taught by one teacher. The class won't change for the year. So instead of saying 3年2組 we'd just say Mrs. Johnson's 3rd grade class, using the name of the teacher to identify which class.
    – ssb
    Sep 24, 2014 at 16:33

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