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比如,他们讨论过《卖火柴的小女孩儿》是写给谁看的,还讨论过灰姑娘的故事。老师讲完故事之后,问同学们: ...

This is from the Standard Course Book of HSK5, section 22. I don't understand why the word 同学 is used. Why not 学生 or 学童?

老师讲完故事之后,问学生们: ...

老师讲完故事之后,问学童们: ...

Dictionaries say that 学生 may mean pupil or student, 学童 may mean schoolchild or pupil, but 同学 may mean either classmate or schoolmate. So, I suppose that the latter is something to be said between pupils addressing each other, not a teacher addressing pupils. Am I right? Or is it about another meaning of the latter that wiktionary has? ... 2. a term of address for a student?

What is your opinion?

2 Answers 2

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About the usage of 同学, I have explained here

When a teacher or any outsider says 同学们, 同学 is referred to as a "student"

Example:

张同学,李同学 = classmate Zhang, classmate Li (from a classmate's standpoint, but it is too formal, typically classmates just address each other with their full names)

张同学,李同学 = student Zhang, student Li (from a teacher or any outsider's standpoint)

同学们好 = "Hello students" or "Hello class"

  • 学生 = student (in general). A university senior and a grade-oner are both students. A person who studies under a master is referred to as that master's student (学生)

  • 学童 = children age student, basically all grade-schoolers are 学童 (kid students)

Why not 学生 or 学童?

老师讲完故事之后,问学生们: ...

Both 学生们 and 同学们 mean "students" there's no problem using either one

老师讲完故事之后,问学童们: ...

it means they are all kid students

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同学 = fellow student; schoolmate; classmate.

It can be used by the teacher to address a particular student (ex: 張同学 - a student with the surname 張), or to the entire class (同学們, 上課了 = Student, class has started).

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