British vs. American Accent

In Spain most text books used in schools are published in the UK, so the accent that most Spanish teachers have been taught and therefore teach is British, and more specifically, Standard British Accent. But most English speakers don’t make a difference between long and short vowels, the ‘t’ is pronounced as “d” sometimes, they stress words on different syllables… And they use different words to describe the same reality. American English is present in films, TV series, songs… We should make our students aware of the differences between American and British accents, and in this post we’ll show you some material that can be used to illustrate them.

21 Accents

One single actress is able to speak in 21 different accents in over a minute. She’s just amazing, and even if students might not understand every word she says, they normally find her ability fascinating.

Eddie Izzard

The difference between both accents are often a source of jokes and humour. A very funny example is this video with stand-up comedian Eddie Izzard (some swearing included). More difficult to understand, but even so, hilarious.

Hugh Laurie

The popular actor in House is an example of the ability that some actors show to switch accents. In this video Hugh Laurie is invited in Ellen Show to play a game in which he has to guess the meaning of some typically American slang words and challenge the TV presenter Ellen to guess some British expressions.

Katy Perry Can’t Speak English.

(For advanced students) The famous American singer is touring in England and is invited to BBC radio programme The Chris Moyles Show and talks about the words she doesn’t understand or pronounces differently.

Learn the accent

In the videos below, Gareth Jameson. an actor and a voice coach, gives us some tips to make British and American accents.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
How do you say it?

When in doubt about the different pronunciations in English and American accents, check this online talking dictionary. It also includes proper names of international places.


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