Learn American English: Pronunciation, Idiom & Writing

Would you like to learn to speak and write American English? What is the difference between American and British English? Can you learn to speak with an American accent?

Most people think of the English world as divided into two (or maybe three) big groups: British, American and – some would say – international. When a client wants to learn American English, including an American accent, that means learning American spelling, idiom, punctuation and pronunciation. We help people learn American English and to learn to speak with an American accent.

The last bit, American English pronunciation and accent, is actually fun, but also challenging, because pronunciation is all about habit.

If American English is your goal, you need a North American English native-speaker teacher to model and teach the American sound. 100% of our teachers are native speakers.

While British English was long considered the “gold standard,” American English is no longer a second tier language. The trending popularity of the American sound is no doubt influenced by Hollywood, American music and international business. And while many of our clients learned British English in school, they now have an international, blended way of using English that contains both American and British pronunciation, idiom, spelling and punctuation. And while that is often fine for speaking, it can be a problem with writing or test taking.

So while we love the modern international mash-up of British and American English, we know that some of you need or wish to choose a style and stick with it.

And what about Rhoticity (Rs) in American English?

Rhoticity refers to the way Rs are spoken in a given language. You may have noticed that English speakers with British accents place a schwa or “uh” sound where Americans place a clearly spoken R. Think of words like “mother” and “father.” With a British accent, the final R is absent and becomes “uh”, thus, “mothuh, fathuh.” Do yoo hear it? But Americans clearly express the final R on those words. Some people say it’s a pirate R. Personally, I like to compare American Rs to a growling dog. Grrrrr!

Would you like some tips for developing an American Accent?

  • Do more listening and less reading
  • Try our Interactive Video Library program and get personal accent feedback
  • At You Tube, watch any speech by Barack Obama
  • Choose American news and TV to keep up with world events. But be sure you are listening to an American journalist. Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper have great American sounds.
  • Visit Rachel’s English on YouTube
  • Add the Stitcher Podcasts app to your phone
  • Listen FREE to National Public Radio from Chicago, WBEZ.
  • Watch American series on Netflix. Avoid series set in parts of the US with strong regional accents. That means that The Sopranos is out, but Breaking Bad is in! Or try The Americans. The Russian spies in this series speak perfect SAE (Standard American English).
  • If music is your thing, turn on Spotify. Try an old crooner like Frank Sinatra, or fast forward to someone contemporary.
  • Do not roll your Rs
  • While initial Rs in British and American English are the same, mid and final position Rs are different. In the latter, American like to use the hard “pirate” R.

Barack Obama

Course details

LevelB1+ intermediate and above
TeacherNorth American English native-speaker
Course8 weeks
Day & Timeflexible
Class Hours12 hours
Self Study Hours16 hours
Total Learning Hours28 hours
Max ParticipantsOne. Private training.
Study ResourcesNetflix, YouTube, etc. Optional American books.
LocationSee all our locations on the Contact Page or choose Live Online
Penny Qian
Penny Qian
21:20 21 Jul 20
Useful course for English as a second language learners, the teacher is very nice and responsible. The course is provided in a small group, with a lot of information and after-class homework. I had a very nice experience!
Salomée Rodenburg
Salomée Rodenburg
19:43 18 Jul 20
Good quality, very intuitive platform, lovely teachers - learned a lot from them. Definitely recommend it to anyone who would like to step up their gam and would like to learn better corporate English!
Andrea Erdbecher Córdoba
Andrea Erdbecher Córdoba
12:11 03 Jul 20
My experience at The English Center was excellent !! I had Rose as a teacher, She is the best professional, very good teaching you and above all she is so patient. All the content is very useful. Don't to loose the chance to learn English at TEC.
Roman Beukema
Roman Beukema
08:19 11 Jun 20
Not only was my time at the English Centre very useful, it was also a great pleasure. Steph is a wonderful teacher who makes the effort to adjust the course to your personal needs and wishes. Besides, she speaks with this lovely sweet and melodious British accent which I alway so much admire and am aiming for myself!
Natalia Sawicka
Natalia Sawicka
20:02 31 Mar 20
I had a great experience with The English Center. It was super easy and quick to arrange the classes in the format I expected. I want to especially recommend my teacher - Rose. Her lessons are always fun while also structured and fit to purpose. I was really impressed how Rose picked up on my pronunciation missteps and helped to improve those in a fun and interactive way! Last but not least, Rose is an amazing person, she will keep you engaged on every level, pick up on the latest world developments, recommend a nice book or laugh about recent tv show you both happened to watch.
Ron Seesing
Ron Seesing
05:36 10 Oct 19
The English Course is perfect to improve my English for business purpose. Great teacher Rose Hook who is very helpfull with great excercises. The course takes place at beatifull locations. I strongly recommand this course.
Tomas Beerthuis
Tomas Beerthuis
09:11 29 Sep 19
I warmly recommend The English Center and in particular Rose! Rose is a fantastic teacher who easily uncovers areas of improvement, gives great feedback and tailors each session to meet your objectives. Thank you for helping me improve!
Aliina Neep
Aliina Neep
16:07 18 Jul 19
Very happy to have chosen The English Center to improve my business English. Not only have I gained confidence in speaking English, but I've noticed a huge improvement in my pronunciation and vocabulary. Thank you, The English Center!
Melissa Nguyen
Melissa Nguyen
09:55 24 Apr 19
I have private lessons which are tailor made to my learning goals, and I'm very satisfied with the quality of teaching! Highly recommended!
Joanne Schouten
Joanne Schouten
13:47 04 Apr 19
If you want to improve your English skills, the English Center is the place to be. My teacher Daniel was the best, and I am impressed by the personal approach and feedback of the staff. Thank you all for helping me reach my goals.
Francesca Bergamin
Francesca Bergamin
07:53 11 Oct 18
Helpful staff, beautiful and cozy location. The course was created by matching my needs and my teacher Esther did an amazing job. Honestly I am sad that the lessons are finished. I do recommend this school.
Rijk Plasman
Rijk Plasman
05:50 06 Oct 18
Personal approach and modern learning methods.
Isis Caljé
Isis Caljé
13:36 05 Oct 18
I got great feedback on what I need to focus on to reduce my natural accent and sound more American.
John Gl
John Gl
16:39 08 Feb 18
Professional and great place!
Claire Langenhoff
Claire Langenhoff
10:10 06 Feb 18
If you're looking for a place to develop your professional English skills, this is the place to go!
Paul Duizendstra
Paul Duizendstra
08:41 06 Feb 18
Marike is the best.
Koen Feya Koen
Koen Feya Koen
10:14 22 Jun 16
Great teachers, very nice atmosphere and the founders/owners have a very personal approach into setting you up with the right course and helping you get started!
Mario Derksen
Mario Derksen
06:56 15 Apr 16
The English Center outsources their MailChimp newsletter at Mailhouse Rock. Each time a pleasure to work with Brenda/Michael!
Next Reviews

Maybe you’re also interested in:

©2006-2020. The English Center

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?