Learn British English and Speak with Style

Would you like to learn to speak and write British English?

What is the difference between British and American English? Can you learn to speak with a British accent?

Very broadly speaking, the English world is divided into two (or maybe three) groups: British, American and – some would say – international.

When a client specifies British English, that means learning British spelling, idiom, punctuation and pronunciation.

The last bit, British English pronunciation, is probably the most creative and fun, but also the most challenging, because pronunciation is all about habit.

If British English is your cup of tea, you need a British English native-speaker teacher to “model” and teach the British sound. 100% of our teachers are native speakers.

Most of our clients who want to speak with a British accent – rather than an American accent – want a sound that is known as received pronunciation (RP) or Cambridge English.  This “sound” can also be called, The Queen’s English or “proper” British English. Other clients simply tell us they want to sound more posh 😉 

Of course there’s more than just one British Accent

Northern England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland all speak English with varieties of British accent. Australia and New Zealand, too! And did you know that certain regions of America speak with accents that are clearly recognizable as non rhotic British?

And then there’s Estuary English. That is the sort of English favored by hipsters and young professional who prefer something classless that is somewhere on the scale between Cockney and Posh. Many famous Brits speak Estuary English, including comedians like Ricky Gervais, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and singers like Adele. Even the mayor of London sometimes sounds a bit Estuary. Please be aware that accents are associated with issues of class, so we are not telling you which one is “right.” In fact, they are all, in their own way, right.

Would you like some tips for developing a British English Accent?

  • Do more listening and less reading
  • Choose BBC news to keep up with world events
  • Visit this BBC ESL Pronunciation site
  • Watch series like The Crown on Netflix (hey, that is literally The Queen’s English!)
  • If Estuary is your thing, pay more attention to the pronunciation of singers like Adele
  • Do not roll you Rs
  • Go easy on mid and final position Rs (Rhoticity)
  • For more, check out this great little post at Wikihow: How to Speak in a British Accent

What does Rhoticity have to do with a British Accent?

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?

The English Center has British, North American, Irish and Australian Teachers who are experienced in helping learners achieve a British or American accent. ​

Are you considering Private British English Training?

Changing or developing British English is best done in private English training. Contact us to arrange a free, no obligation intake meeting with one of our teachers. Or just call us. We are happy to speak with you!

Adele's Accent? Estuary English.

Course details

LevelB1+ intermediate and above
TeacherBritish English native-speaker
Course4 weeks, 90 minutes per lesson
Day & Timeflexible
Class hours6 hours is a suggested package
Self Study hours12
Total Learning Hours18
Max ParticipantsOne. Private training.
Study resourcesNetflix, you tube, etc. Optional Cambridge books.
LocationFlexible. See all our locations on the Contact Page.
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!
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