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.
|Level||B1+ intermediate and above|
|Teacher||British English native-speaker|
|Course||4 weeks, 90 minutes per lesson|
|Day & Time||flexible|
|Class hours||6 hours is a suggested package|
|Self Study hours||12|
|Total Learning Hours||18|
|Max Participants||One. Private training.|
|Study resources||Netflix, you tube, etc. Optional Cambridge books.|
|Location||Flexible. See all our locations on the Contact Page.|