Subject Material

Project - Dialects, Creoles and Pidgins

Published: 18.08.2011, Updated: 04.03.2017

Choose one of the following dialects, creoles and pidgins from the list below. (This is not a complete list of English varieties. It is only a selection.) Find out where it is spoken. Also put it in a historic context by explaining the influence of English in the region. For Geordie you should rather explain the role and position of Geordie as a cultural phenomenon. Check out the sound characteristics of the variety and use the internet to locate people using it. Use an audio editor such as Audacity (free audio editor) to record samples of the variety. Finally present your findings in class using visual and sound material.

Descriptions of Varieties

by Jeff Siegel (Language Varieties)

Click on the flags for more detailed information.

Hawaii - FlagHawaii - Flag  Hawai‘i Creole English, locally known as 'Pidgin', is spoken by at least 600,000 people in the U.S.A. state of Hawai‘i. It is an important marker of local identity, and is used widely in literature.

USA FlagUSA Flag  African American (Vernacular) English (AAVE), also called 'Ebonics', is a minority dialect spoken by most African Americans thoughout the U.S.A. It is a marker of ethnic identity, and also a symbol of a youth culture (though rap and hiphop music).


United Kingdom - FlagUnited Kingdom - Flag 'Geordie' is a regional dialect of English spoken in Tyneside, the region around the River Tyne in northeastern England, dominated by the city of Newcastle.

 Cameroon - FlagCameroon - Flag Kamtok (Cameroon Pidgin) is spoken by over
2 million people in the West African country of Cameroon. It is used in literature and religion.

Sierra Leone - FlagSierra Leone - Flag 

Krio is a creole that is the native language of less that 10 % of the population of Sierra Leone (on the coast of West Africa). But it is also learned as a second language and widely used as a lingua franca throughout Sierra Leone and in neighbouring countries.

 Singapore - FlagSingapore - Flag 'Singlish' is an indigenized variety of English spoken informally in Singapore. It is mostly spoken as a second language, but is now a common native language in Singapore.

Aboriginal FlagAboriginal Flag 

Aboriginal English is the name given to the different forms of the minority dialect spoken by Aboriginal people in Australia. It is an important marker of ethnic identity.

Papua New Guinea - FlagPapua New Guinea - Flag 

Tok Pisin is the dialect of Melanesian Pidgin spoken by more than 2.5 million people in Papua New Guinea. It is used in the broadcast and print media, and in parliamentary debate.

Vanuatu - FlagVanuatu - Flag  Bislama is the dialect of Melanesian Pidgin spoken by over 120,000 people throughout Vanuatu. It has been declared the national language of the country.