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Podcast: A Presentation of British and American English

In this episode of our podcast, Bella from England and Raj from the United States talk with host Nicholas Emmanuel Carlie about the differences and similarities between British and American English. We also meet Associate Professor Anne Dahl from NTNU.

LK20

Because of COVID-19, the recording of this podcast could not be done in a studio environment. This does at times affect the sound quality.

Illustration: Five flags inside speech bubbles are surrounding the title: 'Varieties of English'

Varieties of English

A Presentation of British and American English

In this episode of our podcast, Bella from England and Raj from the United States talk with host Nicholas Emmanuel Carlie about the differences and similarities between British and American English. We also meet Associate Professor Anne Dahl from NTNU.

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Talk:

Work with a partner or in a group. Discuss the questions and write down your answers in a shared document.

  1. You have heard British and American English spoken many times. How would you describe the difference between a British and an American accent? What are the characteristic features of the two? Do you hear any of these features in the accents of Bella and Raj?

  2. Both Bella and Raj have experienced that other people do not understand words they are using because they are unique for their accent. Could you give examples of other words that are 'typically British' or 'typically American'?

  3. In the podcast, they also talk about the different meaning of the words 'pants' and 'trousers'. Do you know of any British-/-American words that mean different things in the two countries? Perhaps even words that could cause a bit of embarrassment if you don't get them right?

  4. Both Nicholas and Raj think Bella's accent is a bit posh (... or well-spoken, as she prefers to say). What makes her accent posh? Would you define Bella's accent as 'proper' English? What does Anne Dahl have to say about that?

  5. In many countries, class and language are closely related. To what extent is this true in Britain? In the United States? In Norway?

  6. Bella claims that humour is different in the two countries. Do you agree with her? What distinguishes British and American humour?

  7. Explain how the dialects on the east coast of the United States have developed.

Find out:

Photo: View of the city of Boston, Massachusetts, USA. We see a river with houses on both sides. The sky is slightly pink.

Boston

  1. Raj is from Boston but does not have a very clear Bostonian accent. However, he does refer to it and gives a few examples. Use the internet and find out what characterises the Boston accent.

    Share your findings with the class.

  2. Do a bit of research and try to find out why Britain, which is a fairly small country, has so many more unique dialects and accents compared to the United States?

    Share your findings with the class.

For fun:

  1. Make a Kahoot or a game of Jeopardy where the topic is British and American English

    Link to Kahoot (kahoot.com)
    Link to Jeopardy (jeopardylabs.com)

  2. Make a crossword using American and British words that mean different things.

    List of British and American words A-N (englisch-hilfen.de) and List of British and American words N-Z (englisch-hilfen.de)
    Link to CrosswordLab (crosswordlabs.com)



Sist oppdatert 07.06.2021
Skrevet av Både Og og Karin Søvik

Læringsressurser

Varieties of English