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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > British or American English??    

British or American English??


British or American English??
British or American  English??
My pupils always ask me this question
which one do u prefer ?? and why? Tongue
I would be happy to read your answers here.

7 May 2014      

Russian Federation

Oh, it �s definitely a good question and also tricky. But it depends on a situation. I mean - ask yourself a question - why do i need to learn English? If you need to travel all around the world, watch tv-shows and movies, go for English. For instance, a lot of non-native-speakers choose American version (however, African children study British English) not because they like the States or something like this but the main reason is that it �s easier - The Pronunciation)) 
Moreover, movies and tv-shows are filmed in American English (all we know how British actors suffer when they need to pick up American accent). 
But! If your students want to study at Oxford or Cambridge, if they want to be future WASP (LOL), they �d better choose British version. It gives them advantages in succeeding at TOEFL, IELTS. It �s just my opinion and i didn �t have intention to offend anyone here.
As for me, I started from American English. And then i adopted British accent and it �s okay for me to make out their speech easily. 

8 May 2014     


Hi! I think that question is impossible to answer, as English is a global language with enormous variations. For example, I am a US citizen (my family from New York speaks very differently from my family in Texas), I teach English in Europe preparing British exams, I lived in Scotland and have travelled in the Middle East - Dubai in particular. English is spoken in all of these places, and trying to say one is better than the other is narrow minded and unrealistic. Just teach your students to communicate, that�s all that matters. Obviously, they may have a preference depending on their objectives, exposure and future audience - I�m American, but I need to teach my students some British vocabulary to pass their exams. Yet my students watch American TV. But anyone who tells you one English is "better" than another doesn�t live in this world. Personally, that makes English all the more interesting to teach. That�s my point of view.

8 May 2014     

United States

I agree with danygera.  The tendency in European schools (despite the Common European Framework) is to allow students to speak any form of English as long as it is correct and consistent.

8 May 2014     


I am Canadian, we accept both colour and color, theater and theatre, recognise and recognize, cozy and cosy, grey and gray and the list goes on. We say chesterfield, couch and sofa. We eat and have breakfast, and even do breakfast... 

There are so many people here in Canada from other parts of the world, and we have always been caught between two worlds, Britain and the US, that American and British English are not really a thing here, both are fine (I am sure there is a standard, but nobody really follows it!) and therefore I have never been a stickler for using one or the other... just use it correctly.

8 May 2014     

United States

So what you �re saying Linda is that "mish-mash" English should actually be called "Canadian English" and that is what we should actually teach so our students can function better at a global level, or?
(I started to say it should be called "Canadian", but then I thought of the French we would have to add to the pot). :)

8 May 2014     


Thanks .
a lot of pupils think that American English is the best. When they hear someone talking in American English (and American accent) they do not understand everything. So, they think that  their British English is not sufficient or it is useless. now, I have some pupils who look to British English with an inferior view .....
According to them inernet is berrer than internet Wink

8 May 2014     

United Kingdom

American accents are so cool! Love them! Much nicer. Well, I suppose they vary and the Southern ones are a bit odd - a bit like West Country English. However, when it comes to �foreigners � (sorry) learning English, why, they should learn English English (real English) ha ha, or they just sound fake.

8 May 2014     


hi, I love when someone speaks with an accent either British or American. However, if i were to choose I would go for British because it seems ( at least for me) to be harder to pronounce:) Regards, Mary

8 May 2014     

United States

I also agree with danygera. I am an American from Iowa and have been teaching in Taiwan for 12 years. My Students need to be International in their second language [English] and I teach them to accept both American and British pronunciation, speaking, and writing. After all, they are and will be interacting with both. Ron

9 May 2014     

United Arab Emirates

Well, I don �t really know but now the accents are so many even in one country.globally now there, are Indian English, African English and a South African too,Irish ,Scottish,arabic english gulf countries English accents etc ....communication is what matters.I love the queens British English and its easier for me but American English is now the norm all over the world exactly like noted above due to tv shows.
Although it feels nice to speak any language like  the natives still being able to communicate fluently is enough.Also I agree they should be open to all of them because we will be dealing with all kinds of accent in real life.

9 May 2014