British and American English

This activity is designed to be used when teaching or practising the difference between British and American English vocabulary.

British and American English - activities
Author
Derek Spafford

The two passages are the same but the vocabulary is different depending on where the speaker is from. This activity could be exploited in a number of ways.

Procedure 1

  • Give out the worksheets and ask learners to complete the gaps with appropriate vocabulary.
  • Sts listen to the teacher to check.

Procedure 2

  • Put the clues/definitions on the walls around the room. To make this easier you could also add the words to walls and use it as a matching activity.
  • Learners walk around and complete worksheet 2 with two words in American and British English.
  • Give out the gapped text.
  • Learners complete the text with the appropriate word.
  • Teacher reads, learners listen and check.

Procedure 3

  • Put the clues/definitions on the walls around the room. To make this easier you could also add the words to walls and use it as a matching activity.
  • Learners walk around and complete worksheet 2 with two words in American and British English.
  • Teacher checks.
  • Teacher reads the gapped text and elicits answers from the learners.
  • Give out worksheet and learners complete to provide a written record.
Downloads
Language Level

Comments

Submitted by Loraine Qureshi on Sat, 07/31/2010 - 14:55

Permalink

The quote that is used next to the image of an American man dressed in a purple shirt from NY is incorrect. You are using California slang (the west coast surfer dude) in the example for children to read. I am from NY and we do not use this type of words in our speech.

Hi Loraine

Many thanks for your feedback.

Actually Chad was born and raised in NY by his mother and father who are both from California. Chad has two older brothers and two older sisters who also speak in this way hence the Californian slang.

I hope this clears up the confusion

Del 

Submitted by mchack on Sun, 05/27/2018 - 08:12

Permalink

FYI on Chad's text you still use some British-isms. So if you really want to make it authentic, you should change it. Instead of "centre", it should be "center" and instead of "midday", it should be "noon".

Hello mchack, Thanks for that feedback on authentic use of American English, Best wishes, Cath TE Team

Submitted by Alcira Carolin… on Sat, 03/23/2019 - 10:38

Permalink

Where can I find the audio for the British Vs American English activity? The activity is very appealing and communicative way of introducing the topic.Thanks a lot.

Hello, There is no audio recording for this lesson, but rather the teacher reads the script as a live listening. The focus here is on vocabulary rather than accent. Hope that helps and that your students enjoy the activity, Best wishes, Cath TE Team

Submitted by MARIA CHRISTIN… on Wed, 06/23/2021 - 00:28

Permalink

We could have more classes like this one! Differences between American, British, Australian or any other form of English!

Research and insight

We have hundreds of case studies, research papers, publications and resource books written by researchers and experts in ELT from around the world. 

See our publications, research and insight

Sign up to our newsletters for teachers and teacher educators

We will process your data to send you our newsletter and updates based on your consent. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email. Read our privacy policy for more information.