QUICK CLASS 2: English Accents – A1/A2

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What are accents? What makes them different from each other?



English accents

There are 54 countries where English is an official language. In 19 of them, English is the primary language.


The countries where almost everyone speaks English are Australia, New Zealand, The United Kingdom, and The United States.


Students from countries that don`t speak English may think that there is only one accent for each English-speaking country. But it’s really not that simple!


There isn’t just one accent for each country. The United States alone have about 40 different accents. And there are several types of British accents too, like the Scottish and the Welsh accents.


But what are accents anyway?


They are variations in the pronunciation of the words of a language. They change according to country, area and social class. Different accents in the same country have more things in common with each other than with accents from other countries that speak the same language. That is what makes it possible for foreign English students to consider all accents in the United States, for example, as part of a large single American accent.


If you want to know how English sounds in each country, a good tip is to listen to the national news broadcast from each. That’s because the media tends to use a more general pronunciation of the language.


The reality, however, is much more complicated than that!


Activity: Match the words and expressions with their correct definitions:


a)     There are1) Nearly, but not completely
b)     Almost2) Two or more in reciprocal action
c)     Several3) To be in a particular place; to exist
d)     According to4) Depending on; in conformity with
e)     Each other5) Some; a few



Answers: a-3; b-1; c-5; d-4; e-2

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