This week’s topic is about English accents.
I hope you all had a good week. Did you do any of the free activities in London I recommended last week?
Did you know that English is one of the most common languages in the world? The language spoken by most countries is English and it has the second largest number of speakers in the world. (Mandarin has the most speakers!)
Therefore, it is easy to see how understanding different accents can be very difficult as there are so many English accents, not only from the UK, America and Australia, but from all over the world!
Most native English speakers speak very quickly and use expressions and slang so you may have problems understanding them. Below are some tips which may help you understand the difference between British English accents:
– Ask people to slow down. Many people might not realise that you don’t understand and will continue to speak at their usual fast speed. Most people won’t mind at all if you ask them to speak slower and it will be much easier to understand them!
– Expose yourself to many different accents. If you listen to more “real” English, your ear will soon adapt to hearing different accents.
– Watch English TV and films. If you do not understand everything to begin with, put on English subtitles. Just remember to switch them off occasionally and see if you understand without them!
– Listen to the radio. You may not understand everything in the beginning but you will improve quickly if you listen regularly. You could start by listening to podcasts made for English language students if local radio is too difficult.
– Listen to at least an hour of English a day. The more you listen, the easier it will be to understand different English accents!
– Go out and socialise. By going out and meeting people, you will hear a wide range of different accents (especially in London!). Even if you cannot join in the conversation at first, just listening to people will help!
– Join an English language school like Bloomsbury International. You will meet people from all over the world with many different accents and everyone is in the “same boat” as you (in the same situation so they understand how you feel).
– Do some travelling. Travel to different areas in the UK (and around the world) where people have different English accents and try to listen and speak to them.
– Finally, don’t worry if you cannot understand everything. Often, even native English speakers cannot understand someone if their accent is very different! However, the more you listen to and speak English to people with different accents, the easier it will become to understand them!
You can start by watching some great TV tonight! Today is ‘Red Nose Day’ in the UK and there is a programme on TV tonight from 7pm on BBC1. Many actors and comedians get together and create a fantastic night of entertainment to raise money for charity. Red Nose Day has been running once a year for 25 years and the money they raise is used to transform the lives of many people in the UK and Africa. It is always a lot of fun to watch and you can join in by donating money or buying a ‘red nose’ from Sainsburys!
Have fun with English
Below are 10 difficult words to pronounce in the English language. Do you know how to say them? Ask your English teacher or check in a dictionary for the pronunciation and meanings.
Last week’s answers
- What has 4 legs and a back but no body? CHAIR
- What kind of cup doesn’t hold water? CUPCAKE
- What goes up and down but doesn’t move? STAIRCASE
- What goes around the world but stays in a corner? STAMP