|LISTENING TO BRITISH AND AMERICAN ENGLISH
Who is this for?
This leaflet is for anyone who wants to improve their listening
to American and British English.
Aim of this leaflet
The aim of this leaflet is to introduce you to material for practicing
listening to British and American English.
Basic differences between American and British English
In spoken English the main difference between American and British
is the accent, but there are also differences in the use and meaning
of words. In everyday speech, however, these differences do not
cause many problems.
Useful material in the SAC
For individual words, the two electronic pronunciation dictionaries
on the CD-ROM Reference Station are quick and easy to use for comparing
British (Longman Interactive English Dictionary) and American
(American Heritage Dictionary) pronunciation.
The above two electronic pronunciation dictionaries and others
in bookform, such as the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
provide British/American equivalent words. For example, for trousers
(British English), the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
will also give the American equivalent pants.
For listening to news, try the ITN World News video (on
the 'TV News' shelf in the Multimedia Area) for British English,
and Focus on Business video (on the 'Business' shelf in the Multimedia
Area) for American English.
The SAC also has a number of CD-ROMs for listening where the English
used is either British or American. Here are some of them:
|British English CD-ROMs
||American English CD-ROMs
|Small Talk (1-3)
||Daily Living At Work
|English For Business
|Learn English With Asterix And Son
||Executive New York City
|Telephone Talk (1-2)
||Executive San Francisco
|Listen! Ten Interactive English Lessons
||Listen! Ten Interactive English Lessons
|Listen! Ten More Interactive English Lessons
||Listen! Ten More Interactive English Lessons
- The BBC World Service radio broadcasts (available on Radio 6,
675kHz) are a rich source of British English.
- The 2 local English TV channels (TVB and ATV) have both American
and British news presenters. You could try identifying and comparing
- Try also identifying whether your own lecturers speak with an
American or British accent and note and compare their differences
in accent and word usage.
- Various videos and films in the SAC contain British and American
English. Two video series for learning British English and culture
(on the shelves in the Multimedia Area) are:
- Follow Me
- People and Places
- The World-Wide-Web (WWW) has various sites that contain listening
materials. Two sites for access to news in American English are:
If you would like any help or advice, or just a chat about your
progress, please get in touch - we are here to support your independent
learning! To contact us:
- see an Adviser,
on duty at the SAC Advice Desk (for details of advisers and their availability, please go to http://lc.ust.hk/~sac/sacadviser.html)
- e-mail lcsac (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your query;
- ask at the reception counter of the SAC — if the receptionist cannot help you directly, s/he will pass your query on to one of the SAC advisers.
The introductory leaflet in this series is the leaflet Improving
your listening (L1).
This advice sheet is part of the Listening series of leaflets supporting
independent learning, produced by the HKUST Center for Language Education SAC
team. This leaflet was written by Ken Chan, 1997. Version 1. If
you copy from this leaflet, please acknowledge the source. Thanks.