Reasons to Learn American English

America, as everyone knows, is a mixture of just about every other country on earth, since it was settled by immigrants. (This is not strictly true, since Native Americans did not come here as immigrants, but actually they did migrate here many thousands of years ago, probably across the Bering Straight from Asia, when it was still a land bridge. Still, in America they are called Native Americans, and not “immigrants.” In Canada, they have an even better term: First Peoples.)

Among the first European outsiders to settle America were people from England. So naturally, they spoke British English. But there are as many British accents as there are regions of that country. Back in England, the regions were separated by geography, but in America people from all corners of England mixed and mingled. In the process, the various British accents also mixed and mingled. The result was the start of what we now call American English. Soon, settlers from Scotland and Ireland also came to America, and they brought their own accents with them. These added to the mix. This is the history you become part of when you learn American English online.

New arrivals from other countries – France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Spain, Portugal, Greece, African countries and Asia – they all began to populate this new country. Of course, they brought their own languages and ways of speaking with them. In this way, the British English of the first European settlers became a mixture of accents. It is a wonder how they could so quickly learn American English. They learned it in their everyday lives. Newcomers, even from England, decided it was better to use American English than to keep their Old Country accents intact.

Today, students who learn American English online are getting the benefit of this hybrid way of speaking English.

The Popularity of American English Online

Many students love movies, especially those who love the wonderful glamorous BBC movies and series on TV. At first, rather than learn American English, they want to talk like the people they see in those films, with crisp British accents. So they come to me wanting to sound like Maggie Smith or Prince William or Prince Harry.

I tell them it is a better idea to study American English online rather than try get a perfect British accent. First of all, there are many British accents, depending on region of the country and on class background. Every accent has its own hidden meanings. It is much easier to use American English, which does not have all this “baggage” connected to it. American English, as we have seen, is a mixture of the speech patterns of every immigrant who has come here. Why not add your voice to this ever-changing thing called American English? In England, the rules of speech have been settled for a thousand years. Here, you can truly be part of this ongoing conversation about how English sounds and evolves.