Studying in London

Great Free Resources for Learning British English

As you know, there are different dialects of English around the world like British English, American English, Australian and so on. In most cases it does not really matter which English dialect you learn as long as you try to stick with it and don’t mix up different Englishes. When you learn English as a second language in school, in the vast majority of cases, you’re either taught British or American English.

However, the situation changes when it comes to studying in London or working in New York City. Dialects, accents, a slightly different vocabulary and grammar can play an important role as proper spelling might have an effect on your grades at university or your coworkers will simply understand you better when you talk the way they are used to, may it be in a British or American accent or the use of certain words and vocabulary .

There are a lot of resources for English language learners at all levels out there on the Internet. Yet, most of them will teach you American English. Below you will find a list of resources that might help you to get up to speed with your British English before moving to London.

London Central by busuu

London Central is a video course for beginners created by the team behind busuu. busuu is one of the biggest language learning communities worldwide with more than 30 million users. The London Central course is available for paid subscribers of the service and covers the basics of English by telling the story of Leo who moves to London, meets local people and makes friends.

And even if you don’t want to subscribe to the paid features of busuu, you can always find a language partner from the UK in the large community and practice your accent and learn about slang from a “real” Brit.

BBC Learning English

BBC Learning English has existed for 70 years now, and this portal offers a huge choice of different learning materials to learn British English. You can learn phrases, words in the news, listen to podcasts and take quizzes to revise what you learned.

BBC World Service

The BBC is streaming most of its program on the Internet for free which makes it a great resource for listening practice. This is of course more suitable for an advanced learner who wants to familiarize herself with proper British English pronunciation.

British Council LearnEnglish

The British Council also is a great resource for learners with its LearnEnglish portal. Like the BBC site the British Council offers a great choice of audio and video content, exercises and games but also test preparation material and special sections for teens and children.

Dictionaries

There are not only differences in the pronunciation of English but often British and Americans will use different words. Therefore you should use a British English dictionary and thesaurus. All big publishers now offer free online dictionaries, for example Collins, Macmillan and Oxford.

YouTube

With a bit of research you will also find UK based tutors who upload video lessons to YouTube. For example, Chris Workman regularly uploads pronunciation lessons to his YouTube channel and he also has an interesting blog where you can find other learning material like slang word explanations.

Or check out the Beginners Course from english-online.org.uk. Here you find a mix of YouTube videos, grammar exercises and audio lessons.

To finish this list, here is an infographic that explains the major differences between British and American English.

UK English versus American English

by grammar.net.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

 


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  • Alicia Rodriguez

    British icons and English icons are very different!

    -human translations-

  • British

    The infographic has mistakes. British spelling does not have “an extra U”. The letter U is part of the spelling. American spelling omits the U. It mentions “”moustach” but, that is wrong. The correct, British spelling is moustache, with an e on the end.