I heard there are many accents in UK. How will I understand different English speakers?

Today’s blog post is in reply to a question from a student on the Question Wall:
“I heard there are many accents in UK. How will I understand different English speakers?”

This student is right in that it is normal to hear a range of accents on campus at your college or university as well as in everyday life when you come to study in the UK. On campus, in addition to different varieties of British English, you can expect to hear varieties of English from around the world spoken by international students and staff. Your ears will soon get used to this variety and you can expect your listening skills to be one of the first to improve as you learn to communicate with people from lots of different places!

For ‘a tour of the British Isles in accents’, listen to this short recording of a small number of them, made by dialect coach, Andrew Jack, on the BBC website: A tour of the British Isles in accents. Can you hear the differences as he changes accent?

To listen to more accents from around the UK, visit the BBC Voices website where you can click on a map and listen to some extended speech recorded from a speaker originating from that part of the country: BBC Voices. These voices show a range of accents, as well as a range of examples of formal to extremely informal styles of speaking.

If you have a question related to academic life and study in the UK and you can’t find the answer in the Prepare for Success learning resources, write it on the Question Wall and we will try to answer it here in the blog next time.

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