B1 Lesson Plan

When Should British vs American English Be Used?

Created by ALULA | April 15, 2024

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- Cultural linguistics -

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Whether you're an English teacher online or in a traditional classroom, finding interactive and insightful activities for English language learners is essential. This lesson plan delves into the intriguing differences between British and American English, providing a rich cultural learning experience for intermediate ESL students. From vocabulary to spelling and pronunciation, the lesson is crafted to enhance comprehension and cultural linguistics awareness.


This lesson is designed for Intermediate (B1) students to explore and understand the linguistic variances between British and American English. Focusing on vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation differences, the lesson incorporates comparative exercises and discussions to enhance cultural linguistics and comprehension. By the end of the lesson, students will be more informed about these differences, which will aid in their English language mastery and increase their confidence in cross-cultural communication.

Lesson Focus

Students will gain insights into the nuances of English spoken on both sides of the Atlantic. They will learn about the cultural and historical reasons behind these differences, enhancing their skills in identifying and understanding various English dialects. This knowledge will bolster their listening, speaking, and reading abilities, making them more versatile English speakers and learners.

Lesson Content

Activity 1: Vocabulary Variations

Approximate Time Needed: 30 minutes

Objective: To identify and use vocabulary words that differ between British and American English.

Materials: A list of vocabulary words that differ between the two dialects (e.g., flat/apartment, lift/elevator), available online or created by the teacher. Flashcards can be made for in-class use.


  1. Split students into two groups. One group receives British English words, and the other American English words.
  2. Each group learns their assigned words and creates sentences using them.
  3. Students pair up across groups, exchange their sentences, and guess the meaning of their partner’s words, discussing any differences.

Activity 2: Spelling Bee

Approximate Time Needed: 20 minutes

Objective: To recognize and spell words according to British and American spelling conventions.

Materials: A list of words that are spelled differently in British and American English (e.g., colour/color, theatre/theater), available online or prepared by the teacher.


  1. Divide the class into two teams: one for British spelling and one for American spelling.
  2. The teacher calls out a word, and a representative from each team spells it according to their team’s convention.
  3. Points are awarded for correct spelling. Discuss any discrepancies and their origins.

Activity 3: “Can You Repeat That?” Pronunciation Challenge

Approximate Time Needed: 30 minutes

Objective: To practice and understand the pronunciation differences between British and American English.

Materials: Audio clips featuring speakers of both dialects, a list of words/phrases used in the clips, and their phonetic transcriptions.


  1. Play each audio clip and ask students to note down any pronunciation differences they observe.
  2. Discuss these differences in groups, focusing on vowel and consonant sounds that vary between dialects.
  3. Students attempt to mimic the pronunciations of each dialect, guiding each other towards correct articulation.

Wrap Up

This lesson plan offers a comprehensive exploration of the differences between British and American English, from vocabulary and spelling to pronunciation. By engaging in comparative exercises and discussions, students enhance their understanding of cultural linguistics, bolstering their English comprehension and communication skills across dialects.

Incorporating technology like ALULA can further augment students’ learning experience outside the classroom. This AI-powered ESL app offers conversation exercises and speaking exercises focusing on specific grammar topics, making it an excellent tool for practicing the linguistic nuances discussed in this lesson. By interacting with an AI English Tutor, students can reinforce their understanding of British and American English differences, making their learning journey more engaging and effective.

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