Grammar Girl

Using Grammar Girl Podcasts to Compare British and American Englishes

Blog Post created by Grammar Girl Expert on Oct 24, 2019

This blog series is written by Julia Domenicucci, an editor at Macmillan Learning, in conjunction with Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl.


A photo of the top of a British red telephone box, focused on the word "TELEPHONE" and a royal crown decoration.


Has the United Kingdom or Brexit come up in your classes lately? If so, this is a great opportunity to use Grammar Girl podcasts to learn more about another form of English!


Podcasts have been around for a while, but their popularity seems to increase every day—and for good reason! They are engaging and creative, and they cover every topic imaginable. They are also great for the classroom: you can use them to maintain student engagement, accommodate different learning styles, and introduce multimodality. 


LaunchPad products include assignable, ad-free Grammar Girl podcasts, which you can use to support your lessons. You can assign one or more of these podcasts for students to listen to before, during, or after class. Each podcast also comes with a complete transcript, which is perfect for students who aren’t audio learners or otherwise prefer to read the content. To learn more about LaunchPad products and purchasing options, please visit Macmillan's English catalog or speak with your sales representative.


In your LaunchPad, see the unit “Grammar Girl Podcasts” for instructions on assigning podcasts. You can also find the same information on the support page "Assign Grammar Girl Podcasts." 


Comparing British and American Englishes with Grammar Girl

  • Names of Groups: British versus American English Usage [3:46]
  • American English versus British English [4:36]
  • Why Are British English and American English Different? [6:06]


Assignment: Choose one or more of the above podcasts and listen as a class; remind students they can also read along using the transcripts. Ask each student to take notes on their general thoughts and observations as they listen. After, discuss as a class: What did they learn about British English? About American English? Was anything surprising or did they know this information already?


Tip: If you want to focus on a specific aspect of English using these podcasts, you can. For subject-verb agreement, listen to “Names of Groups: British versus American English Usage.” If you want to discuss word usage and pronunciation, listen to “American English versus British English.” To discuss spelling differences, listen to “Why Are British English and American English Different?


Have you used podcasts to discuss different Englishes in class? Let us know in the comments!


Credit: Pixabay Image 203492by Ichigo121212, used under a Pixaby License