Using Grammar Girl Podcasts to Compare British and American Englishes

1 0 2,031

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 and Achieve products include collections of assignable, ad-free Grammar Girl podcasts, which you can use to support your lessons. You can assign one (or all!) of these suggested podcasts for students to listen to before 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 digital products and purchasing options, please visit Macmillan's English catalog or speak with your sales representative. 

If you are using LaunchPad, refer to 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."

If you are using Achieve, you can find information on assigning Grammar Girl in Achieve on the support page "Add Grammar Girl and shared English content to your course." If your English Achieve product is copyright year 2021 or later, you are able to use a folder of suggested Grammar Girl podcasts in your course; please see “Using Suggested Grammar Girl Podcasts in Achieve for English Products” for more information.


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 203492 by Ichigo121212, used under a Pixaby License