Case Studies

This section provides an in-depth look at three specific varieties of contemporary English. Received Pronunciation, Geordie Dialect, and English as spoken in the UK’s Minority Ethnic communities.

Received Pronunciation

Received Pronunciation ( RP) is the proper term to describe the regionally neutral accent used by many middle class speakers in England. It is widely used as a reference point in dictionaries and as a model for teaching English as a foreign language. But have you ever wondered how it came into existence, how it is changing or what role it plays in 21st century Britain? Find out more by listening to over 100 audio clips that put RP in all its forms under the microscope.

Geordie dialect

The UK has a number of distinctive dialects, and Geordie – the dialect of Newcastle-upon-Tyne – is arguably one of our most recognisable. In this section you can listen to more than 150 audio clips featuring a range of speakers from Tyneside and unpack the vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar that makes speech in the area so unique. You can use the audio clips and additional commentary to help you compare Geordie dialect with RP or with speech in your area.

Minority ethnic English

For more than half a century, immigrants from the Indian subcontinent and the West Indies have added variety and diversity to the rich patchwork of accents and dialects spoken in the UK. In this section you can listen to a selection of audio clips that demonstrate a number of aspects of the English we hear in Britain's Caribbean and Asian communities. You can also find out how English arrived in the Commonwealth and how it is used across the globe.