English Around the World
1) English is spoken as a first language by several countries including Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and the United States. While all of these countries share the same mother tongue, there are some differences in the way they speak and write.
2) The first difference is in the accent. Each country has its own accent. And within each country there are a variety of accents called regional accents. Another difference is the spelling of some words, like color and colour, or theater and theatre. And a third difference is that some of the words are not the same at all. For example, Americans say restroom, Canadians say washroom, and the British say W.C. (water closet.) But all of these words have the same meaning (the room where the toilet is located.)
3) So which English is the best English to learn? Well, there is no best English. They are all equally good and correct. But two things may help you decide which one is best for you to study. First of all, where do you live? If you are from South America, for example, you will probably have more exposure to North American English. If you live in Europe, most likely you will be more exposed to British English. The second thing to think about is why you are learning English. Is it for business? travel? to watch movies? Think about the kind of English you plan to use and focus on understanding people from that area.
4) But no matter where you study English or whether it's British, American, Australian, or whatever, it's good to know a little about English in other countries.
Exercise 01: Find in the text words or expressions whose definitions follow:
1. What people use to speak or write:
2. The language learnt from our parents:
3. How words are written:
5. Pay much attention to:
6. In the beginning:
7. Place or region :
Exercise 02: Answer these questions according to the text.
1. Do people in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa speak the same language?
2. What is the mother tongue in these countries?
3. In how many ways is English different from one country to another?
4. Do people in these countries use different words to describe the same object?
5. What does the word “restroom” refer to for American people?
6. Do people in America write some words like people in Britain?
7. In which paragraph does the writer give you some advice on how to learn English?