English Speaking Cultures & Cultural Differences

English has become the leading language of international communication. It is the third most widely spoken language in the world and the official language of 53 countries. The United States is an English speaking culture and so is Great Britain. This paper will explore American and British culture as they relate to the English language.

The United States is a multicultural and multilingual nation. The population is ethnically and racially diverse. Americans have many different traditions and values and the culture has been influenced heavily by European immigrants and the descendants of slaves from the African continent. English is not the official language, but people who do not speak it usually deal with limited employment opportunities. Learning English opens doors and allows people to become part of main stream society. The government provides services in many languages to accommodate newcomers. Details about certain aspects of English-speaking American Culture are below.

American (US) Culture

United Kingdom (UK) Culture

Four countries make up the United Kingdom. They are England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The English language is not governed by a formal code. People from around the world go to England to learn English, live and work. English people speak Modern English that evolved from Old English. Details about the culture and traditions are below.

English usage varies between cultures. The people of England have spoken it for over 1,000 years. American English, however, has only a 300 year history. It evolved from Old English and has been influenced by immigration, slavery and even wars. Most ESL/EFL programs teach American and British English. The three main differences are pronunciation, vocabulary and spelling. British Commonwealth countries where the residents are not native English speakers frequently closely follow British English. The countries which have been historically influenced by the United States follow American English usage.