3. Which Accents?
Everyone has an accent. You might not think you do, but it’s a linguistic fact. Accents are normally associated with particular regions and places but can also be linked to a person’s social class – how ‘posh’ they sound, for example.
In this taster activity, you will access to the 10 audio clips below (LeapLangAudio.zip). Here you will find 10 examples of different people from around the British Isles reading the same bit of text.
• Listen to all 10 of them and use the map on the next page to mark where you think each speaker might be from.
• Write a quick comment (maybe just a few words) about each accent and how it sounds to you.
• Check the map (Map: answers) to see if you were right about where the speakers were from.
• Now use the text of the extract and listen to three of the recordings (of your choice) again. Write down the numbers of the accent clips you have chosen in the relevant spaces. As you listen, use a highlighter to note the sounds that you notice as being different to how you might pronounce them.
• Think about the sounds that you have highlighted for each recording and see if you can notice any patterns in them. Make notes on your map, perhaps you will notice that some accents with particular sounds are close to others and the accent can be explained because of migration; others you might need to think a bit harder about and look into the history of the area!