Why do Americans call themselves Native English Speakers?

Why are Americans called Native English Speakers?

Here at the English Council, the other day, we were asked this question and it has set us all thinking now. It is a fact that many aspects of English are different from American, to such an extent that it could be construed as a different language all together. So we ask ourselves, why do the Americans, who are very proud of being American call the language they use and spread all around the world “English” instead of American. As the famous English Politician, Sir Winston Churchill once said, “America and England are two countries divided by the same language” As true Native English Teachers of English, we have all decided to research this subject and publish our findings in the near future. We already know from our own teaching of English around the world and from our teaching of students from around the world, who come to England to study with us, that there is a big difference between American English and what is called British English (that is another subject that we will be writing on in the near future)The difference, sometimes is so great, that we basically have to re-teach our students, to help them speak and understand “English” English. With so many differences in: spelling, vocabulary, syntax, the use of tenses and the pronunciation we do often feel we are dealing with a different language. To aid our research on this subject we would welcome any comments from any; teachers, students or users of the English language.

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 17th, 2010 at 5:37 pm and is filed under Learn English online, Teacher Training, The English Language, Why do Americans called themselves Native English Speakers?. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Why do Americans call themselves Native English Speakers?”

  1. SSL certificate Says:

    Thank you very much for that wonderful article

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    I, as an American, have always been impressed by the way the British speak. The British accent transforms the English language into a beautiful chorus of sounds compared to the plain American accent I am accustomed to hearing. However, I have never considered “British English” and “American English” different. To state in your article that the language spoken by the Americans should be “American” and not “English” is truly the most absurd suggestion I have ever heard. Why isn’t the English spoken in the UK called “British”? For educated individuals the langusge is the same, however both countries have communities in which the slang form of the language is used. This is the exception and not the rule. Have the authors of the article forgotten that America was conceived by the British? It is the same language with only the evolution of the accent. Your ignorance is shocking. If you need to re-teach the language entirely, consider you are then teaching “British” as I am sure the pupils have no deficit of “English”

  3. admin Says:

    Dear Elizabeth,
    Sorry to read that you are perplexed about the article “Why are Americans called Native English Speakers”

    Firstly, we allowed the article to be submitted, to stimulate the debate, as indeed there is a debate on this matter.
    We are in the process of compiling a book outlining the differences between American and English, so far reaching 135 pages and this is only outlining the basic spelling, pronunciation and general vocabulary differences. We have not touched on the syntax and tenses yet.

    Secondly, we do not teach or advocate British English. We only teach and support English, at the English Council.
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain is an amalgamation of a number of different countries, mainly: England, Scotland, Wales. This union took place in 1707 and Northern Island was then added in 1801
    As you can see, there are four main countries within The United Kingdom of Great Britain and they all have their own language, so it is therefore impossible to say there is a British language. However, all parts of the United Kingdom of Great Britain have adopted to use English as the unified language, as did America after its Independence from being one of the many colonies of The United Kingdom of Great Britain 1776.

    Thirdly, we advocate that only an English person can declare themselves Native English as a birth right. Not a British person, there is a very big difference. There are thousands of people with British passports, who are from many countries from all around the world. These people will never be English, only British.

    The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state and island country to the northwest of continental Europe. The Kingdom of England spans the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands (all having their own language)
    What is today the legal unit of England (The largest part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain) will once again be a country ruled by its self and not part of the out-dated unification of different countries.