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Our speech rules are created by our dialect, and everyone speaks a dialect of one kind or another. No one dialect is "better" than any other.

Geographical  dialects define people by where they live. A "Southern" dialect might be used by a speaker living in Atlanta, Georgia, and "Indian English" might be used by a speaker in New Deli, India. We all come from a geographical region and carry the dialect of our region with us throughout our lives.

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Social dialects define people by socioeconomic groups. People belonging to the same socioeconomic group share similar economic and  educational backgrounds.They might be separated by great distances but speak very similar dialects. We carry the dialect of our socioeconomic group with us throughout our lives.   




ESL students transfer some patterns of their native language into the English they speak. These patterns are not "bad." They are a natural process of language learning. 

English pronunciation has continued to change and evolve from its inception. Today, we would not be able to understand English as it was first pronounced in the British Isles. There is a difference in speech between each generation and each social group. 

In more recent  history, other languages have influenced English, including Old Norse, Old French, Latin, Greek, West African languages, Amerindian languages, and Spanish.

English did not exist until around the 8th century. Its origins can be traced to Englisc, a language spoken by the Angles and Saxon settlers of the British Isles.

Because English has become the language of business, industry, technology, and travel, many different varieties of English are spoken all over the world. One variety of English is not "better" or "worse" than another.


The setting in which we speak determines the appropriateness of word choice and grammar! The language used in very informal settings with family and friends may not be appropriate in the formal settings of academia and business. Teachers and students are interested in the process of making the "best" impressions with speech in formal settings. The goal of language lessons in school is to reduce traces of regional, social, or foreign accents in grammar and pronunciation in those settings where they would be prejudicial or inappropriate. Even in formal settings, however, it should always be remembered that  one "standard" English speech does not exist, and that considerable variation can be found even among the strictest of guidelines.  


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