Hong Kong Now Prefers American Accent to British Accent

November 18, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. colony [KOL-uh-nee] (n.) – a place ruled by a faraway country
ExampleAs a colony, Hong Kong was once ruled by the UK.

2. accent [AK-sent] (n.) – the specific way that words are pronounced
Example: Pronouncing words in a British accent is quite difficult.

3. regain [ree-GEYN] (v.) – to obtain something previously lost
Example: The government regained control over the country soon after the invaders left.

4. sprout [sprout] (v.) – to develop or to emerge
Example: More schools sprouted after the budget for education increased.

5. to get one step closer [too get wuhn step KLOH-zer] (idiom) – to become closer to achieving something
Example: Learning proper word pronunciation helps people get one step closer to having excellent communication skills.


Read the text below.
Hong Kong seems to prefer learning the American accent over British nowadays.

After 156 years of being a British colony, Hong Kong was turned over to China which regained control over the region in 1997. Years of British colonization has made English a commonly used language in Hong Kong. Even until now, English schools are continuously sprouting in the region.

However, English schools nowadays focus more on teaching the American variety of English. One of the schools is Nature EQ, which offers American English classes every weekend. Seventeen years ago, the school had only 40 students. But to date, Nature EQ caters to about 350 students, proving that more people in Hong Kong now prefer American English.

Frankie Ng, founder of Nature EQ, said that more and more people choose to learn American accent because it makes words easier to pronounce and understand. One parent also stated that having an American accent gets his children one step closer to having jobs in Western countries.

On another note, more students want to learn American English because they think it is more practical and useful. According to Nature EQ student Sam Yu, learning American English has now become essential as it has already dominated the region.

Few schools in Hong Kong are still teaching British English. But the American variety is still expected to be in demand as people from Mainland China cross into Hong Kong to learn the language.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Which do you think is more useful: American English or British English? Why is that so?
·         Do you agree that having English communication skills can be advantageous in job-seeking? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         What do you think is the future of the English language?
·         Do you believe that English is the world’s universal language? Why or why not?


November 18, 2013