It's not what you say it's the way that you say it... for the British Council

I'm very excited to be giving a talk for the British Council on Thursday of this week with my dear colleague and co-author Sarah Shepherd.  The event is about the 'politics of pronunciation, and it's taking place at the British Council HQ on Thursday evening. There's still a chance to register to attend in person, I think. Or if you're not in London you can sign up to watch it via the livestream, where you'll be able to ask your questions via tweet. Or if you miss it, you can watch it after the event too. Here's a link with all the information.

And here is what you can expect to hear:


It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it - The power of accents in twenty-first century Britain

“It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him”, George Bernard Shaw famously wrote in the preface to Pygmalion. One hundred years on, the accents in question have certainly changed, but have the sentiments? In 2013 Britain, the clipped vowels of the ‘Queen’s English’ may no longer rule the radio waves (in fact, even the Queen herself has brought her accent up to date) but accents still shape the ways we think about other people and ourselves. What are the current attitudes shaping our linguistic landscape?

Accent & Dialect coaches and authors of Collins’ Work on Your Accent, Sarah Shepherd and Helen Ashton will give you the chance to learn some of the techniques they use to help actors change their accent for a role. And will show you that the course of your life can be shaped not only by the way that you speak, but also by the way that you listen.