Nuria spent three weeks in Bristol, UK, to further her study of English. She told me one of her teachers had an especially clear manner of speaking. Asked by a student if his accent was American, he replied vigorously in the negative. “God, no!” quoth he, leaving Nuria with the impression that he had low esteem for American-inflected palaver. “Do Americans disdain the English accent also?” she asked.
I told her many Yanks think an English accent conveys superior intelligence. I said there are many accents in the Sceptered Isles (as in the Colonies), and that I love them all, personally, but that I’m a square peg seeking a round hole, so not to be trusted. (I had to explain the metaphor.)
My experience in Europe, of old and of late, is that aspiring anglophones favor the English way of speaking as the model. In their shoes, so would I. To help Nuria along, I will tell her how her Bristol teacher would expect her to say “schedule.” I’ll also advise that her car has a “boot” and a “bonnet,” not a trunk and a hood, and runs on “petrol,” not gas. These are, of course, aspects of dialect, not accent. Nuria is well versed in this distinction.
(c) 2018 JMN.