Home Home About  Students Teachers Blog Writing
Email Me

Search this site

Be as up-to-date as you can on material here.  General “reading around” about language will benefit you hugely in A Level assessments.

See this excellent blog for language news of the week, maintained by a teacher of A Level English Language.

Other useful links are collected here.

This is a social variety with accent (ie phonological) and dialect (lexical and grammatical) features.  Key examples are:


Replacement of fricatives th with plosives t or d: thing/ting them/dem

Changes in stress patterns (all syllables made equal)

Consonant clusters (esp word-final) reduced: help/hep



Greater creativity in lexis eg peelhead = bald man

Repetition used for emphasis in normal speech

Phonetic rather than standard spelling is used

“Fi” used for “to” in infinitve phrases: He like fi sing



Generally, inflections are often omitted - eg in plural nouns (no -s), past tense of verbs (no -ed)

Copula “to be” omitted: he very good looking

Changes in pronoun use - personal used for possession: her child/she child


It is always a good idea to research your own examples as a revision activity.  However, in the case of BBE, beware of finding BEV (Black English Vernacular) or AAVE (African American Vernacular English) or Ebonics examples instead - these are US dialects which may have influenced BBE but your exam is about British varieties, so be careful.


Many of these aspects can also be found in Multi-Ethnic Youth Dialect or Multicultural London English, which has been influenced by a range of ethnicity-based sociolects.

BBE: British Black English