British and American spelling

There are several areas in which British and American spelling are different. The differences often come about because British English has tended to keep the spelling of words it has absorbed from other languages (e.g. French), while American English has adapted the spelling to reflect the way that the words actually sound when they’re spoken.

If you’re writing for British readers, you should only use British spellings. In one or two cases, the preferred American spellings are acceptable in British English as well, especially the –ize/-ization endings. While you can use both the –ise/-isation or the –ize/ization endings in British English, it’s important to stick to one style or the other throughout the same piece of writing.

Here are the main ways in which British and American spelling are different.

Words ending in –re

British English words that end in -re often end in -er in American English:

British US
centre center
fibre fiber
litre liter
theatre theater or theatre

Words ending in -our

British English words ending in -our usually end in -or in American English:

British US
colour color
flavour flavor
humour humor
labour labor
neighbour neighbor

Words ending in -ize or -ise

Verbs in British English that can be spelled with either -ize or -ise at the end are always spelled with -ize at the end in American English:

British US
apologize or apologise apologize
organize or organise organize
recognize or recognise recognize

Words ending in -yse

Verbs in British English that end in -yse are always spelled -yze in American English:

British US
analyse analyze
breathalyse breathalyze
paralyse paralyze

Words ending in a vowel plus l

In British spelling, verbs ending in a vowel plus l double the l when adding endings that begin with a vowel. In American English, the l is not doubled:

British US
travel travel
travelled traveled
travelling traveling
traveller traveler
fuel fuel
fuelled fueled
fuelling fueling

Words spelled with double vowels

British English words that are spelled with the double vowels ae or oe are just spelled with an e in American English:

British US
leukaemia leukemia
manoeuvre maneuver
oestrogen estrogen
paediatric pediatric


Note that in American English, certain terms, such as archaeology, keep the ae spelling as standard, although the spelling with just the e (i.e. archeology) is usually acceptable as well.

Nouns ending with –ence

Some nouns that end with -ence in British English are spelled -ense in American English:

British US
defence defense
licence license
offence offense
pretence pretense

Nouns ending with –ogue

Some nouns that end with -ogue in British English end with either -og or -oguein American English:

British US
analogue analog or analogue
catalogue catalog or catalogue
dialogue dialog or dialogue


The distinctions here are not hard and fast. The spelling analogue is acceptable but not very common in American English; catalog has become the US norm, but catalogue is not uncommon;dialogue is still preferred over dialog.




Dear parents,

I really cannot believe that the first trimester of our ESL Junior Lab has already finished. It has been a wonderful and busy one.

We had so much fun and time flew by.

I feel genuinely proud of my fantastic students!

I wish you and your families relaxing and exciting holidays and look forward to seeing you all in January.

Best wishes

Ms. Kristina

PicMonkey Collage1ready2

PicMonkey Collageready

Halloween Bingo

Bingo is a simple and fun game to play in ESL classes. It’s versatile enough to enable English teachers to practice and reinforce a wide range of language and skills.

Here is a cute free printable Halloween Bingo set I found on

The game board has monsters and witches, black cats and bats, spiders, pumpkins, ghosts and more.

I  had mine printed and laminated at a printing store so that I could get a higher quality print to keep for years to come. I cut up the 8 boards and the squares.


I gave each kid a card and shuffled squares, and had the “bingo caller” just announce which one they drew. Like, “Frankestein” then the other students covered the Frankestein on their card with scraps of paper. First to get a row won.

I had spooky eye-ball chocolate candies in little bags as the winning prizes and then also gave everyone some candies at the end of the game so everyone got something.


My classes loved it! Definitely pinning for the future.

Trinity College London Seminar

Yesterday I attended the National Trinity College London Seminar for English Language teachers on ‘The Pathway to Real Communication’, which was held in Naples.

About Trinity

Trinity College London is an international exam board with a rich heritage of academic rigour and a positive, supportive approach to assessment. It provides recognised and respected qualifications across a unique spectrum of communicative skills — from music, drama and arts activities to English language — at all levels.

The seminar comprised of a plenary session in the morning followed by workshops both in the morning and afternoon. The activities were designed to help teachers to improve candidates’ performance in Trinity exams at different levels.

I’d like to share with you some useful information about Trinity’s special awards and revised exams.

This was the schedule:
8:15 – 10:50 Registration + Opening Announcements + Plenary
10:50 – 11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 – 13:00 Morning Workshop I – II – III – IV – V
I – This is Fun! Trinity Stars: Young Performers in English Awards
II – My First Steps: Speaking and Listening at level A1
III – This is my World: Speaking and Listening at level A2
IV – Developing my Skills: Reading and Writing at level B1
V – Ready to Go: Reading and Writing at level B2
13:00 – 14:15 Lunch Break
13:00 – 14:00 Poster Sessions: Revised ISE
14:15 – 16:00 Afternoon Workshop VI – VII – VIII – IX
VI – My First Steps: Speaking and Listening at level A1
VII – This is my World: Reading and Writing at level A2
VIII – Developing my Skills: Speaking and Listening at level B1
IX – Ready to Go: Speaking and Listening at level B2

I’ve had years of experience with the Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE) so I chose to attend workshops about  the little known Trinity Stars, ‘Morning Workshop I. This is Fun! Trinity Stars: Young Performers in English Awards’, and the revised Integrated Skills in English exams (ISE), which were launched in September, ‘Afternoon Workshop VII. This is my world: Reading and Writing skills at CEFR level A2’.

They were both well attended and proved to be very informative.

I. This is Fun! Trinity Stars: Young Performers in English Awards
This workshop focused on Storytelling.and its effectiveness  as a teaching pedagogy and learning method.

Reading and telling stories have great  benefits for classroom learning, and the magic of Storytime can inspire children to learn English. Storytelling can be used in the preparation of a Trinity Stars Award.

About Trinity Stars:

The Trinity Stars: Young Performers in English Award is designed to encourage the teaching and learning of English language through drama, music and performance.  It is a group award, designed for children aged anywhere between 3 and 12 years old who are starting to learn English. 

Preparing children for the award shows how performance-related activity supports learning, motivates children and builds their confidence and communication skills. Trinity Stars has been designed to support both learning in the classroom and teachers’ professional development. 


VII. This is my world: Reading and Writing skills at CEFR level A2
Teacher training workshop on how develop students’ ability to communicate in English in an authentic and meaningful way through the use of integrated reading and writing tasks.

About ISE:

Trinity’s Integrated Skills in English (ISE) is a contemporary four skills qualification intended for young people and adults – typically at school, college or university. It is also suitable for teachers and other adults who require a respected English language qualification.

Throughout this session, we will reflected on how preparing for the Revised ISE Foundation Exam can help students’ build real-life skills that are meaningful and purposeful to them. ISE Foundation is at level A2 on the CEFR and consists of two exam modules: Reading & Writing and Speaking & Listening.

  • Reading & Writing exam lasts 2 hours.
  • Speaking & Listening exam lasts 13 minutes.

The exam modules can be taken together, or at different times.

We learned details of the exam structure, content, timings and what candidates need to be able to do this level.

There is a Guide for Teachers for ISE Foundation online, it contains everything you need to know to prepare students for the exams.


I hope I’ll have a chance to attend Trinity Events to learn more about their Spoken English for Work (SEW) exams.

SEW prepares candidates for real-life working situations by providing valuable practice and assessment in telephone conversations, formal and informal presentations – along with the opportunity to discuss real work issues in an English-speaking context.

SEW provides a measure of linguistic competence from intermediate to advanced levels – from B1 to C1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Language.

Upcoming Trinity Teacher Training Events:

Discover Trinity ISE: Integrated Skills in English

17.11.2015 Palermo (PA)

21.11.2015 Frosinone (FR)

24.11.2015 Bari (BA)

26.11.2015 Napoli (NA)

Benefits of being Bilingual

New research claims that polyglot children will be healthier and grow up to earn more than their peers.

Children of immigrants who are raised to speak, read, and write both in English and their mother tongues can expect to earn more than their English-speaking-only peers, a new study claims.

Jointly published by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA and Educational Testing Services, the paper claims that bilingual children in the US are expected to earn as much as $5,000 (€4,400) more than purely Anglophone Americans. These children also have a greater chance of pursuing higher education, being better paid, and of having more diverse social networks.

“We live in a globalising world,” the study’s author Patricia Gándara told Mic. “Our interconnectedness can be our strength as a nation, but we are far behind other developed nations in our ability to communicate across linguistic and cultural lines.”

Gándara, a research professor at UCLA, was surprised at the findings of her research, given a multitude of previous literature claiming bilingualism is detrimental. Throughout much of the 20th century, the predominant thought among leading educationalists was that speaking a second language at home would hamper a child’s ability to develop academically and intellectually.

“Bilingualism among the children of immigrants in the United States represents a previously untapped national resource,” she said.

Scepticism towards the abilities of bilingualists is on the wan, and this news is just the latest in a number of studies espousing the values of learning a second language; in 2012, Canadian researchers concluded that bilingualism slows the development of dementia, and that children who are bilingual are better able to transition between tasks.

Furthermore, a group of sociologists at Rice University in Texas published a study on the physical and mental wellbeing of bilingual immigrants, suggesting they were healthier than their monolingual peers.