American vs. British Spelling

American vs. British Spelling

At the school where I teach, one of the reoccurring questions in the English department is whether a teacher should deduct points when students use British spelling in essays. For me, the answer is absolutely not! Students in international schools are shuffled from school to school and system to system; it is wrong to penalize students for doing what they’ve been taught.

As a teacher, I do sometimes have difficulty remembering the differences between British and American spelling. In a red-eyed marathon though a stack of essays, I have accidentally deducted points for students that use an opposite-side-of-the-Atlantic spelling technique.

Recently I came across a fantastic chart by Susan Jones that outlines the differences between American and British spelling. I asked the site administrator, Georgia State University Professor H. Patricia Byrd, for permission to adapt the chart to my website. She responded, “Of course.”

Perhaps this will help me make fewer mistakes. I hope that it helps other English teachers as well.

I’ve uploaded the chart in both Word 2007 and PDF versions.

American vs. British Spelling (Word 2007)

American vs. British Spelling (PDF)


2 thoughts on “American vs. British Spelling

  1. Vivienne E

    I stumbled onto the chart and your website quite by accident, but I’ll definitely be coming back. It’s a fantastic site and the chart is so helpful – both for myself and my students!

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