Learning an English Received (RP) Accent
What Will You Download?
This download to learn the English RP accent contains eighty (80) minutes of systematic instruction in MP3 sound files. You’ll also get a printable PDF of the instruction manual. It contains summaries of the audio lessons and full transcripts of the drill words, phrases, and passages.
English RP Accent: What Will You Learn?
You will learn the accent called English RP (Received Pronunciation). Some call it the Posh Accent. It’s also called Standard, King’s/Queen’s, or BBC English. Here’s a brief summary of what you’ll work on.
- Lesson 1 teaches you the resonance or voice placement of the RP accent. In other words, you’ll learn to move and shape your mouth to create the accent’s sound focus.
- Lesson 2 gives the unique RP pronunciations of major vowels. You’ll work on many of the vowels as extensions of the mouth posture learned in Lesson 1.
- The 3rd Lesson introduces pitch changes and inflections some RP speakers use.
- Lesson 4 addresses more complex vowel issues, like whether to say “glAHss” (yes) and “stAHnd” (no).
- The 5th Lesson shows you how to drop R sounds that come after vowels. BUT, it also teaches when and how R-drops do not happen.
- Lesson 6 works you through the few consonant pronunciations that are distinctly RP. It then teaches you special pronunciations of words that don’t follow earlier rules.
- The Final Lesson puts it all together with several drill passages. Firstly, it reminds you about the voice placement. Further, it walks you through the pronunciation phrase by phrase before leading you to a normal speaking rate.
More About the RP Accent
This is the accent that Henry Higgins taught Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion / My Fair Lady. Some used to call it “Standard British.” But, it was never a native accent to any region of England. You might say it was “made up” in the late 1800s and early 1900s as the “acceptable accent” of the upper class and the upwardly mobile. Thus, many students often “received” or learned it in school throughout the decades. But now, regional and less-posh accents have become more acceptable in most UK professions. As such, there are very few RP speakers in England today—as little as 3% of the population.
RP for Today’s Actors
This accent, however, is still used (and even required) in today’s English-speaking theatre, film, and television.
- Some directors (especially in the UK) still want RP for the sound of most of Shakespeare’s “non-clownish” characters.
- There are still many scripts these days with RP-speaking characters. This is most notably true of many characters in works by George Bernard Shaw, Noël Coward, and Alan Ayckbourn. And let’s not forget Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest) and many more. As a result, actors anywhere in the English-speaking world are likely to need this accent someday.