I guess Br.E. is being influenced by Am.E. very much. That probably changes British words and spelling?

People who study English in schools in Britain and America, should they strictly use British spelling and words or American spelling and words or can they mix?

I mean, suppose one needs to write a dictation in Britain. If he writes "color" instead of "colour" will it be a mistake?

If somebody is writing a composition in an American school and uses the word "lorry" instead of "truck" will it be a mistake?

I just wonder how strict are rules to use exclusively British or American spelling and words in schools, universities and e.t.c. This concerns our Russian schools and universities too.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Nathan Tuggy, JavaLatte, Glorfindel, choster, M.A.R. Apr 10 '17 at 22:04

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    As an American teaching American English, personally, I would not mark it wrong, but I might circle it and if the students are age-appropriate, I would let them know that this is British English. – Teacher KSHuang Apr 10 '17 at 8:56
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    Once of the objectives of a dictation is to check that you know how to spell all of the words: you probably be expected to spell them correctly for your current locale. A composition is a different story: it's about demonstrating an ability to communicate, and details like incorrect locale spelling might be commented upon but probably would not be penalized. – JavaLatte Apr 10 '17 at 12:40
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    I wonder where the close votes came from. This is a learning-English kind of question and it's not broad the way I see it. It's neither off-topic nor a proofreading question. – SovereignSun Apr 10 '17 at 12:50
  • I think age and context is very important here. If someone asked me to review something for them, I'd probably point out that "lorry" might be unclear in US English (I am a southeastern US native speaker). If I just encountered it in an article, I wouldn't be offended. If my daughter said it, I would gently correct her. I watch a fair amount of UK tv, but I'm not 100% clear on what a lorry is; I know it's roughly the same as what we call a "truck", but I know they call some vehicles "trucks" also, so I'm not sure if a lorry is a big truck, a small truck, or just a synonym or what. – Deolater Apr 10 '17 at 15:17
  • And if someone with a "foreign" accent said "lorry", I would just assume he had been taught English in a UK or mixed environment and wouldn't think about it again. Unless he then mentioned the "first floor", then I would probably need a clarification. – Deolater Apr 10 '17 at 15:19

I'm a student at an American school who occasionally uses British spellings (mostly by mistake; i've been trying to quash the habit in response to exactly what you're asking about). I have been marked down on numerous occasions for British spellings. I don't think this is because the teachers are trying to discourage the regional spellings but rather because the teacher might not recognise the spelling as valid at all and instead mark it as a total misspelling.

In cases of totally different words, like truck over lorry, the teachers are probably more likely to realise it's a regional difference, and are therefore less likely to mark off for it... though they might be confused as to why you'd chosen that word.

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    I try to use American spelling over that of British English and therefore am often corrected by native speakers from Britain. Once I was doing a test I had this problem with using "got" instead of "have got" and this made me realize that actually most people avoid American spelling, words and grammar. – SovereignSun Apr 10 '17 at 11:39

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