How to handle English accents in the IELTS test

You have been trying hard to master English grammar and vocabulary, yet different English accents still intimidate you. You can’t let them ruin your IELTS band score, can you?

Here is the golden key to understanding different English accents:

Expose yourself to a variety of media from various English-speaking countries

IELTS is designed based on English-speaking countries with immigration schemes, including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Recordings in the listening section often consist of speakers from these countries to test your understanding of their accents.

There are some apparent differences between them, but subtleties exist too. Only when you become familiar with the accents you can recognize them. How do you get familiar with different English accents? Listening to them as often as possible and media are the best source you have.

Here are six good media options you can try:

1- TED talks

Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) became publicly available in 2009, so the world population can access some of the most innovative thinkers and ideas worth spreading.

Due to the democratic nature of TED, the speakers come from different countries that can provide you with the best platform to get to know English accents with the bonus of upgrading your thinking process. They have transcripts too that you can read later to identify words you had difficulty recognizing.

2- Online platforms

Popular platforms such as YouTube and Spotify offer endless video and audio podcasts, some of which, such as Jo Rogan, are more popular than established media. They can be instrumental in learning English accents even from different cities and regions. Just remember to choose content related to IELTS topics such as environment, global warming, Covid-19 pandemic, social justice, human rights, and animal rights, so you learn the relevant terminologies.

3- TV News and documentaries

News broadcasts and documentaries often focus on current hot topics around the globe that happen to be in IELTS too. Choose programs from the countries mentioned above and compare their accents.

4- Movies

Hollywood does a good job at entertaining people, but their products can help you get to know accents from various countries. American and British accents are dominant in the movies, but Irish and Australian are commonly found.

5- Radio

The good old audio stations are still the best source since you can focus on the voice without being distracted by the picture while doing your daily routines. Choose stations from different countries such as ABC from Australia, BBC from the UK, and CBC from Canada.

6- IELTS practice materials

And there are tons of IELTS listening practice materials on the web that can give you the chance to learn accents while answering questions. Take those tests as much as you can.

But to make sure you are not intimidated by English accents anymore, take an online IELTS mock test and see how much you have improved your IELTS listening band score.

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