Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Accents Used in the IELTS Listening Exam

The Listening Section of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is actually the easiest part of the examination. It is easier in the sense that the questions are not very tricky and at the same time easy to comprehend. The only problem most non-English native speakers has to deal with is the use of different accents in the recorded conversations and passages. The IELTS Listening Section uses Australian, British, New Zealand, and North American accents.

Filipino examinees for the IELTS are more accustomed to listening to American English accent. However, with the different accents used, it is best for Filipinos to find practice centres and learn to get familiar with the different accents.

The purpose of having the listening test a part of the IELTS examination is to assess skills in understanding main ideas and factual information, recognizing opinions, attitudes and purpose of a speaker, and following the flow of an argument.

The IELTS Listening Section can be completed in about thirty minutes with an extra ten minutes to have the candidates transfer their answers from the question booklet to the answer.

The different accents used in the IELTS examination will be a practice for the IELTS examinee. He or she will be dealing with different people abroad who come from different countries. When working or studying abroad, they will have to communicate with these people so familiarity with the accent is really crucial.
For candidates to get accustomed with these accents, here are some things that they can do:

•    Listen to British or Australian language conversations for a couple of hours every day.

•    Watch films that use British or Australian accents. A Hugh Grant movie will be a perfect film to practice on.

•    Listen to news spoken in British and Australian accents. Take note on the stress, pronunciation, and emphasis given on some words.

•    Youtube it! Youtube has videos that help IELTS candidates become familiar and comfortable with the said accents.

•    Get a coach. Enrolling in an IELTS review centre is beneficial as they have professional tutors that will guide candidates in dealing with the accents used in the IELTS Listening Section. Moreover, they offer practice tests that will surely make the candidate distinguish one accent from another.

Indeed, IELTS review centres have the best facilities in giving training and practice to IELTS examinees. Accents might be difficult to understand, but with constant exposure to it, one will find it easier to understand these accents.

Here are some useful Youtube videos that discuss various English accents:

Here's also a video from Youtube that feature different English accents as spoken by young girls from London, Scotland, New York, Texas, Canadian, Queensland, and New Zealand.

The words spoken are:

  • Aunt
  • Route
  • Wash
  • Oil
  • Theater
  • Iron
  • Salmon
  • Caramel
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Sure
  • Data
  • Ruin
  • Crayon
  • New Orleans
  • Pecan
  • Both
  • Again
  • Probably
  • Spitting image
  • Alabama
  • Lawyer
  • Coupon
  • Mayonnaise
  • Syrup
  • Pajamas
  • Caught


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