One common difficulty voiced amongst many IELTS students is the different English accents. It’s very easy for students to become accustomed to their teacher’s particular accent, voice, speech patterns and rhythms. So when they listen to a new English speaker with a different accent, they become extremely frustrated because they can’t understand what is being said. How can we train our ears to be better accustomed to the different accents when it comes to IELTS listening? Today, I will share one useful website and offer some tips on how to use it.
The website is ‘Elllo/English Listening Online’. This site gives you a wide range of listening materials, each with different accents. You can choose according to the topic, the level, or the speaker’s accent. Audio scripts are attached to each listening exercise, and there is even a vocabulary section under ‘audio notes’. Not only does this give you the definition of new words/phrases, but also how they are used.
I suggest focusing on one particular exercise per week. First, download the file onto MP3 and listen to it without reading the scripts. See how much you can understand or how much you have trouble understanding. Then refer to the scripts to make sure you have a thorough understanding of the talk. Spend some time studying the audio notes section and learn the new vocabulary items. You can also take the comprehension and vocabulary quiz attached to each exercise. Focus on ONLY ONE exercise per week, and listen to it repetitively. After that, you can choose another exercise with different accents and follow the same procedure with the new set of materials.
Over time, you will accumulate your experience in listening to different accents. This will definitely be beneficial to your overall listening skills, and better prepare you to listen to the different accents in the IELTS exam.