How can you practice your listening skills for foreign accents?  One idea I can offer to people who do business with Europeans, Australians, Russians, or any other non-native speakers who have a thick, exotic, or difficult accent is to watch movies or TV shows with people who have that accent.  This will at least give you some practice listening to someone with that accent.  When you are speaking to another non-native speaker, make sure to speak clearly, and try to “parrot” the person, by imitating their grammar, and using the same vocabulary that they use.

I did a quick scan of the Internet, and Youtube to find some helpful listening resources.  Here are some resources I found to help you pick up a foreign accent.

IDEA – International Dialects of English Archive
http://web.ku.edu/idea/index.htm

**These listening files come with a transcript so you can read along and try to figure it out!!
First, go to this website, and choose a continent location from the right side menu.  Then Choose a country location from the right-side menu.  Scroll down a bit until you get to the table that looks like this.

picture-1

Here you can use mp3 file on the right, and download the transcript on the left to read along!  This archive has EVERY accent on earth, with hours of audio for each accent, so you can use this to hone your listening for that particular accent!

The Speech Accent Archive
** Browse by native language, or by region by clicking on the map.
http://accent.gmu.edu/browse_language.php
http://accent.gmu.edu/browse_atlas.php

Youtube

**click on the links to get to one video, but be sure and look on the right side to find more video’s with the same person

German / Austrian

-WolfGang Puck – Cooking Show
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJd8_TYPu5Y

Australian

-Steve Irwin


British

The Naked Chef
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJJi8ROrvZE

Irish / Scottish

Liam Neelson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwjlYgu2ObU

Otago Sound Clips
http://www.otago.ac.nz/anthropology/Linguistic/Sounds/Sounds.html

** this website mainly has accents from the United Kingdom (British).  The transcript is on the main page.

Here is my new lesson plan for this week!  I have been slowly trying to develop a NEW style for my lesson plans, but it has been slow.  Hopefully, sometime in the next few months, I will have audio for these lesson plans, so you can also listen to news story, personal comments, and the vocabulary pronunciation.  Thanks for your patience and support!

Russia Wants to Land on Europa

Landing on a moon of Jupiter!  I think this sounds like a really interesting idea.  This moon is supposed to be mostly covered with ice.  Although there may not be any life there now, maybe there was life there in the past, or can be life there in the future.  I know Canadians will probably be the first to buy houses there, because we are so used to the cold weather!

Here is some really cool information about Jupiter.  This websites have questions from students all over the world.  Hope you can learn something cool here!!

Answered Questions About Jupiter

Here are the latest lesson plans. I hope you enjoy them!

How The City Hurts Your Brain
Peru Court Backs Drunken Worker

During the news class on Saturday in Dali, we talked about watching the news in English.  This requires very good listening skills.  How can you improve your listening slowly, so that you can watch news in English?  Watching video’s designed to improve listening, and repetitively listening to the same video can help.  Some students recommend these sites for watching news video’s.

V.O.A. News – Voice of America – Special English. (Intermediate listening skills) I looked at this news website and it’s grate for improving your listening.  Each news story comes with a transcript of the spoken dialogue.  There are a many different stories to choose from and many different weekly and daily radio shows with transcripts.  The spoken English is slow and smooth so you can practice enhancing your listening skills.  Here is a description that talks about how to use the website: http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/about_our_website.cfm

Reuters – (Advanced listening skills) Reuters is one of the worlds largest and most trusted news sources.  Reuters stories are often used my newspapers around the world.  Their video news website is great because you can pick and choose from the new stories to create a playlist of only the stories you want, and then just sit back and watch them in the order you choose, or you can just watch random stories, or stories from a specific category.  I like this because it is similar to Television news because you don’t have to click a lot.  You can just relax and let the news stories play.

The Last Lecture – (Advanced listening skills) Here is a famous lecture given by a university professor who was dying of cancer.  This is Professor Randy Pausch’s last lecture at Carnegie Mellon.  It’s inspiring!

Ted.com – (Advanced Listening skills) Ted.com has speeches by lots of different people on lots of different topics.