IELTS Pronunciation and Accent

Pronunciation is important to get a good score in the IELTS speaking section, but the right pronunciation is not what students think. IELTS test-takers quickly learn that the listening section is mostly a British accent. At this time, it is important to note the difference between 'accent' and 'pronunciation': an accent is the articulation common to a group of native language speakers, such as British accent or West coast North American accent; on the other hand, pronunciation is the articulation of a single individual when verbalizing a particular word in a language. All individuals speak languages, their own or a second language like English, with a certain accent and pronunciation. So how "good" does your pronunciation have to be for the IELTS?

The speaking section of the IELTS exam consists of three parts and each is graded according to the test-takers complexity (grammar, vocabulary), natural diction (like a native English speaker), and ability to accurately (completely and on topic) answer the questions asked by the examiner. These three parts can be divided further into use of present perfect, passive/active voice, pronunciation, intonation, annunciation, connection, description and so on. To stay on topic, what pronunciation is needed to get a high score for natural diction? Well, the answer is, "the one that is most similar to the English spoken in the region of the test-taker".

IELTS exams are conducted and marked around the world. Usually, the accent of the examiner and marker are the same as where the test is being administered. For example, if a student is taking a test in western Canada then the accent of the examiner asking the questions and the one marking the answers will likely have been born in Canada, grew up in western Canada and has a N. American west coast English accent. So, for these IELTS administrators it will be the easiest to mark and evaluate test-takers who learned and practiced English in their region. However, if this is not an option because the test is not in an English speaking country or the test-taker came from a different English speaking region then what?

Well, in this case most English speakers will agree that the easiest accents are west coast and east coast N. American English, then central N. American English, New Zealand, and most people, even other native English speakers find British English, Mid-south N. American English, and Australian English a bit tough to understand at times. Remember, the best way to be sure that you have the right pronunciation for the test is to practice and don't be shy! Copy the native speaker as close as possible no matter how funny it may sound to you. Even if the sounds seem strange at first, keep going, for the native speaker it is right way for the words to sound. So keep spitting those "th" and "ch" consonants.

12 Responses to “IELTS Pronunciation and Accent”

    • geadmin

      Hi Alex,

      I’m not sure what you’re asking. After you purchase our course, you will receive a receipt via email. Does this answer your question?

  1. m.riad alali

    hello , just i want to know if you have any materiaes for vocabulary improving if you have please advise me how can i get it

    • geadmin


      We don’t have any materials that deal specifically with vocabulary, sorry.

      We do have materials that cover just about everything else though, so we recommend you sign up!

  2. Santhosh Kumar Puligilla

    Dear Sir,

    I joined your full course, and using your material for IELTS preparation. I need your help regarding speaking test. First of all I am worried to speak. I would like to get rid of the worry first, instead of overall speaking test. Could you please share some ideas to overcome the fear

    • geadmin

      Dear Santhosh Kumar Puligilla, Thank you for your question. It is absolutely okay to be a bit nervous before the speaking exam. It is intimidating for anyone when their communication in a foreign language is being judged by a fluent expert. Just remember nobody is perfect, especially in English. More than two billion people speak English as a second language world wide with many different dialects and accents. Even some native English speakers have difficulty understanding each other! So, just do your best and that’s all you can ask from yourself – be fair to yourself. Also, don’t eat too much sugar or ingest caffeine (like coffee or dark tea) before the speaking exam as this will lead to more nervousness and agitation. Remember the sun will shine tomorrow and your English will be better than the day before. Good luck with your interview, and let us know if you have any more questions.

  3. benidir samah

    Hi,i just want to know if ther are common topics in the 4 parts of ielts or no?for example in the speaking test is there common question?thank you verry much

    • geadmin

      Hi Samah,

      The answer is no, not really. Also, we do not advise attempting to memorize answers to certain topics. Focus on speaking fundamentals and general strategy, and you will be able to answer any question types.

    • geadmin

      Hi Mohammed, what kind of tips are you looking for? If you describe for me in detail what tips you need to improve your score, I will help you further.

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