Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today you will learn some resources for becoming familiar with Canadian accents.

This will help you understand IELTS Listening exam audio if the speaker is Canadian.

Luckily, this accent is very similar to our accent in the United States.

However, there are definitely some differences!

Watch the video now!

Today we’re talking about Canada!

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Do you need to be able to understand accents on the IELTS exam?

You will likely hear many different accents in the audio for the Listening exam.

Check out this YouTube video explaining why it is important to prepare for accents!

Jessica has posted a video with resources for British accents.

In the IELTS Energy podcast episode 195, we shared resources for Australian accents.

What about Canadian accents?

A subscriber commented on one of our YouTube videos asking for resources for Canadian accents.

You could hear a Canadian accent in the audio of the Listening section.

Most Canadians will tell you that Alberta has an accent and Toronto has its own accent.

They are subtle enough that many English speakers just think of Canadians as all having the same accent.

How is the pronunciation different?

Most Canada natives have what’s called Canadian Raising, where the diphthong in “how” is raised before s, t and other voiceless consonants.

For example, in words like about and house.

For most Canadian accents, about sounds like a-boat.

But in Toronto it sounds like ‘a-beh-oot’, while in Western Canada it’s ‘a-buh-oot’.

For words like pasta and Mazda, Canadians often use a short a like in “cat” for the first vowel sound.

They’ll also say ‘It’s not fa-her to the ca-her instead of “It’s not far to the car.”

What resources can help you become familiar with Canadian accents?

  • Movies!

Waynes World and Strange Brew are two which feature strong Canadian accents.

In Strange Brew, the accent is especially thick as a parody of this accent.

Comedic actors Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy are Canadian.

They are in Christopher Guest’s films such as Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show and a Mighty Wind.

These are hilarious comedies that feature their Canadian accents.

  • Podcasts!

SNL Afterparty has Canadian hosts.

Also, the podcast English Teacher Melanie is about life in Canada, featuring her very strong Canadian accent.

With today’s resources and tips, you’ll be ready if you hear a Canadian accent on the IELTS exam.


The Canadian accent is not extremely different from ours in the U.S.

Due to this, you will likely have no trouble understanding if you hear a Canadian accent on the IELTS Listening exam.

For more strategies that can help you be prepared for your IELTS speaking exam, join our 3 Keys Success System.

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What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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