While English has become the most widely used language in the world, the definition of “Standard English” is not always so clear.
This video is one of my favorites for helping English students see the variations between accents and dialects in spoken English. Surprisingly, English accents vary greatly; and if a student has learned American English in school, for example, he/she could have a very hard time understanding someone speaking Australian English.
Because listening to various English accents is “easier said than done,” I recommend learning the fun way- with movies! Here is a great website that can help you learn all kinds of English accents by watching movie trailers and clips. Watch and re-watch until you can understand, and don’t hesitate to ask questions or look up some of the phrases being said. Also, I would advise taking on one accent at a time until you can better understand it, then moving on to the next one. Good luck, and don’t give up!