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This morning, I had a lesson with a former IELTS British examiner. During the lesson, one of the students pronounced the word “era” as /ˈer.ə/ with an American accent. The teacher said it should be pronounced as /ˈɪ(ə)rə/. Then he looked it up in the dictionary and said, “I didn’t know it can be pronounced this way.” This raised my questions: We always ASSUME that all IELTS examiners are well-trained and aware of all the differences between any English-speaking countries. But what if they are not? Does using American punctuation formats and pronunciation make it impossible to get a band 9? Let’s say the examiner is British, and they happen to be unfamiliar with the American pronunciation of certain words. For example, you pronounce the word “schedule” as /ˈskedʒ.uːl/ instead of the British version /ˈʃedʒ.uːl/. I’m not referring to typical accent differences, like the "er" sound being pronounced in American English while not in British English, but to less commonly known examples. Let’s take a look at punctuation. Here’s what Grammarly says: Quotation marks in British English reverse single and double quotation marks, so single quotation marks are the standard, and double quotation marks are used only for a quote within a quote. American English: “The chef told me, ‘Anything you order is free,’” I said to the waiter. British English: ‘The chef told me, “Anything you order is free,”’ I said to the waiter. Here’s what www.unr.edu says: British English puts commas and periods (full stops) outside the quotation marks unless the quotation is also a complete sentence or the punctuation is part of the quotation. However, American English always puts commas and periods inside the quotation marks. What if the British examiner happens to not know these rules? Are my worries real? Does using American punctuation formats and pronunciation make it impossible to get a band 9? (Of course, you can get a 7.5-8.5, but these subtle issues might make it impossible to get a 9.)
Jul 21, 2024 11:22 AM
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