In order to improve my English listening/understanding ability, I listen several different documentaries at least 5 minutes per day. These documentaries are generally produced by BBC. They are in British English accent as you know. Is this a good selection? I mean that should I listen which one, American or British English accent? Which person (having English or American accent) can easier understand other accent (American or English accent).

By the way, I open any other suggestion about listening because I saw that it is very useful for my language improvement in all dimensions.

  • This isn't an objective observation, but in my experience EFL students find American accents easier to imitate (and imitate consistently) than British accents. Students who learn from British teachers (or teachers with British accents) often pronounce only particular words with British stress and otherwise speak like an American, which makes their speech sound odd at times. – user13141 Sep 23 '11 at 8:30

You could argue about which is the easier variety to learn and which is the more useful, but ultimately that depends on you. Are you more likely to interact with people from Commonwealth countries or the USA?

Documentaries are great, and they'll certainly help to widen your vocabulary. Because they also involve "experts" from around the globe if appropriate, not just British people, I think BBC documentaries are probably good for you to listen to. But documentaries do tend to use a slightly more formal tone than what you'd find in every-day speech, so I would also recommend listening to a few radio stations where you'll find more down-to-earth chat. There are plenty of those to choose from on both sides of the Atlantic.

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