Can anyone answer this question:
I am looking for any form of training, particularly in the form of computer programs, in the understanding of non-standard English and heavy accents. I am a native English speaker. I intend to become a foreign-correspondent journalist, but am plagued with a difficulty in understanding anyone with a strong accent when they speak English. This poses obvious problems in my field. I appreciate any assistance you can offer in allowing me to understand English with an accent (particularly French, Indian, Arabic, and Chinese accents). Thank you!
Sorry, I can't really help you there. The only thing you can do I guess is find such speakers in reality as a conversation partner - similar to what many universities offer to foreign students to improve their English. This way you could improve your "funny"-English skills (no offence to any non-native speakers I am one myself).
I know we have authentic texts on the CDs that come along with our student books, meaning if we have a text about Africa it'll be an African person with an African slang reading the text. If it's about India it'll be read by an Indian and so forth. But I don't know how you could get anything similar out on the open market.
Best of luck