The eighth-grader exam

Glizdka

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This comes from a standardized national exam students in Poland take at the end of primary school.

I would like to ask for your opinion on the male actor's English in this recording for the listening section of the exam. To me, he has a very noticeable and distinct Polish accent, or at the very least he doesn't sound like a native speaker. The way he reads his lines sounds poorly rehearsed, or perhaps he's just a poor voice actor altogether. I don't think he should've been hired for this job.

But maybe I'm wrong. I tend to act like a constant downer when it comes to how the education system in Poland deals with teaching and testing English as a school subject.

What do you think?
 

jutfrank

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I agree with you.

The woman is also Polish but has a much weaker accent and, more importantly, much more native-like intonation.
 

probus

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The man is pretty darn good in my opinion, but not as good as the woman, who is excellent. As I've mentioned in the past, here in Toronto the vast majority of people are immigrants and we are so accustomed to non-native accents we tend to be very tolerant about them.
 

Glizdka

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The CKE, which designs this exam, made this recording in 2018, and this one in 2019.

The female voice sounds like it's a man speaking with a higher-pitched voice to make himself sound like a girl, and in my opinion, it sounds painful to listen to.

In 2021, they hired new voice actors. Here's the recording. I think they did a much better job.
 

probus

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The new voice actors are very impressive. I only noticed two small things. In my variety of English the two syllables of TV have equal stress. The male voice gave a bit more stress to the T sound. And I thought the intonation was slightly off when he talked about hanging the picture of his football team.
 

jutfrank

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The two new voice actors are both British native speakers. They both deliberately speak in that highly affected way that's typical of this kind of EFL exam.
 
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