Working for a call center requires that you are comfortable to speak conversational English. It becomes a must have skill for those who want to be part of that industry. And the good news is- it can be done. Millions of Filipinos are working in the industry now so this should also be doable for you. But what if you’re not interested to join that industry? Will you still benefit from it?
Even if you have no plans of working for a call center, it still is a good skill to have. You can always use your English speaking skills to communicate at work- for online meetings, face to face meetings, and with your business writing such as email, letters and memos.
Here are some tips that could help you practice your English speaking skills:
Surround yourself with English literature. When you watch a film or a video it’s a good idea to watch American movies or English movies instead of watching movies in your native language. You could set a schedule, make it a daily habit to watch short videos in English. Listen to English Podcasts that teach how to speak English. Or simply watch and listen to shows that you like, in English of course.
Use technology to learn English. There are mobile applications that teach beginner, intermediate, and advanced English. Most basic English lessons are free. Simply type “English Learning app” on your android or ios phone and you will have plenty of apps to choose from. You can also use Google to translate words from your native language to English, although there are discrepancies at times but there are many useful words that are perfectly translated in English. These are just two ways of doing it. There are a lot more and we’ll try to list them here.
Facebook and other social media sites. Instead of posting in your native language, try posting it in English. On messenger you can use English while chatting with your friends. It could be a bit awkward at first but if you practice typing your thoughts in English you will be used to it.
Games. There are word games that you can use to work on your English. It’s a fun way of learning new words and phrases. There are free and paid ones, we suggest you to exhaust the free ones first before getting paid games. Simply type in free word games that teaches English on google and you can start learning the right way.
Record and listen to yourself. Look for the recording app on your phone and say something about your day. Talk about your favorite food or favorite TV show and listen to it. You could also send recorded messages to a friend. For example, you could say “Hi Jen, I will be going to return the book I borrowed next month, because I haven’t finished it”.
Use English Idioms. Understanding the meaning behind the idioms that native speakers use is a great way to learn. When you watch an American movie you will be able to understand what was meant by the speaker for example “Break a leg” which means good luck, or “beating around the bush” which means not saying exactly what you mean. You could search for the common idioms and try to use it in your conversations. It’s fun and gives you more confidence to talk to native English speakers.
Do Tongue Twisters. This is particularly helpful if you are having a hard time pronouncing the words. It can help you to say the words distinctly. Aside from improving your pronunciation it may help develop your accent. Practice reading tongue twisters out loud everyday and notice the improvement.
Sing your heart out. There are people who likes singing english songs. You can start singing English songs to help you get comfortable speaking English. Use your karaoke or mobile phone and start singing your favorite songs when you’re taking a bath or cooking. Just like tongue twisters, this is a passive and fun way to help you learn the language faster. Find your Favorite English songs and practice singing it.
Tell someone what you’ve experienced. It’s easy to talk about a good or a bad experience in your own language. Try saying it in English. It could be hard at first but it will force you to think of words and phrases that you’ve encountered before to relay what you have learned or experienced in the past. You may even talk about what you are presently doing or what you want to do in the future.
Answer questions. Another great way to learn is by answering questions that you encounter in your books or questions that you hear from other people. It’s also a good idea to answer interview questions. Try answering this question “Can you tell me about your hobby or interest?”
Read out loud. We are all used to reading in silence and that is perfectly fine. Try reading out loud to practice your English. Give it a try and you will not only learn to pronounce the words better, it can also help you pay attention to the words and improve your listening skill and comprehension.
Copy or Imitate. When you hear an interesting line from a movie- you can try to say it and imitate how the actors delivered their lines with the same emotion and intonation. It helps you learn how to speak English more comfortably. You may also want to write the dialogue in your notebook so you can go back to it if you want to practice the lines.
Skills are acquired through constant practice. These recommendations on how to practice and become confident speaking a second language can help you permanently acquire the ability to speak fluently and naturally.
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