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Good English Skills in Philippine Call Centers

Jan 30, 2008
Even as early as preschool, Filipinos already receive instruction in the English language. This continues well into grade school and high school. By the time they graduate from elementary, most students in the Philippines are already proficient of the English language and are able to express themselves and communicate in this language. Although Philippine English accent tend to be close to the American accent, there are regional influences, which make Philippine English accent distinct.

In the Philippines, there are more than 150 vernaculars. This is because the Philippines is an archipelago composed of around 7,100 islands. Good thing, however, there is a national language called Filipino. Together with Filipino, the English language is an official language, too. This is perhaps a legacy of the American occupation, which lasted for 50 years. Because of the American occupation in the Philippines, a number of Filipinos acquired the proficiency in the English language. More than a hundred years since the Americans arrived in the Philippines, the country is now one of the English-speaking countries in the world. This proficiency in the language is but one of the reasons why a number of multinational companies are off-shoring their business processes to the Philippines.

Accent, however, can be tweaked for call center purposes. Communication skills in the English language, however, are harder to acquire and nurture. Due to the educational system of the Philippines, these communication skills of Filipinos are enhanced early in their childhood. In addition to this, Filipinos are easily exposed to TV shows and movies from the United States and other countries. This also helps Filipinos in learning about the culture of Americans and other countries.

To further develop the English skills of Filipinos, the government, through its Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education, is always on the lookout on how the Filipinos English skills are faring. There are also a lot of projects and drives in high school and college campuses to further enhance the English language skills of students, who will soon become part of the workforce.

In addition to this, there are a number of call center academies in the Philippines. The purpose of these academies is to help Filipinos enhance their accents so that they can be easily understood by customers located in other parts of the world while at the same time, being able to understand different accents from al over the world.

As a testimony to the English language proficiency of Filipinos, a lot of Koreans and other Asians come to the Philippines to learn English and expose themselves to the culture of the nation. In fact, another growing industry is online English tutorials. The boom of this industry is no less than the result of the good English proficiency of Filipinos.

With the continuous development of the call center industry in the Philippines, the country needs to ensure that the skills of its citizens are at par with the rest of the world. Yet, English language skills is but one side of the coin. Excellent customer service is the other side of the coin.
About the Author
James Stinson is Owner and Founder of Global Sky Inc. He employs a team of 50 in a high quality call center facility based in the Philippines. For more info on outsourcing your project visit: http://www.global-sky.com
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