Learning a foreign language is tough for most of us. I took two years of Spanish in high school and didnt try very hard. I got average grades and really didnt pick up a lot. Then I spent six months in Japan, immersed in Japanese culture and picked up it very fast… didn’t learn how to write much, but my conversational Japanese became passable.
Three years into living in the Philippines and my Tagalog is ok, I can follow along most conversations but still struggle with pronunciation because most of my day is spent speaking English.
Conversational expertise in a language is really hard if you don’t have the chance to speak the language everyday. And that brings us to the topic at hand. Conversational English as a requirement for call center employment.
There is such irony in the fact that so many Filipinos want to work in a call center because it means good, stable pay and benefits. But proportionally so few Filipinos really want to push themselves to learn how to master Conversational English. In a land deeply connected to the U.S. and awash in American culture… many Filipinos only speak English when forced too.
When they get into the application process for call center jobs, they fail because even though they understand English and have had years of English language study, they just havent spoken it enough to pass the interview.
So to all those who try and fail, to all those trainees who keep trying and to all the future applicants… the only way to secure that well paying job with good benefits is to practice. Force yourself to speak as much English as possible. Always love Tagalog and keep speaking it, but practice, practice, practice… English Only Please!