WITH the call centres employing a huge number of Indians, it is now not enough that we learn English, but speak it the English way. Boys and girls recruited for call centre jobs are given a crash course in speaking English in a specific way, in tune with the country where the account of the company is.
MacMillan has come out with a handbook International English for Call Centres that not only teaches accent but also educates on the socio-cultural nuances of the British client. How to greet and how to open the conversation, what not to say and how to end a conversation are all given in detail.
The book has two CDs that offer practice sessions. There are several practice exercises in the book to check one’s progress. The book discusses some of the things that irritate foreigners about the Indian English – the wrong stress, incorrect intonation and the speed at which we speak. The book points out the exact spot for stressing the syllable etc. It also emphasises on the need to understand the cultural references in the conversations and how to tackle them carefully. The book contains the answers to all the exercises given, making it a handy book for learning and reference.
The book has been authored by Barry Tomalin and Suhashini Thomas. Barry is Director of Cultural Training at International House, London and Suhashini is now teaching English in Brighton in the UK and has worked in call centres in India. She has naturally drawn from personal experience.
The book is a very useful learning tool for not just call centre employees but also people who do business in the UK, over the phone or in person. It is practical and the writing style is cheerful and the illustrations and the bullets make it easy to follow.
(Macmillan Publishers India Ltd, 2/10, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi 110 002,)