How to Improve Call Center English

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Call center employees whose native language is not English must learn to effectively comprehend the language for the ear. Instructional software and speech language pathologists help language users to listen actively and communicate clearly with customers halfway around the world. Grammar, usage, intonation, accent and business vocabulary are important elements in the learning process.

Things You'll Need

  • English language instructional software
  • Certified English language instructors
  • Speech language pathologists (optional)
How to Improve Call Center English
How to Improve Call Center English (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Step 1

Assess the communication needs of employees at your call center by testing their proficiency in English. English Language Testing System (ELTS) assessments for employees are jointly conducted at more than 500 locations in 120 countries by the British Council, IELTS Australia and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations. Tests are also conducted by regional language associations in most countries. For example, the All India English Language Testing Authority (AIELTA) develops and administers tests that evaluate the functional abilities of English speakers.

Assess the communication needs of employees at your call center by testing their proficiency in English.
Assess the communication needs of employees at your call center by testing their proficiency in English. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Step 2

Purchase an English language instruction software designed for call center employees. A wide array of language software is available on the Internet and at leading bookstores worldwide. Next, create training sessions designed around the software targeted at developing specific skill sets, ranging from active listening and reading comprehension to accent and pronunciation.

Purchase an English language instruction software designed for call center employees.
Purchase an English language instruction software designed for call center employees. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Step 3

Recruit part-time or full-time instructors certified in teaching English as a second language. Have them design a customized training program that meets the specific requirements of your call center by integrating relevant business language. Encourage individual coaching sessions that address each employee’s unique requirements, such as focusing on pronunciation, intonation, grammar or vocabulary.

Step 4

Hire speech language pathologists to help modify accents.

Hire speech language pathologists.
Hire speech language pathologists. (Image: AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 5

Promote reading related to your call center’s business. Examples include IT support services and financial services such as credit card billing and banking support.

Step 6

Instill self-learning by distributing pocketbooks on common English business phrases and idioms. Or suggest the use of the Merriam-Webster online dictionary.

Instill self-learning by distributing pocketbooks on common English business phrases and idioms.
Instill self-learning by distributing pocketbooks on common English business phrases and idioms. (Image: Zoonar RF/Zoonar/Getty Images)

Step 7

Create an environment of immersion. Have your human resources division collaborate with instructors to develop in-house games that impart lessons in a fun way. Come up with creative ideas such as a Hollywood movie night to deepen the learning experience, or have a Scrabble competition where participants focus on just business words.

Scrabble
Scrabble (Image: William B. Plowman/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

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