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ESL English Lesson: Sarcasm and an understandable English accent give call centres in the Philippines the edge
David Robinson

The battle of the world’s call centres between the Philippines and India appears to have been won for the moment by the Philippines. Its secret weapon is British sarcasm! Filipino call centres in Manila and Cebu also speak clear understandable English. Whilst this is positive for Filipinos, it is not good for their Indian call centre rivals.

To be honest many British people dislike speaking to British companies who have their call centres based in India. This is because they can’t understand what the operator there is saying! Their Indian English accent can be so dreadful you sometimes need a translator!

Discussion: Student A questions - 1) What do you think about what you’ve read? 2) Would you like to work in a call centre? Explain why, why not. 3) Do you know anyone who works in a call centre? 4) Why are Indian English accents hard to understand? 5) Is sarcasm really the secret weapon? Gap fill: Reading. Gap fill: Grammar.

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