Dear Ma'am / Sir

I am new to this forum and it is my first post here.

I need some help from dear senior members with my plan to get fluent in English speaking.

First, a little about myself:

I had my schooling in some Hindi-medium school in UP. English was my second language till I got into an engineering institute. Then onwards English has been my medium of learning for last 6 yrs. By the time I came out of college, Civil Services (IAS) was on my mind so I came to New Delhi, gave my first attempt in English medium and reached till interview stage. But in interview my experience was not a pleasant one. In presence of those experienced bureaucrats and other experts I was... stammering, that made me anxious and eventually I was damn nervous by the end. It (interview) wasn't quite what I expected and so was my final result. Now, I'm appearing again for my second attempt and about to give pre-interview-stage (Mains) examination, scheduled for coming Oct.

One thing about my last year interview preparation, that I didn't give much attention to my language and thought I'd be able to sail through with knowledge and factual info I prepared. But definitely for a smooth conversation fluency with language is basic.

To improve my comprehensibility with English:

I have been reading 'The Hindu' newspaper for last 10+ months as part of my preparation for exam and maintaining a vocab list to mug up.

Now the problematic part :

I live alone in New Delhi, don't get much opportunity to talk in English. Have few friends but they all 're more or less like me or not willing to invest much time into this.

I feel, all I need is just to talk-talk and talk a lot in English. I thought of joining some coaching classes or groups for this 'talking exercise' but all of them charge 'heavy' money for this. I'm unemployed and tight on money.

One more thing that, I feel more confident talking (in English) to some stranger (who don't know me) rather than with person who know me. (may be fear of being judged)

My solution to problem:

As after Oct I'll be left with not much on my study part so I was wondering what if I join some BPO/Call centers, let's say for 2 months. I'll get enough opportunities to speak in English beside I would also get paid for that.

Now this is just an idea. As what I know they (BPO companies) prefer to take convent educated metropolitan youngsters.

My positive/plus points : [may have little or no relevance for a BPO job]

Degree : Graduate, computer science major from a premier Institute of our country.

Good knowledge about current affairs and economic/financial affairs particularly.

My accent is neutral.

My question:

1. I don't know how can I impress them(BPO/call centre ppl) to hire me.

2. is it really a sensible idea altogether to join BPO job, to earn confidence with English?

Thanks for your consideration and precious time.


From India, Kanpur
Dear HK,

At the outset I admire your grit and determination. I also salute you on the clarity you have towards your life goal. Clearly, you've highlighted an inherent weakness which you believe is holding you from achieving your life goal. What I am most impressed with is that instead of explaining it away with excuses and blaming others, you've accepted responsibility and made yourself accountable to yourself.

You've exhibited these traits: Initiative, Accountability, Responsibility, Future Vision, Clarity of Purpose, Clarity of Process, and above all - a Deep-Seated Yearning to Know What You Don't!

My friend, I want you to understand that as disappointing as your today may appear to you, the traits I've mentioned above are what we collectively label - Leadership!

Don't underestimate yourself! Not even for a moment! Your mind and your heart are in sync with each other. You know where you want to be and you've almost identified what's holding you getting there. And, you are prepared to Do Whatever It Takes!

That's the key - Do Whatever It Takes! Most of us only do the bare minimum that is required but gorilla beat our chests as if we've conquered the moon!

You are different. And I want you to know that.

By all means join the BPO job. How can it hurt you? Think about it - instead of paying some coaching institute for speaking in english, you'll be getting paid to speak in english while learning other life skills to add to your already impressive list.

But, make sure you remember that for you, the BPO job is NOT an end in itself. Instead, its a MEANS to your Life Goal - The Civil Services. Treat the BPO job accordingly and don't get sucked into the vortex of money, lifestyle, glitz etc... Remember, this job will only be a vehicle to launch you over the final hurdle between you and The Civil Services!

Always keep your focus on Your Life Goal!

All the Best and Go Get Them!

From India, Gurgaon
Dear Sareen Sir
Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your encouragement.
Once I finish my written exams in October, I will start search for BPO jobs.
As I mentioned in previous note also, I'm a little concerned about my occasional stammering and lack of fluency with language. I'm not sure how can I substitute this drawbacks of mine with other possible plus points.
Thanks for reply.

From India, Kanpur
Dear HK,

Dealing with stammering and lack of fluency of language - both have the same solution:

1. Speak Slowly

2. Finish each word. This means that make sure you speak the first and last letter of each word completely. Don't talk like most of us Indians who only speak the first and last word of each sentence without a breath as if there house is on fire and they only have a nano second to get to it.

3. If you do nothing else but just the above 2 points for about 30 minutes in front of a mirror each day (doesn't have to be done all together - 10 minutes at a time are sufficient), you'll notice a marked difference in your fluency and stammering within 45 - 60 days

4. When you're standing in front of a mirror, read your exam books, english newspapers, magazines - anything. It doesn't matter what you read. As long as its in gramatically correct english.

5. I cannot stress enough how important it is to actually speak the FirsT and LasT letteR of EverY WorD ClearlY.

6. What this does is gives the tongue enough time to reset itself for the next word

7. It also slows your mind from running away behind a burning train while you're still standing on the platform wondering what's going on!

Remember - those who speak slowly are always looked upon as sophisticated, knowledgeable, and in control of the situation.

When someone asks you a question, don't just blurt out the answer at Usain Bolt's sprint pace. Take a 2 or 3 second pause, clear your throat and follow suggestions 1, 2 and 4.

You'll be Great!

Good Luck!

From India, Gurgaon
Dear Sir,
Thanks for writing such an explicated help. It really means a lot to me. When I wrote down my queries at first, I never expected this much elaborated reply. But you showed me the way.
Thank you very much for all your effort.
with regards

From India, Kanpur
Dear HK,
Even I would like to appreciate you for your sincere effort in writing down your problem with crystal clear meaning.
I really felt good when i saw your post and the answer given by Gaurav. Hats Off to YOU..
Keep up the good work !!
And Yes, I completely agree with Gaurav's suggestion. Speaking in front of the Mirror is the best option to improve communication skills and one more thing i would like add on - When you say something in hindi then always try to convert that into English as well and when you will start doing that, it will give you fluency and i believe that's what you want ..
All the best and Do Well..

From India, Kanpur
Good that you know the problem and are willing to seek help.
Speaking in front of the mirror can be helpful but only when you are already a good English communicator.
At early or middle stages, you need feedback as to what you are saying is right or wrong - otherwise, if you keep repeating your grammar or pronunciation mistakes, you are just reinforcing them - instead of going up, it would be going down.
If you have a friend who would daily talk to you and give you spoken English practice with feedback, get on with it.
Our innovative English speaking training methods simulate this very situation - an expert trainer giving you daily practice, correcting your mistakes following a scientific curriculum. You can try it as well.

From India, Delhi

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