Call BSNL to learn English

For subscription charge of Rs 20 learn any of the 9 languages

Call BSNL to learn English


There is no classroom; no classmates, no teacher, but only voices guiding to different tests.

To subscribe to the Learn English programme, one has to dial 1255537 from a BSNL mobile phone. Teaching is offered in nine languages: Kannada, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi and Bengali. Subscription charges are Rs 20 per month with browsing charges of 30 paise/min.

“We have to come up with innovative ideas to meet the demands of our customers and through this programme we are extending our services. Moreover, communicating in English is inevitable in all professions today,”

R Krishnamurthy, Deputy General Manager, Marketing, BSNL, told Deccan Herald.
Many subscribers say they enjoy the stories linked to the language learning programme as they relate to their daily life situations.

This is how the service works: As soon as the subscriber calls up, he / she is guided to start the test. The programme starts with the narration of a story, at the end of which the subscriber gets a summary of all the important words like “Please” – “Kripya.” Also, if the user has to relearn any lesson he can go back and learn at any point in time.  

One of the subscribers, Manjunath, a textile trader from Bellary, is only 20 days into the programme and already finds it working for him.  He is learning English through Kannada but has made every effort to answer all the questions in English.

Global language

“English is a global language and I wanted to learn to better my communication. I still cannot frame long sentences but I try to speak in English most of the times, especially with those who are fluent in the language,” said Manjunath.

The learners are from all walks of life; students, autorickshaw drivers, postmen, drivers, tourist-guides, office boys, security personnel, receptionists, sales personnel and more.

It has just been two months that Purushottam Shyam from Madhya Pradesh subscribed for the English learning programme and now he recognises some English words and is also using them in his daily conversation.  

“It was very difficult to deal with the language, I didn’t know how to reply in English but now I am sure I will learn and improve my English through this programme,” said Purushottam who works in the State Revenue Department.

Kamlesh, a computer operator from Meerut learnt that his interaction with customers could be bettered if he learnt to speak in English.  Given that the programme doesn’t demand place and time from him, he feels this is the best way to learn English, as he can call up whenever he is free at work.

But Kamlesh is unhappy to listen to the same voice everyday.  He feels that learning could be made interesting if there was a ‘live instructor’ or different recorded voices to listen to each time he called up.

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