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Any Language Schools Interested in Hotel English Teaching?

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Peter McAlpine

Joined: 29 May 2003
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 3:03 pm    Post subject: Any Language Schools Interested in Hotel English Teaching? Reply with quote

I am trying to find a language school in Mexico, or a school with several branches in the country, which would like to offer a variety of hotel English courses in addition to its current array of General English courses. Do you know of any schools that might be interested?

While the demand for General ELT is strong throughout Mexico, there is one significant area of ESP which has not been developed, namely hotel English teaching.

There is great potential for this line of the English teaching business because being able to offer job-specific courses would not only enable the language school(s) to offer various job-specific hotel English courses to the public at its school(s), but also place English teachers in 5-star hotels, and conduct job-specific hotel pre-opening English training. (Any school that can do this for hotels will be in great demand.)

Moreover, the courses could be adapted for other customer service and hospitality related businesses, and include customer service training so that the language schools would not just be providing an English teaching service, but also enabling the client to increase its reputation for service and its revenue. The courses would appeal to learners in the general public because the courses would be helping them directly to find employment.

There are further possibilities after this. It would not be hard for the language school company to dominate the country's market in these areas within a couple of years, while benefiting synergistically from an increased demand for its General English courses.

I have the expertise and experience in training and consulting in 5-star hotels, customer service training, course writing, hotel English teaching, and the other possibilities referred to above. I also have all the course materials needed. What I don't have is the physical structure of a language school business in Mexico to launch all of this from, which is why I am looking for (ideally) a chain of schools that is interested in the idea.

My role would be to help the language school company to develop this business in return for profit-sharing in the hotel English teaching and training side of the business that would be built up.

If you know of any schools that might be interested in the idea as a business, please let me know. I'd be most grateful.
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Ben Round de Bloc

Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1946

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2003 6:49 pm    Post subject: One point of view Reply with quote

From what I've observed here in SE Mexico, what you have proposed looks good on paper but is already being covered by various other means without the cost of a middleman (language school) to line up teachers and provide English classes for hotel employees.

The larger hotels in the city where I live require at least 80% English proficiency of employees who have to use English in their work (receptionists, social directors, managers, etc.) before these people are considered for employment. Also, the requirement is usually for general English, not English for a specific purpose. Most people who apply for these types of jobs have either studied English at some other institution or as part of their studies in tourism, hotel management, or whatever. Other employees, such as housekeeping staff and cafeteria staff, don't really need to know English all that well, although many of them manage a basic level of communication in the language, and that may have given them an edge in getting hired. In places such as Cancun, where English is a must for almost all hotel employees, again, knowing English before applying for a hotel job of any kind is usually a prerequisite.

Independent EFL teachers can sometimes work deals with hotel managers to offer classes to employees, but with most of those deals, the teacher receives the bulk of his/her remuneration in room and board rather than in money. These deals usually phase out within a few months, because employees who don't have a good command of English don't stick with it for very long, and those who have the hotel jobs that require a high level of English proficiency probably know correct/standard English better than a lot of native-English-speaking EFL "teachers."

Admittedly, my views are no doubt limited due to my unfamiliarity with other areas of the country. However, based on my experiences of living and working in SE Mexico for nearly 8 years, I'd say your proposal isn't something in which I'd invest my own money. It strikes me as "putting the horse after the cart" in that major hotels (including, or especially, 5-star hotels) require English proficiency as a prerequisite to hiring and not something that comes after the fact.

Locally, many upper-level hotel employees (especially those who help arrange tours and organize other cultural or social activities for hotel guests) have a state license in tourism. The English exam which they must pass in order to get their state license is a general proficiency exam, not one of English for a specific purpose. I know that for a fact, because I wrote the revised edition of one of the exam versions used to evaluate English proficiency for the state tourism license.

Note: I don't mean for this to come across as criticism of your ideas; just sharing my own perception of the situation from my admittedly limited perspective.

Best wishes!
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