Teaching Hospitality Staff

Teaching English to Hospitality Staff and other Professionals and Workers

Gordon Oldham
One of many private swimming pools at the Pavilions Phuket
Shaun with one of the gardeners learning English
The staff have put English labels everywhere to help them memorise
Romeo and Juliet Curtain Call
We concentrate in this chapter on hotel staff, but with a little adaptation our advice can be applied to other professionals and workers such as airline staff, doctors, engineers, lawyers, the military, nurses, police, shop assistants, taxi drivers, tourist guides, etc, etc, etc.etc, etc. We have a short postscript in this chapter about teaching English to the police.

In November 2017 my colleagues and I visited Gordon Oldham in Hong Kong. Gordon, Senior Partner in a law firm is an Englishman, who has spent 38 years living in the Far East. He is also owner of Phuket, Balinese and Japanese, romantic get-away Pavilions Hotels. He is ball of friendly energy, with interests as diverse as education and jewelry. He wasn’t happy with the level of English of his Thai staff and wanted a new approach.

In April 2018 we presented ourselves at the idyllic setting of the resort, ready to start our six month contract. We had eight groups to teach: engineering, food and beverage, front office, housekeeping, human resource, kitchen, landscape, garden and spa. There were about a hundred staff to teach and much to plan and organise; but my Filipino contacts, Mimie and Anver are great entertainers and knowing how much Thais like ‘sanuk’, fun we made sure that everybody enjoyed themselves. We made many good friends

It was a challenge. Some of the gardeners could speak no English at all, yet they were mixed in with others who had a good practical, basic knowledge. The most proficient tended to be the masseuses from the Spa and the receptionists. We also had to cope with unexpected absences through sick leave, holidays, resignations and replacements. We had to think on our feet, learning a lot from these challenges and so redesigned the courses as we went along.

For the annual staff party we produced a ten minute Romeo and Juliet. The staff actors loved dressing up and wielding plastic swords in their balletic duels. As in most amateur productions there were crises: actors missing rehearsals and bursting into laughter at tragic moments; but on the night it all came together and it greatly improved the participants’ English. They had gained acting skills from the many skits they had improvised about their interactions with the guests.

At the end of the six months we had the awards ceremony for their progress in listening and writing from their pretest, to their midterm to their final test; and for their videos of debates and presentations of their work. And so we had a great farewell party with delicious Thai food .

Gordon and the hotel management invited us back this year, but because we had to prioritise teaching children, sadly we were unable to accept. Hopefully we shall be able to continue in future; as we have an ambition to enable the hospitality industry to sponsor scholarships for poor and talented children.
Hospitality staff learning English at the Pavilions Resort Hotel, Phuket, Thailand
Teacher Anver Regelado with students doing an exercise
Advanced students
Kitchen staff

Basic Learners

There were 50 lessons (2 lessons per week). The aim was to teach basic conversation and to achieve this the student had to acquire:

a. Knowledge about:
  1. Spoken English expressions in hospitality services,
  2. New vocabulary,
  3. International culture and practices.
b. Proficiency in:
  1. Pronunciation of words and phrases,
  2. Intonations of words and phrases,
  3. Maintaining an understandable accent,
  4. Facial expressions and gestures,
  5. English expressions.
The course consisted of a mixture of lectures and presentations, followed by discussions, exercises and role plays. Course materials were visual aids, handouts, worksheets and notebooks for each student.

The forty one modules or lessons were: the family, parts of the body, clothes, describing people, health and illness, feelings, greetings, countries, weather, in the town, in the countryside, animals and pets, travelling, notices, food and drink, in the kitchen, in the living room, in the bedroom, jobs, at school and university, communications, holidays, shops and shopping, in a hotel, eating out, sports, cinema, leisure at home, crime, the media, everyday problems, global problems, phrasal verbs, everyday things, talking, moving, time words, places, manner and common uncountable words.

Let us take just two of these modules.

In module one in their learning booklet we showed a family tree for some of Anne and Paul Mason’s relatives or relations.

Paul is Anne’s husband and Sarah and Jack’s father.
Anne is Paul’s wife and Sarah and Jack’s mother.
Anne and Paul are Sarah and Jack’s parents.
Sarah is Anne and Paul’s daughter.
Jack is their son. Sarah is Jack’s sister. Jack is Sarah’s brother.
Henry is Sarah and Jack’s grandfather. Diana is their grandmother.
Henry and Diana are Sarah and Jack’s grandparents.
Sarah is Henry and Diana’s granddaughter. Jack is their grandson.
John and George are Sarah and Jack’s uncles.
Amelia and Sandra are Sarah and Jack’s aunts.
Sarah is Amelia and John and George and Sandra’s niece.
Emily and Peter are Sarah and Jack’s cousins.


A. Finish the sentences:
1. Peter is Emily’s ____________ 2. Anne is Emily’s ______________ . 3. Paul is Peter’s ____________
4. Peter is Paul’s ______________ . 5. Henry is Emily’s ______________ . 6. Peter is Paul’s
7. Emily is Paul’s _____________ . 8. Sandra is Emily’s ___________ . 9. Sandra is George’s __________ .
10. Sarah is Peter’s _____________ .

B. Draw your own family tree. Then write sentences about your relations.

C. A listening exercise. The teacher reads aloud with the missing words in brackets that are left as blanks on the page. The students fill them in.

“Sandra has a brother, Howard. Howard is (Peter’) friend. Howard’s wife is Emily’s (friend). They are all good friends. But Henry has a sister, Fiona. Henry is Fiona’s (brother). Fiona does not get on with William her (uncle), But William loves Fiona’s three sons, who are his (nephews). Fiona’s boys are Paul’s (grandsons), but they do not see each other very often. Then there is Anne’s mother, Mrs. Scott. She is Sarah and Jack’s (cousin). She and Anne, her (daughter), like to play golf together.

D. Let the students complete conversations about friends:
You: Have you got any brothers and sisters?
Friend: ________________________________________________.
You: Have you got any cousins?
Friend: ________________________________________________.
You: Have you got any nephews and nieces?
Friend: ________________________________________________.
You: Have you got any grandparents?
Friend: ________________________________________________.

Basic Course Module 37

We choose questions from a module towards the end of the course, to give you an idea of the students’ anticipated progress.

A. Complete the sentences with a word from the lesson.
There are 3,600 seconds in an __________________ (hour)
There are 1,200 months in a ___________________ (decade)
There are 168 hours in a ______________________ (week)
There are 8,760 hours in a _____________________ (year)

B. Recite the days of the week and the months of the year.

C. Complete this British children’s song about the number of days in each month.
Thirty days has S ____________ , A ______, J ________ and N___________ .
All the rest have , Except for F __________ dear
Which has twenty eight days clear
And _____ _____ in each leap year (=every four years)

D. What are the next few letters in each case? Explain why.
1. S M T W ? ? ?
2. J F M A M J J ? ? ? ? ?
3. S S ? ?

E. There are six mistakes in this paragraph. Correct the mistakes.
“I’m going to a party on Saturday for Jill’s birthday. Her birthday is on Thursday but she wanted to have the party on a Weekend. She’s having a barbecue. I think June is a good month to have a birthday because of the weather. I love going to barbecues on the summer. My birthday is in Winter and it’s too cold to eat outside!”

F. Quiz: How quickly can you answer these questions?
1. How many seconds in quarter of an hour?
2. What is the third day of the week?
3. What month is your birthday in?
4. What day will it be the day after tomorrow?
5. What day was it the day before yesterday?
6. How many minutes are there in half an hour?
7. What day is it today?
8. What day will it be tomorrow?
9. What is the seventh month?
10. What day was yesterday?
Pavilions, Phuket, swimming pool
Pavilions, Phuket, private swimming pool
Pavilions, Phuket, Living room
Pavilions, Phuket, one of the restaurants

The Intermediate Course

This is largely about reading dialogue together and then answering questions first about the dialogue and then about you and your own facilities. At first sight the intermediate course may seem simpler than the basic course, but a large part of it is discussion in English. Remember that this approach can be about any organisation or work, not necessarily hospitality. This dialogue is from Unit 2 of 50 units in the intermediate course:
CALLER: What facilities are there in the resort?
RECEPTIONIST: Well, all rooms have satellite TV and air conditioning.
CALLER: I see, And is there a restaurant?
RECEPTIONIST: Yes, there are two restaurants.
CALLER: Good. And is there a swimming pool?
RECEPTIONIST: Yes, there is a big swimming pool at the club house.
CALLER: Ok. What about money? Can I change money in the hotel?
RECEPTIONIST: Yes, there’s an exchange bureau in reception.
CALLER: And is there any information desk?
RECEPTIONIST: Yes, it’s in reception too.
CALLER: Good, and can I park my car?
RECEPTIONIST: Yes, there is a spacious car park.
About the Conversations
  1. What facilities are there?
  2. Is there a restaurant?
  3. Is there a swimming pool?
  4. Where is the information desk?
  5. Is there a car park?
About you
  1. Are there any facilities at your workplace?
  2. What are the facilities at your workplace?
  3. What services the reception at your workplace can offer?
  4. Make up more questions about your or your students’ places of work.

Intermediate Unit 40. “I think there's been a mistake.”

Staff probably need English to work in these luxury hotels.
The Parador in Leon, Spain, was a pilgrim's hostel on the Camino to Santiago
The Shangrila Hotel, Paris
Schloss Elmau, Bavaria, Germany
Four Seasons Hotel, Florence, Italy
Oberoi Udaivilas, India
Gran Meliá Nacional Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This is the last intermediate level unit. It has two dialogues.
Dialogue 1
WOMAN: Could I have the bill, please?
WAITER: (HANDING HER THE BILL) Thank you, madam.
WOMAN: Excuse me, I think there’s a mistake. There are a lot of items here but I didn’t have much wine or any extra dishes. This looks too much.
WAITER: I’m sorry, madam. This isn’t your bill. It’s table seventeen’s. One moment, I’ll get the right bill for you. (HE GOES AND RETURNS) Here we are. I’m sorry about that.
WOMAN: Ah. That’s better, Here’s my Visa card.
WAITER: Thank you, madam…
Dialogue 2
MR. BRUNO: Hello. I’m in room 653 and I’d like to settle my bill.
RECEPTIONIST: 653. Here we are, Mr. Bruno. Are you paying by Visa?
MR. BRUNO: Yes, but just a moment. What are all these items? How much is the mini bar bill?
RECEPTIONIST: Forty dollars.
MR. BRUNO: Forty dollars! Amanda, how many drinks did you have?
AMANDA: Oh, just a few… and some snacks…
MR. BRUNO: And look at the phone calls! We didn’t make many calls. This amount is ridiculous.
RECEPTIONIST: One moment, I’ll just check for you. No, you didn’t make many calls but there was one very expensive call to Athens on Tuesday evening.
MR. BRUNO: Tuesday evening? Amanda…
Let the teacher and a student or two think up questions, as in Unit 2 above.

The Advanced Course

There are also 40 units of which we shall select two, but first let us look at how we introduce the course.

“The introduction provides an opportunity for Teaching English through Drama facilitators to build a good rapport with the students and break the walls of fear in building a more pleasant relationship among everyone in the class. The goal should be clearly stated, respected, coordinated, delegated and understood.
  1. Introduce the Teacher.
  2. Introduce English through Drama, the mission and the vision.
  3. Introduce the Course Program and the main goal.
  4. Each student speaks up about the following:
    1. Personal profile
    2. Present work profile
    3. Present work duties and responsibilities
    4. Daily jobs
    5. Past work experience
    6. Best unforgettable experience
    7. Craziest unforgettable experience
    8. Future business plan
    9. Future family plan
    10. Best lesson learned in life
  5. Teacher make brief assessment for each student for the following skills:
    1. Pronunciations and intonations
    2. Listening and understanding
    3. Critical and creative thinking
    4. Grammar and vocabulary
    5. Eligibility to the Course.”

Unit 1: Countries, Nationalities and Languages

A. Using ‘the’
Most names of countries are used without ‘the’, but some countries and other names have ‘the’ before them, e.g. The USA, The United Kingdom / UK, The Commonwealth. Some countries may be referred to with or without ‘the’ (the) Lebanon, (the) Gambia, (the) Ukraine, (the) Sudan.

B. Adjectives referring to countries and languages
With -ish: British, Irish, Flemish, Danish Turkish, Spanish.
With-(i)an: Canadian, Brazilian, American, Russian, Australian.
With -ese: Japanese, Chinese, Guyanese, Burmese, Maltese, Taiwanese.
With-i: Israeli, Iraqi, Kuwaiti, Pakistani, Yemeni, Bangladeshi.
With -ic: Icelandic, Arabic.
Some, adjectives are worth learning separately e.g. Swiss, Thai, Greek, Dutch, Cypriot.

C. Nationalities
Some nationalities have nouns for referring to people, e.g. a Finn, a Swede, a Turk, a Spaniard, a Dane, a Briton, an Arab. For most nationalities we can use the adjective as a noun, e.g. a German, an Italian, a Belgian, a Catalan, a Greek, an African. Some need woman/man/person added to them (you can’t say ‘a Dutch’), so if in doubt, use them, e.g. a Dutch man, a French woman, an Irish person, an Icelandic man.

D. World regions
E. Peoples and races People belong to ethnic groups and regional groups such as Afro-Caribbeans, Asians and Orientals and Latin Americans. What are you? (e.g. North African, Southern African, European, Melanesian)

They speak dialects as well as languages. Everyone has a mother tongue or first language; many have second and third languages. Some people are perfect in more than one language and are bilingual or multilingual.

Name: Wanija Krishnamurthan
2nd/3rd languages: English, Malay
Nationality: Malaysian
Type or dialect of English: Malaysian
Mother tongue: Tamil (S. India)
Ethnic group: Asian (Tamil Indian)

A. Ways of learning nationality and language adjectives. Some adjectives can form regional groups, e.g. Latin American countries are almost all described by -(i)an adjectives.
  1. Complete this list of Latin American adjectives. Look at a world map if you have to: Brazilian, Chilean,…
  2. The same applies to former European socialist countries and parts of the former Soviet Union. Complete the list. Hungarian, Armenian,…
  3. What other regional groupings can you find that end in -ish ?
B. Famous names Can you name a famous… Example: Argentinian sportsman or woman? Diego Maradonna
  1. Chinese politician?
  2. Black Southern African political figure?
  3. Polish person who became a world religious leader?
  4. Italian opera singer?
  5. Irish rock-music group?
C. Correct the mistakes in these newspaper headlines.
D. World Quiz
  1. What are the main ethnic groups in Malaysia?
  2. Which countries, strictly speaking, are in Scandinavia?
  3. What are the five countries with the highest-population?
  4. How many languages are there in the world?
  5. Where is Kiribati?
  6. Where do people speak Inuit?
  7. What are the five most widely spoken languages?
Follow-up: Make sure you can describe your nationality~ country, region, ethnic group, language(s), etc. in English.

Unit 24: Politics and Public Institutions

A. Types of government
  1. Republic: a state governed by representatives and, usually, a president.
  2. Monarchy: a state ruled by a king or queen democracy: government of, by and for the people.
  3. Dictatorship: system of government run by a dictator.
  4. Independence: freedom from outside control; self-governing.
B. People and bodies involved in politics
  1. Member of Parliament (MP): a representative of the people in Parliament
  2. Politician: someone for whom politics is a career
  3. Statesman/woman: someone who uses an important political position wisely and well.
  4. Prime Minister: the head of government or leading minister in many countries .
  5. Chamber: hall used by a group of legislators; many countries have two chambers.
  6. Cabinet: a committee of the most important ministers in the government.
  7. President and Vice-President: the head of state in many modern states.
  8. Mayor: head of a town or city council.
  9. Ambassador: top diplomat representing his/her country abroad
  10. Embassy: the building where an ambassador and his/her staff are based.
  11. Ministry: a department of state headed by a minister.
C. Elections
  1. Constituency: a political area whose inhabitants are represented by one MP.
  2. Candidate: someone who stands in an election
  3. Policy: the programme of action of a particular party or government.
  4. Majority: the number of votes by which a person wins an election.
  5. Referendum: a direct vote by the population on some important public issue.
  6. By(e)-election: an election in one constituency in contrast to a General Election.
  7. Marginal seat: a parliamentary seat held by a very small majority of votes.
  8. The opposition: members of parliament who do not belong to the party in power.
  9. Stand/run for Parliament: to be a candidate in an election.
  10. Vote: to choose in a formal way, e.g. by marking a ballot paper.
  11. Elect: to choose someone or something by voting.


A. Choose the correct word from the choices offered.
  1. India gained republic/independence/democracy from the UK in 1948.
  2. Our MP’s just died and so we’ll soon need to have a vote/referendum/bye-election.
  3. His father was voted/stood/elected MP for Cambridge City.
  4. She’s running/sitting/walking for Parliament in the next election.
  5. What is your country’s economic politics/policy/politician?
  6. What are the main political parties in the country where you now are?
  7. What are the main political issues in that country and what are the policies of the different parties on those issues?
  8. What do these political abbreviations stand for – MP, PM, UN, EU, NATO, OPEC?

B. Look at this text about politics in the UK. Fill in the missing words.
Example: Parliament in the UK consists of two ___________________ (1): the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
In the House of Commons there are 650 ___________________ (2),
each representing one ___________________ (3).
The ruling party in the Commons is the one which gains a ___________________ (4) of seats.
The main figure in that party is called the ___________________ (5).
The Commons is elected for a maximum period of 5 years although the Prime Minister may call a general ___________________ (6) at any time within that period.Exam

C. Make some more words based on those you studied in the lesson page.
Abstract nouns Person nouns verb Adjective
revolution revolutionary revolutionise revolutionary
representation _______________ _______________ _______________
election _______________ _______________ _______________
dictatorship _______________ _______________ _______________
Presidency _______________ _______________ _______________
D. Try this political quiz.
  1. Name three monarchies.
  2. Which is the oldest parliament in the world?
  3. Name the President and the Vice-President of the USA.
  4. Who is the Mayor of the place where you live?
  5. What politicians represent you in local and national government?
  6. What are the main political parties in the country where you now are?
  7. What are the main political issues in that country and what are the policies of the different parties on those issues?
  8. What do these political abbreviations stand for – MP, PM, UN, EU,
E. Write a paragraph about the political system in your country, using as much of the vocabulary in the lesson as you can.

Business Courses

The Introduction is similar to that for the Advanced Course.

Unit 1: The Six Senses

A. Our basic five senses are sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. What is sometimes referred to as a ‘sixth sense’ is a power to be aware of things independently of the five physical senses, a kind of supernatural sense. The five basic verbs referring to the senses are modified by an adjective rather than an adverb.

He looks dreadful. The trip sounds marvellous. The cake tastes good.
It felt strange. The soup smelt delicious.

B. Sight Look at the verbs of seeing in the text below. Yesterday I glanced out of the window and noticed a man observing a house opposite through a telescope. I thought I glimpsed a woman inside the house. Then I saw someone else peering into the window of the same house. I gazed at them wondering what they were doing. Suddenly the first man stopped staring through his telescope. He went and hit the other one on the head with the telescope and I realised that I had witnessed a crime.

C. Hearing The following scale relates to the sense of hearing and how loud things are.
noiseless → silent → quiet → noisy → loud → deafening
The staff receive their certificates for completing the course
Catering staff certificates
End of course party
D. Taste Some different tastes with an example of a typical food: sweet (honey), salty (crisps), bitter (strong coffee), sour (vinegar), spicy (Indian and Thai food)

If you say something tastes hot it may mean spicy rather than not cold. Food can be tasty, but tasteful is used to refer to furnishings, architecture or a style of dressing or behaviour. The opposite of both is tasteless.

E. Touch
Some good verbs for describing different ways of touching. She nervously fingered her collar. He stroked the cat and patted the dog. She tapped him on the shoulder. He grasped my hand and we ran. She grabbed her bag and ran. It’s rude to snatch. Press the button. Please handle the goods with great care. The secretaries complained that their boss was always pawing them.

F. Smell
These adjectives describe how something smells. Stinking, evil-smelling, smelly, aromatic, fragrant, sweet-smelling, perfumed, scented.

G. Sixth sense
Different phenomena which a person with sixth sense may experience: telepathy, ghosts, UFOs, premonitions, intuition, deja vu (French for already seen).


A. Make a second sentence using any of these verbs, look, sound, taste, touch and smell, plus an adjective about the situations. Example: You see a film about the Rocky Mountains. They look magnificent.
  1. You come downstairs in the morning and smell fresh coffee.
  2. A friend has just had her hair cut.
  3. You hear the record that is top of the pops.
  4. A friend, an excellent cook, tries a new soup recipe.
  5. A friend asks how you feel today.
  6. A little boy asks you to listen to his first attempts at the piano.
  7. You see a friend of yours with a very worried look on her face.
  8. Someone you are working with smells strongly of cigarettes.
B. Which of the verbs in the text in B suggests looking:
  1. on as a crime or accident occurs?
  2. closely, finding it hard to make things out?
  3. in a scientific kind of way?
  4. quickly?
  5. Fixedly?
C. Replace the underlined words with a more interesting and precise verb from the lesson page.
  1. I saw a crime.
  2. He looked fixedly at me.
  3. She took my hand firmly.
  4. Touch the button to start.
  5. He touched the cat affectionately.
  6. The zoologist looked at the lion’s behaviour.
  7. The robber took the money and ran.
  8. I quickly looked at my watch.
D. Are the following best described as sweet, salty, bitter, sour, spicy or hot?
  1. unsweetened coffee
  2. pineapple
  3. chilli
  4. lime
  5. Chinese cooking
  6. sea water
E. Match the verbs used in E above with these definitions.
  1. to take something very quickly
  2. to move between the fingers
  3. to touch with the hands
  4. to touch in an offensive way
F. Which of the adjectives in F above describes best for you the smell of the following?
  1. herbs in a kitchen
  2. old socks
  3. rotten eggs
  4. roses
  5. a baby’s bottom
  6. a hairdresser’s
G. Which of the phenomena mentioned in G have you experienced if you:
  1. see a flying saucer?
  2. suddenly think of someone two minutes before they phone you?
  3. see someone in white disappearing into a wall?
  4. feel certain someone cannot be trusted although you have no real reason to believe so?
  5. walk into a strange room and feel you have been there before
  6. refuse to travel on a plane because you feel something bad is going to happen?
H. Write a sentence about the most remarkable experience each of your six senses has had.

Unit 24: Business across Cultures Lesson

The Staff bonding
Taking a test
A. Cultures and culture Alexandra Adler is an expert in doing business across cultures. She is talking to a group of British businesspeople. ‘Culture is the “way we do things here”. “Here” may be a country, an area, a social class or an organization such as a company or school. You often talk about:
  1. Company or corporate culture: the way a particular company works, and the things it believes are important.
  2. Canteen culture: the ways that people in an organisation such as the police think and talk, not approved by the leaders of the organisation.
  3. Long-hours culture: where people are expected to work for a long time each day.
  4. Macho culture: ideas typically associated with men: physical strength, aggressiveness,
  5. etc.
But you must be careful of stereotypes, fixed ideas that may not be true.’
B. Distance and familiarity. Distance between managers and the people who work under them varies in different cultures. Look at these two companies.
In Country A, managers are usually easy to talk to – accessible and approachable – and there is a tradition of employees being involved in decision-making as part of a team of equals.

This company is not very hierarchical, with only three management layers.
In Country B, managers are usually more distant and remote. Employees may feel quite distant from their managers and have a lot of deference for them: accepting decisions but not participating in them.Companies in Country B tend to be more hierarchical than those in Country A, with more management layers.
Deference and distance may be shown in language. Some languages have many forms of address that you use to indicate how familiar you are with someone. English only has one form, ‘you’, but distance may be shown in other ways, for example, in whether first names or surnames are used.


A.Look at A in the lesson. Which word combination with ‘culture’ describes each of the following?
  1. The men really dominate in this company, they don’t make life easy for women at all. All they talk about is football.
  2. Among the management here we try to be fair to people from different minorities, but there are still elements of racism among the workforce.
  3. Of course, the quality of the work you do after you’ve been at it for ten hours is not good.
  4. There was a time when managers could only wear white shirts in this company -things are a bit less formal now.
  5. Here the male managers talk about the market as if it was some kind of battlefield.
  6. They say that if you go home at 5.30, you can’t be doing your job properly, but I’m going anyway.
B. Read this information about two very different companies and answer the questions.

The Associated Box Company (ABC) and the Superior Box Corporation (SBC) both make cardboard boxes.

At ABC there are three levels of management between the CEO and the people who actually make the boxes. At SBC, there is only one level.

Managers at ABC are very distant. They rarely leave their offices, they have their own executive restaurant and the employees hardly ever see them. Employees are never consulted in decision-making. At SBC, managers share the same canteen with employees. Managers have long meetings with employees before taking important decisions.

Managers and the CEO of SBC have an open-door policy where employees can come to see them about any complaint they might have. At ABC, employees must sort out problems with the manager immediately above them.

At ABC, employees call their managers ‘sir’. At SBC, everyone uses first names.
  1. Which company:
    1. is more hierarchical?
    2. is more informal in the way people talk to each other?
  2. In which company are managers:
    1. more approachable?
    2. more remote?
  3. In which company are employees:
    1. more deferential?
    2. On more equal terms with their bosses?
I recommend you go through all the material above and relate and adapt it to teaching or self teaching English to whichever professionals or group of workers you intend to be involved with.

We ended our six month contract teaching English to hotel staff, with a production of an abridged and simplified Romeo and Juliet. In this way the students not only had a lot of fun dressing up and performing, but also imbibed some British culture.

A Police Postscript

Teaching police in Thailand

Police officers have one of the most important jobs in the world: to serve and protect the people. While fighting crime and handling emergencies they probably come across many English speakers. Some may commit crimes, while others may be victims of crime. In both cases, they need to ask and answer questions in English. Their job may also require them to speak to English witnesses. Time can be a key factor in solving a crime or saving a life. The police cannot always wait for an interpreter.

One of my colleagues taught English not only to school students and hotel staff, but also to the Thai police. For this she got them to act out dialogues involving traffic officers, tourist police, crime detection officers, police administrators, financial crime officers, border patrol officers, marine police, the narcotics suppression bureau and prison officers.

In the next chapter we look at how we may have done some police out of a job, by encouraging prisoners to learn English and other skills for when they leave prison.

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