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AN EVALUATION OF HOTEL EMPLOYEES' ATTITUDES TO GENERAL AND SPECIFIC ENGLISH IN THEIR COURSEWORK

Michael William Cameron Brunton

TESOL Department

Payap University, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Email : mike_brunton@hotmail.com

 

Abstract : The aim of this research was to investigate hotel employees' attitudes toward two components in an 8-week course of English studies. One component was hotel English, the other general English. The course content was jointly negotiated with the participants. There were 10 participants from a five-star hotel with the majority working in the food and beverage department. Before the course started a small Needs Analysis was given to the participants and they were also interviewed. Each week both components were taught on differing days. After each class there were either questionnaires or class discussions on what the participants had studied that day. At the end of the course there was a final questionnaire on both components. The findings of this research paper are that the participants' attitudes toward both components did not differ significantly. The management of the hotel preferred to concentrate on just specific English due to the main constraints of time and money. Satisfaction with the ESP component was high however; it was found that the majority of participants wanted to learn general English. There was evidence from the research study that participants appreciated the broader range of topics studied in the general English component. This research paper supports the view that general English empowers students within the EOP domain and that courses should be designed with not just the stakeholders' more narrow view of their employees' immediate perceived needs. It also supports the inclusion of needs analysis and student interviews in order to ensure that course design successfully meets a broad range of wants and needs. Finally this research paper suggests a new acronym for some ESP courses; GESP where a course is not truly specific and uses a generic textbook.

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