An Interesting ESP Niche
More people are becoming aware of this area of ESP and this is a good opportunity to address how to find those niche jobs. And, since many new TEFL Teachers are former restaurant and or hospitality workers, they are well qualified to teach in this area. Much more so than teachers who have never worked in the hospitality service industry and who are not familiar with what some people will call a “service mind”.
I taught and coordinated teacher training for a year in a resort hotel and though I didn’t have previous experience in the industry, I was lucky to have a GM that took a personal interest in the instruction of his employees and even sat in on the classes with some regularity. So, when we got off track – he was there to set us straight as he did from time to time. I had also previously spent time teaching at a hospitality training college – so I wasn’t a total newbie to service mind.
The most frequent questions I get about these jobs is how to find them. You won’t see them posted on job boards very often.
Here is why:
Most resorts don’t even advertise their English teacher positions as they are swamped with applicants from overseas – people who will never even show up for an interview – and they also get swamped with backpackers who are just “passing through” and won’t take the job seriously.
Fact: LeMeridien Resort on Phuket Island in Thailand advertised a position several years ago and got over 60 applicants. Less than twenty were willing to come to Phuket to interview.
Only three actually showed up . . . !
That is a quote from a page I wrote for the Hotel TEFL English eBook page over at TEFLeBooks.com
So, how do you find such a job especially if they aren’t usually advertised?
You need to apply directly to resorts and hotels: Anything five star is a start. Take you resume and if you can’t connect with the HR manager leave it at the front desk in a nice envelop addressed to the General Manager. If the GM gives it to the HR manager, you can be sure HR will follow up.
Focus on five star, but some international chains will hire even for four star settings – they KNOW how closely tied the good use of English and customer satisfaction are. Below four star don’t bother. Those places don’t generally care or will do their best to hire people with English skills rather than training them.
When you apply for a five star job, dress and groom at a five star level. That generally means no facial hair, no visible tattoos or piercings. It usually means a long-sleeve shirt and tie for men, even in hot tropical environments. While you may not have to dress so carefully on the job, you do need to dress carefully when making initial contact.
Approaching the initial contact confidently and pleasantly is critical. You are, after all, going to teach people how to greet and deal with people in English. how to be tactful using English in situations where guests (and they ARE guests – they are not “customers”) may be unhappy or have a problem created by the hotel/resort.
The best reference around for this type of ESP is the HOTEL TEFL eBook, as mentioned above.
TED’s Tips™ #1: Dress and present yourself professionally, it is critical for these type jobs. You’ll likely not land that job if you dress casually or approach your contact casually.
TED’s Tips™ #2: Resort and Hotel teaching jobs can be some of the best jobs overseas and for obvious reasons in some of the best locations in the world – they are worth researching and seeking.