Teaching English in Resorts and Hotels around the World

Do you have Skills in Food and Beverage or Hospitality Settings?

This area of ESP is becoming more and more popular, so this is a good opportunity to address how to find those niche jobs. A lot of newbie TEFL teachers are former restaurant and or hospitality workers.

They are much more qualified to teach in this area than the other teachers unfamiliar with the ‘service mind’ and those with no with experience in the hospitality service industry.

I taught and coordinated teacher training for a year in a resort hotel.  I had no previous “hands-on” experience in the industry but luckily the GM took personal interest in the training of his employees. He even joined in on a few classes and when we got off track he would steer us back. Previously I had also done some teaching at a hospitality training college – so I wasn’t a total newbie to the ‘service mind’.

The question I get most is “How do I get a job in a hotel or resort?”

You won’t see these jobs advertised on job boards often, because:

Most resorts do not bother advertising their English Teacher positions. The reason? They will get swamped with applicants from overseas, everyone eager, but no one willing to show up for an interview. Or backpackers will knock on their door, usually not serious about the job and just looking for a quick money fix as they are passing through.

Fact: LeMeridien Resort on Phuket Island in Thailand advertised a position some years ago. They got over 60 applicants and less than twenty were willing to go to Phuket for the interview. In the end only three showed up!

That is a quote from a page I wrote for the Hotel TEFL English eBook page over at TEFLeBooks.com

So, I bet you are wondering how to find such a job if they are usually not advertised?

Take your resume and go to any five star hotel or resort and apply directly. If you can’t get into contact with the HR manager, leave your resume at the front desk in a nice envelop addressed to the General Manager. If the GM gives it to the HR manager, it is in the right hands and the HR will follow up.

Focus on five star hotels and resorts, some four star international chains might hire too because they know the importance of the use of good English and customer satisfaction. If it’s below four star, let it go – those places generally don’t care or will hire someone with English skills rather than training them.

When you are applying for a five star job, you need to look ‘five star’ – be dressed and groomed at their level. No facial hair, no visible tattoos or piercings. Men should be dressed in a long-sleeve shirt and a tie even when you are in a sweaty hot tropical environment. While you may not have to be all suited on the job, it is important to make a good impression with your first contact.

Be sure to approach the initial contact pleasantly and with confidence. After all, you will be teaching their staff how to greet and deal with people in English, how to be tactful and use English in situations where guests (they are guests, not customers) may be unhappy due to a problem caused by the hotel/resort.

The best reference around for this type of ESP is the HOTEL TEFL eBook, just as mentioned above.

TED’s Tips™ #1: Be professional – with your attitude and your clothes – it is critical for these type jobs. If you dress and approach your contact casually, you absolutely won’t get that job.

TED’s Tips™ #2: Teaching in a Hotel or Resort can be one of the best teaching jobs overseas and in some of the best locations in the world – they are worth researching and seeking out.





Teaching English in a Hotel or Resort Setting

Here are a few tips about teaching English in a hotel or resort setting.  

One thing you may not be aware of yet, is that in a hotel/resort setting you will usually teach the employees by department.

This is partly because they have very different language needs and partly because hotels often place employees in different departments according to the level of their English skills.

Usually the most skilled English speakers are going to be working the front office/front desk/reception area.  Next step down would be the Food and Beverage (F&B) department.  F&B people will obviously have different types of conversations with hotel guests than the front office people.

Further down the food chain of English skills would be housekeeping, who would – of course – have a different type conversation with guests and than the maintenance people and further down the line would be groundskeepers.

Groundskeepers are usually going to be asked directions.  They will run into guests outside who want to know where the pool is, the tennis courts, maybe the name of a plant and so on.

Housekeepers will talk about when they might clean a room, a request for more towels and so on.

Maintenance & Engineering Department – the TV or A/C isn’t working, the toilet is clogged, etc.

We can see that they all will have specialized needs for very specific conversations.  The hotel is hiring you to get those people up to speed fast.  It is a business and they want results, so you concentrate only on the specific needs for each area.

Especially for the lower level positions, their English skills may be minimal and teaching a few simple conversations might be all you can accomplish in the limited time allotted for those employees (and they often don’t allot much for lower-level employees).

Lessons need to be very focused and specific. If a reception employee needs to ask a guest’s name or what kind of room they want, what EXACTLY is that question they need to ask to obtain that information?

And what is the likely response from the guest?  Or several likely responses from the guest?  Your students often won’t know these things unless you tell them exactly.  And – you are the teacher – they expect that you will tell them.

You can possibly get some of the back-and-forth conversations that you need to teach from elicitation, but you should be prepared to provide all of it.  THAT is what should be the Presentation or Engagement component of your lesson.

For Practice or Study, structured examples of the back and forth conversation with some variation should be manipulated moving from structured to less structured .  Production or Activation- even more variation and ideally, some real examples from their daily work.

Don’t neglect the Elicitation component of ESP lessons.  It is difficult to know, even if you have good experience in that industry, all the possible problems the staff deal with on a day to day basis.  About ten years ago I was teaching an F&B class how to handle complaints and the #1 complaint – think of one . . .   I am sure you didnt’t guess this one . . . when the guests at the open air restaurant got up to get more food at the morning buffet, the birds were raiding their plates and tables!

TED’s Tips™ #1:   Learn more about teaching Hospitality English at www.TEFLeBooks.com here: http://teflebooks.com/hotel-english/ or about the certification program at www.TEFLBootCamp.com here:  http://teflbootcamp.com/english-for-special-purposes-certification-courses-2/esp-teaching-hotel-and-resort-english/

Why not work in some of the world’s most beautiful settings?

Teaching Internships in China


Teach English in Hotels and Resorts around the World

Teach English in Resorts and Hotels around the World

It is a bit funny that you read so much from different TEFL certification vendors about teaching English around the world: the adventure – the great locations – etc – but none of them EVER seem to talk about one of the best options available to teachers: teaching English at hotels and resorts in some of the world’s best and most beautiful locations.

This is a career option that is a bit counter intuitive when you are starting out.   Go right to the top – to the best hotels and resorts.  Don’t go looking for jobs in the two or three star resorts.  They generally don’t care too much about the English skills of their employees.  It is the five-star hotels, villas and resorts that know that good communication skills equal good guest relations and good service.   And those communication skills are in English as these resorts will serve people from around the world and the only common language is usually English.

How do you find these jobs?  Look at websites that sell five star resorts and hotels.  Look for the best hotels in resort areas.  Check Bali, the Maldives, Kenya, Tanzania, Hainan, the China Beach area of Vietnam, Siem Reap in Cambodia, Phuket and Samui in Thailand, Boracay in the Philippines and just about anywhere else you might think of where tourism is the #1 industry and where it is done well.

Many people teach English because they want to “see the world”  – why not see the very best parts of it?  The parts so popular that major resorts and hotels have been built there.

The best resource around is the Hotel and Resort English eBook offered by TEFL eBooks.  The book was written by a teacher who – at the time – was teaching at a five star resort on a tropical island.  The eBook is a compilation of lessons taught at a Hilton hotel to help staff meet the discriminating wants and needs of their guests.

Just one more great option to try!

TED’s Tips™ #1: Use your imagination a bit and seek employment in some of the worlds most beautiful and interesting resort locations.  Hospitality English is an option not often explored by newbies or even oldies in the TEFL industry.  Go and work in the location of your dreams!