Although the hospitality industry includes many different careers and there are various opportunities for progression and promotion, these are often out of reach unless a person is a proficient and confident user of the English language. Being able to effectively communicate using English is important no matter where in the world you live, work or travel. Certainly, being able to successfully communicate in English is imperative when working in an English speaking country.
Without doubt, the universal language of the hospitality industry is English. It does not matter whether you are a housekeeper in London, the maitre d’hotel of a restaurant in Singapore, a croupier in a Dubai casino or the concierge of a hotel in Sydney, it is almost guaranteed that you will be expected to have not only a passive understanding of the English language, but confidence in actively using it.
It comes as little surprise to most people to know that English is one of the most widely and commonly spoken languages. Even when English is not a person’s first language, many choose to learn English as an additional language in order to increase their skill base and marketability as a professional. In light of this, many courses and learning programs have been specially designed for people who want to learn English for vocational purposes, broaden their skill set and professional attributes.
It is wise to choose to study a hospitality course. Australia offers many specialised courses that not only provide excellent hospitality training, but also the opportunity for students to learn or extend their English language skills.
What difference can proficiency with English make?
The short answer is that confident and competent use of the English language can make a world of difference. In all sorts of hospitality roles, it is fundamentally important that staff are able to communicate effectively and accurately with colleagues, guests and patrons. In particular, hospitality staff need to know how to communicate with others in a wide variety of situations, for example: with an dissatisfied diner, a stressed business man checking into a hotel or tourists who are lost or confused.
It is also important that hospitality staff are sufficiently confident with their use of the English language that they can quickly and effectively put others at ease and provide the information that they need. In hospitality, assisting guests and patrons to feel relaxed and comfortable is always a critical part of the role.
Help to get a job or progress your career?
No matter whether you are looking to secure a job or are ambitious to progress or be promoted within the hospitality industry, studying English can give you a definite professional advantage. Courses and training programs exist for people at all levels and with different needs, but it is for certain that a course exists that is pitched to your current level of proficiency and your aspirational goals.
Importantly, many such training opportunities allow you to develop skills and practise the English language in a variety of relevant contexts. Without the opportunity to apply the content of any course in real life, active situations, the effectiveness of any training is limited and your knowledge and understanding of the English language will most likely remain passive.
Top tips for studying English to help your hospitality career:
1: Commit to and undertake a credible course that is either focused on the development of language skills for people in the hospitality sector or very comprehensive in its coverage of English language development.
2: Use your English language skills as often as possible. Memorise and repeat words, phrases and sentences and listen to and engage in conversations as frequently as you can. It is a great idea to find a native English speaker with whom you can practise your conversational skills.
3: Aim to increase your vocabulary by 5 to 7 words or phrases each day. By practicing and using these words each day, you will slowly but steadily and effectively increase your active vocabulary and confidence with the English language.
The hospitality industry offers a range of interesting and varied roles. Proficient use of the English language provides a definite professional advantage when it comes to hospitality roles and a vital skill for advancing your career in this dynamic sector.