Friday, 12 February 2010

Azumino tourism 103

On Wednesday afternoon I was asked to teach a large group of people in the tourism business a few 'useful' things. I have never met this group before and was totally unsire about their level, abilities, motivation, goals etc. I also knew that this was a 'once off' so little chance of establishing much of a relationship with my clients.

As this group was self-diagnosed 'intermediate' (what criteria were used, please?!) and apparently were used to using English in their workplaces (hotels & restaurants predominantly) I figured a 'conversation-style' class would be old hat & pointless. Also mostly self-employed, probably at least my age (21+)...I might not teach them anything new (I didn't want to try anything 'too hard' and be pulling teeth all afternoon) but at least I could give them the kind of class they may not be so familiar with. Maybe even allow them to realise they need to brush up on a skill or two.

I challenged them to read an email from an inbound tourist asking for info at a hotel (in Turkey), and to identify why the writer was writing, and to 'describe' the layout of the mail. The long & short of the rest of the (2.5 hr) lesson was to use that email as a template & write our own email (pencil & paper for now) requesting info, before 'changing hats' to read an incoming email, decipher it (and then realise that the layout is vitally important!) and compose a professional reply.

Outcome? I think the realisation was that 'I always do this' or 'I always say that' is not the same as the having the desired impact. Which in an email to potential customers is often a one-shot deal.Well done team!
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