Connect, Grow, Thrive

Teaching Hospitality English

Book Review: ETAS Journal Spring 2018

Patrick Huwyler

ReNovium GmbH, Bern Switzerland (2016)

ISBN 978-3-906121-12-3 

169 pages, paperback

This self-published book was written by a teacher for fellow teachers and provides those of you who teach Hospitality English a framework in which to model your lessons while covering a variety of language needs specific to the hospitality industry. It is divided into four parts with practical situations, language focus, resources, and course design. This teacher’s handbook does not seem to be geared towards teaching a specific level of language learners. Instead it provides suggestions for situational learning which can be adapted to a learner’s previous knowledge and current goals. The exercises also focus on developing the ever so important mind-set needed to successfully communicate in a hospitable manner.

The main part of the book deals with hospitality in practice where nine basic hospitality topics are dealt with. Each of these topics has suggestions for a warm-up, performance, and feedback phase. I personally find the suggested backup questions and adjustable scenarios helpful because it allows learners to practice multiple situations, be it guest-related or in dealing with other employees. I feel this approach is very useful because it prepares learners to be able to adjust to the situation instead of learning a pre-set text by heart. Another feature which both novice and experienced teachers will appreciate is the amount and variety of suggested teaching methods and hospitality specific vocabulary.

In the language focus section, some grammar and vocabulary associated with the hospitality industry are briefly mentioned. In Patrick’s foreword he mentions that he hopes this book will be the first of many to come. If that is true, I look forward to the next book continuing to deal with hospitality language focus and would applaud a more in-depth chapter where we can glean more of Patrick’s expertise.  

If you teach hospitality English or are thinking about it, this book is a valuable resource which can help you come to grips with teaching English for Specific Purposes. It is refreshing to have a self-published book at my fingertips which was written explicitly for the students I teach. 

Susanne Oswald

Schweizerische Hotelfachschule Luzern