Interview with Jean Pierre from our English for Hotel Management Course

English for hotel managers

Hotel Management Course – Case study

In the Executive department here at LSI/IH Portsmouth, we increasingly have students who come to us to improve their English in the field of Hotel Management. As more and more people spend their leisure time travelling to other countries and staying in hotels, people who work in the hotel industry, now more than ever, need to have good English language skills. Even amongst the staff themselves, though they will, of course, need to know the local language, frequently the quickest way to communicate is in English.

Whether it be dealing with problems, staff meetings, welcoming guests, administrative issues, answering emails or a hundred other things, being a hotel manager is a very challenging but highly rewarding job. To do it well today you need a wide-ranging skill set, one of these skills being the ability to communicate effectively in English.

We recently had a French hotel manager, Jean Pierre Dupont, who came to LSI/IH Portsmouth for a two-week English for Hotel Management language course. He kindly agreed to be interviewed about his experience on the course and how it had improved his English.

LSI/IH Portsmouth: Hello Jean Pierre, can you tell us what you do?

JP. Hello, I am the Hotel Manager for a hotel in the South of France. I work in a beautiful 4 star hotel, it’s quite an old hotel, and we have been there now for many years. I’ve been working there for 20 years, I first started as a receptionist, I then moved on after that to work in the hotel restaurant, and then moved to become the assistant Hotel manager and then three years ago I was promoted to become Hotel Manager.

LSI/IH Portsmouth: Have you always worked in this hotel?

JP. No, I worked in a couple of hotels in Bordeaux during my time at university. For my time at university I did a three-year hotel management course and some of that involved work experience in local hotels.

LSI/IH Portsmouth: What made you choose Hotel Management as a career?

JP. Haha, well actually it runs in the family, my mother worked in a hotel for many years and my father supplied hotels with their food.  So you could say ‘It’s in my blood’.

LSI/IH Portsmouth: So, Jean Pierre, why did you come here? Is it important to be able to speak English in the Hotel Industry and why?

JP. The main reason I came here was that recently I attended a hotel conference in Switzerland and I met a man from Italy, a hotel manager, who told me about LSI/IH Portsmouth and the course he had done, as he had been here the year previously, and he highly recommended the course. I felt I needed to brush up my English so I decided I would come here.

You do need English in the hotel industry. Somewhere in the region of 60 – 70% of all our guests throughout the year are not French, and so very few of these guests speak French and therefore English is absolutely a must.

I need English for two main reasons, The obvious and first reason is dealing with the guests, being there to welcome them when they arrive, welcome them in the morning, deal with any problems they may have, I’m a peoples man so it is very important. The second reason is that although many of our staff speak very good French, not all of our staff do, and of course it is really important that I am able to communicate effectively with them, and nearly all our staff can speak quite good English, so quite often our staff meetings are in English rather than in French.

LSI/IH Portsmouth: Has your Hotel Management course here in Portsmouth helped you?

JP. I think it has really helped me because one the main focusses has been on practising the language, particularly my teachers have got me involved in role plays to do with different aspects of my job and this has really helped me to prepare well for those sort of situations which I will face in the future. I now have more confidence, before I was a little shy to use English, now I know I can do it because I have done it.

LSI/IH Portsmouth: Would you recommend English for Hotel Management course to your colleagues?

JP. We had lessons to do with the language of meetings which prepared me really well and will help me really well with meetings with my staff, meetings with suppliers and also meetings with the senior management as our hotel is part of a group and the group is a global group, so that is one area. The other area was to do with dealing with problems, maybe problems the guests may have to say face to face or even some problems involving answering some emails, so we had lots of practice in those areas. I also had a lot of help with my emails, I didn’t realise before that English can be formal or informal and that you can be rude if you use the wrong English.

I would absolutely recommend it to my colleagues. I have not been on an English language course to do with my job before, not since university anyway, and I was more than happy by how much of the course was focussed specifically on what I needed. For me this course is perfect for people like me.

Jean Pierre, thank you so much for agreeing to this interview and for your kind words. We hope to see you again.

See here for more information on our Specialist English for Hotel Management Course

See here for more information on all our Specialist English Courses.