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BrazTesol Curitiba Chapter Beyond the Script: Intercultural language education, storytelling and hospitality John Corbett, University of Macau/USP.

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Presentation on theme: "BrazTesol Curitiba Chapter Beyond the Script: Intercultural language education, storytelling and hospitality John Corbett, University of Macau/USP."— Presentation transcript:

1 BrazTesol Curitiba Chapter Beyond the Script: Intercultural language education, storytelling and hospitality John Corbett, University of Macau/USP

2 The aims of this talk To review some of the basic principles of teaching English as a Foreign Language (ELT) To reconsider the nature of professionalism in tourism and hospitality To review intercultural communicative competence (ICC) in language education To consider how teaching for ICC complements traditional ELT aims and objectives To workshop practical example of teaching ICC for hospitality and tourism, focusing on storytelling for critical reflection

3 Mainstream ELT course design “[…] students’ needs can be understood as the language knowledge that the learner requires for professional development, the language and content knowledge that needs to be added or reincorporated to the learner’s knowledge and the learner’s desires of language or content.” - J.G. Laborda (2011) p.103

4 Mainstream ELT course materials Study typical situations that students need to know about (e.g. ‘in the restaurant’) Identify genres of the discourse community, typical registers and linguistic realisations (e.g. ‘service encounters’) Use needs analysis and genre analysis to devise materials. Teach using an audio-lingual, communicative and/or task-based pedagogical approach.

5 Pedagogical assumptions… Needs + Specific Language (Genres) = Skilled practitioners

6 For example…

7 Situation + Language Common situation: Apologizing When something goes wrong in the service industry, it is important to apologize to your guests and try to make the situation better. Here are some appropriate ways to apologize: I’m sorry but we’re all out of the cheesecake. Would you like some apple pie instead? -- Persiani and Reppen, page 84

8 Generalizing to create a script Apologizing 1.I’m sorry but [explain the situation]. 2.Would you like [alternative] instead?

9 More complicated situations This gentleman has arrived in Curitiba to join a 5-day tour of Parana. Tell him it has been cancelled owing to flooding in the interior.

10 Learning from fellow professionals

11 The process of giving bad news Give information Check the patient’s understanding of the information Identify the patient’s main concerns Elicit the patient’s coping strategies and personal resources and give realistic hope

12 The process of giving bad news 1. Give information 2. Check the customer’s understanding of the information 3. Identify the customer’s main concerns 4. Elicit the customer’s attitude towards being offered an attractive alternative

13 The process of giving bad news 1.Give information You might have heard about the heavy rainfall in the Blumenau region recently. I’m afraid there has been heavy flooding and we have had to cancel the tour. We’re very sorry about this. 2. Check the customer’s understanding of the information Were you aware of the bad weather recently? 3. Identify the customer’s main concerns I’m sure you planned this as a really special trip. 4. Elicit the customer’s attitude towards being offered an attractive alternative. What we can offer you instead is a tour to Florianopolis, one of Brazil’s most beautiful cities. Is that something that you would be interested in?

14 Useful language from medical communication? From Baile (2000)

15 The strengths of mainstream ELT Focus on building skills Focus on predictable and generalisable situations (eg having to give bad news) Focus on predictable and generalisable language (eg apologize + offer) Possibility of developing useful ‘scripts’ that can be used in different situations.

16 The limitations of ‘skills’ “A higher education designed around skills is no higher education. It is the substitution of skills for insight; of strategic reason for communicative reason; and of behaviour for wisdom.” Ronald Barnett (1998) The Limits of Competence, p. 61

17 The limitations of ‘scripts’

18 Beyond the ‘script’ Strengths of ‘scripts’ – Predictable situations – Generalizable language Weaknesses of ‘scripts’ – Avoids empathic ‘listening’ – Difficult to deal with unpredictable behaviour

19 So is mainstream ELT enough? Mainstream ELT is: – Situation-oriented (Tourism, Medicine, Law, etc) – Needs-oriented (how can individuals function in these situations?) – Language-oriented (what genres, registers do individuals need to master?) – Skills-oriented (what do individuals need to say, read, write and comprehend?) Intercultural language education is:s: – Values oriented (altruism, ethics) – Reflective (what does the individual need to understand?)

20 Towards Intercultural learning

21 Intercultural communicative competence Attitudes, such as openness to others Knowledge, e.g. of how social interactions occur Skills of interpreting and relating the linguistic products of the other to the self Skills of discovery and interaction – the ability to observe, understand and operationalize cultural knowledge

22 Intercultural communicative competence Critical cultural awareness and critical evaluation of cultural practices Understanding of how linguistic encounters co-construct identity The capacity to draw on the poetics of language and culture to celebrate and interrogate cultural identities and practices

23 From customer to consultant

24 ICC and professionalism in tourism and hospitality Use the language classroom as a site not only for the development of language, but also for the exploration of attitudes, ethics and values. Expand the focus from instrumental language to include reflective practices Develop competent language users and reflective, critical, intercultural speakers.

25 Resources for critical reflection

26 Critical reflection through stories 1.Story finding- noticing 2.Story-telling- making sense 3.Story expanding- making meaning 4.Story processing- reworking meaning 5.Story transformation- transformative learning

27 Example of a complaint/apology story The complaint (posted on a website) We decided to visit your restaurant after reading a very positive review of the atmosphere, food and service. The building is charming but we can only assume we visited on a bad day. The food was average and not at all what we expected. One item was missed off the main course and although it came later this lack of attention to detail is poor. There were only two staff serving, one was stressed and the other was, in our view uninterested and rude, particularly to a customer who asked about baby changing facilities!! We are so disappointed that our bank holiday outing to your restaurant was such a let down and we won't be able to recommend it, or visit again.

28 Listening activity Listen to the response to the complaint, posted by the owner of the restaurant. While listening, note down 3 main points about the response. When finished, share your main points with a partner.

29 Retelling the story In pairs, retell the complaint + response. – Person A makes the complaint – Person B responds as the owner. Would you suggest any changes to the owner’s response?

30 Response: Part 1 Dear Guest, Thank you for your valuable feedback. It is only by receiving and acting upon feedback that we are able to continually improve. In our restaurant, we are all passionate about ensuring all of our guests have a great time and I apologise if you felt that we fell short of this, on this occasion. With regard to the 'average' food, your table raised no issues regarding food quality during your visit and indeed conveyed a positive response when our waitress checked to ensure everything was to your satisfaction. We also noted that all plates of food were fully consumed when they were brought back to the kitchen. I'm not sure what you were expecting regarding lunch, but the reviews of our restaurant make our menu and offers very explicit.

31 Part 2 I have spoken with your servers; your waitress did unfortunately miss a steak off your table when processing your order. When we realized this mistake, we immediately rectified it. Your waitress apologizes for her oversight (which she also did at the time). You will appreciate this happens very rarely and is not intentional – I am afraid human error does occasionally occur. Yesterday was a particularly busy service which we routinely manage very well. I have to disagree with your impressions of your servers. They are two highly motivated members of the team who are liked and respected by many of our guests. I was also present at various points yesterday and I observed for myself the service standards.

32 Part 3 Unfortunately we do not have baby changing facilities at The Bell. This is an issue regarding space and our listed building status. When you asked your waitress 'did we have baby changing facilities', she explained that unfortunately we did not. Her response to your 'Well what am I supposed to do' may have been a little short and not helpful to you, but it was the truth, she 'didn't know' what you were supposed to do.

33 Part 4 You described your lunch with us yesterday as a ‘disaster.' However, you spent over 3 hours with us yesterday, apparently enjoying lunch and drinks in the restaurant and on our patio garden. Upon leaving, I overheard you saying to the other members of your party what a lovely afternoon you'd had, as you were getting into your car. Not really the actions of a guest who's afternoon we'd just ruined? I am sorry that you feel our restaurant is not for you but please be assured we are all passionate about ensuring all of our guests have a great time. Kind regards

34 1. Story finding Take a few moments to recall a situation in which you had to deal with bad news. – How did you feel about this? – How did the other person respond? – Were you able to show sympathy? How? – Were you able to offer constructive help? How? Write a brief account of this situation.

35 2. Story-telling If he or she feels comfortable doing so, a reader should share a story in a small group, e.g. by reading it aloud. While they are listening, the fellow group members should note down the main three points they take from the story. Afterwards, the reader should comment on his or her story. Then the listeners should identify the main three points in the reader’s story, in order of importance.

36 Example from a blog

37 Based on 823-Flight-cancelled-again! 823-Flight-cancelled-again Flight cancelled again! Our daughter has now been stranded in Lanzarote since last Friday and now the flight today has been cancelled too. That's three flights that have been cancelled now. She is so upset and was sobbing over the 'phone. We feel so helpless but what can we do? Very distressing. I joked that she might be home for Christmas. Wish now I had kept quiet.

38 3. Story expanding The group members share their observations about the reader’s story. They share their own 3 key points about the reader’s story. Are the perspectives similar? In some groups, an observer can be assigned to the task of comparing and contrasting perspectives.

39 Response 1 I can understand why your daughter is so upset. We got stranded in Lanzarote at Easter because of the volcano and although it sounds wonderful to be getting an extra week added to your holiday it is actually really stressful. Is the airline looking after your daughter? Has she been offered accommodation etc?

40 Response 2 I am sorry to read of your daughter's situation. It must be hard and a worry for you and her. Still as you say she has some insurance and at least she is with friends and her situation isn't her fault. I am sure she will be home soon. Her employer sounds level headed and fair so try not to worry to much!

41 Response 3 After our experience earlier in the year I am really glad that we booked our flight with Thomson. The RyanAir people had to fend for themselves as your daughter is having to do. It is good that she is with people who are looking after her - let's hope she can get home soon.

42 4. Story processing Next, one of the listeners re-tells the reader’s original story, from his or her own perspective. The reader clarifies any details that s/he thinks is missing or misunderstood. If there is an observer, he or she can take notes about differences in perspective.

43 5. Story transformation The reader goes back to the original story and considers what – if anything – s/he has learned from the process of telling and retelling. The goal is to encourage the learner to look again at his or her original story and consider it from different points of view. S/he may annotate it, expand it or retell it.

44 ‘Applied literature’ for caring professionals (Charon 2008) Frame the story (the location of the text and its contents) What form does it take? (what is the genre and its meanings; the metaphors, allusions and diction used) Pay attention to time (sequencing, duration, pace of events) Pay attention to plot (causality, climax of events) Reflect on the negotiation of desire (the reader’s response)

45 Reviewing the ‘story’ Our daughter has now been stranded in Lanzarote since last Friday and now the flight today has been cancelled too. That's three flights that have been cancelled now. She is so upset and was sobbing over the 'phone. We feel so helpless but what can we do? Very distressing. I joked that she might be home for Christmas. Wish now I had kept quiet.

46 Quick analysis Frame: daughter stranded on holiday; parents at home. Form: blog posting; informal story sent out to by mother, mainly to friends. Time: Present; reflects on events since ‘Friday’. Uncertain future. Plot: The airline has cancelled three consecutive flights; daughter and parent are distressed; parent made a bad joke which made things worse. Desire: The purpose of the blog is probably to seek reassurance. Is that what she received?

47 Summing up Brief simple story; they can be more complex. The students’ own stories will be expressions of their own experiences, feelings and anxieties. The creation of a supportive atmosphere should help them to develop emotional resources and critical thinking skills necessary to move ‘beyond the script’.

48 Take home message “We do not learn from experience. Experience has to be arrested, examined, analysed, considered and negotiated in order to shift it to knowledge.” - H. Stroobants, P. Chambers and B. Clarke

49 Selected References Autobiography of Intercultural Encounters From Baile, W. F. "SPIKES--A Six-Step Protocol for Delivering Bad News: Application to the Patient with Cancer." The Oncologist 5.4 Barnett, Ronald (1994) The Limits of Competence Buckingham & Bristol: The Open University Press 1994 Bor, R. and M. Lloyd (2009) Communication Skills for Medicine London: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier Charon, Rita (2008) Narrative Medicine New York: OUP Corbett, J. (2010) Intercultural Language Activities Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Laborda, J.G. (2011) ‘Revisiting Materials for Teaching Languages for Specific Purposes’ The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies 17:1, pp

50 Selected References Lu, Peih-ying and J. Corbett (2012) English for Medical Students Bristol: Multilingual Matters Persiani, R. and R. Reppen (2007) Enjoy Your Stay Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press Stroobants, H., P. Chambers and B. Clarke (eds) Reflective Journeys. A Fieldbook for Facilitating Lifelong Learning in Vocational Education and Training Rome: Leonardo da Vinci REFLECT Project Publication, Instituto Guglielmo, Tagliacane, Tomkins, A. (2009) Learning and Teaching Guides: Developing Skills in Critical Reflection Through Mentoring Stories Higher Education Academy Network for Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism ources/ssg_tomkins_mentoring_stories.pdf ources/ssg_tomkins_mentoring_stories.pdf


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