Language skills and intercultural issues in the hospitality industry: unity in diversity in the EU labour market
Contemporary world shows a change in the employability patterns and skills needed in the future. Cedefop’s latest skill supply and demand forecasts (2014) highlight Europe’s employment challenge indicating that the most job opportunities will be in services, and point to a rising trend towards high-skilled jobs. Moreover, the increasing tourism flows, mobility for study and professional reasons as well as global migration processes have placed Europe in a previously unknown situation in which multilingualism is becoming not a desired state but a vital necessity. Language skills, intercultural and digital competences are important employability skills in the current situation, especially in tourism and hospitality sector. This also requires new innovative ways for developing VET learners’ employability skills to be competitive in the changing labour market and contribute to cohesive society. This idea lies at the core of the current project, the stimulus for which was our previous project „Key Skills for Hotel Industry Staff” (more on the project webpage: http://language4hotel.eu/) in which we focussed on developing language course for hospitality industry employees in 12 languages (the course is available on: http://esolams.si/elearning/ ).
The new Erasmus+ project “Language skills and intercultural issues in the hospitality industry: unity in diversity in the EU labour market“ is intended to elaborate and put forward the results attained in the „Key Skills for Hotel Industry Staff” project and by attracting new partners it is extending the scope as well and bringing the results a step further.
Nine partners are involved in the project: two vocational schools – Turisticka i ugostiteljska skola from Dubrovnik, Croatia (project managers) and IPSSA Nino Bergese, Genoa, Italy; two higher vocational schools – Ekonomska sola Murska Sobota, VSS from Slovenia and Vyšší odborná škola, Střední průmyslová škola a Obchodní akademie, Čáslav, from the Czech Republic; three tertiary level education institutions – Biznesa augstskola Turiba, Latvia; UNIVERSITATATEA SAPIENTIA DIN CLUJ NAPOCA, Romania and VšĮ Vilniaus verslo kolegija, Lithuania; Provincial Directorate of Education in Turkey Kutahya MEM; and Primrose Publishing, an enterprise from the UK.
The project aims at creating an interactive blended learning language course „Unity in Diversity” comprising on-line learning materials available on the Moodle Learning platform and face-to-face interactive materials incorporating case studies, games, problem-solving tasks, videos, etc. targeted at developing VET learners’ language, intercultural and digital competence, creativity, problem-solving skills and flexibility. The complete course will consist of three courses: 1) a new interactive A1 language learning course in 16 languages (CZ, DE, EN, ES, FR, GR, HR, HU, IT, LT, LV, RO, RU, SE, Si, TR) containing such modules as “Welcome”, “Hotel”, “Restaurant”, “Professional skills”; 2) A2/B1 language course extended to 16 languages comprising such modules as “Hotel Reception”, “Restaurant”, “Restaurant Kitchen”, “City”, “Hotel Business Centre” and “Management Offices”, the first two also as smartphone apps, the module “City” accompanied by 3 interactive maps and 3 inside hotel maps; 3) B2/C1 intercultural English language course comprising 8 modules “Hotel Front Office”, “Catering Service”, Hotel Management”, “Conference and Business Services”, “Off-site Services” and “Financial Management”, an intercultural module revealing cultural sensitivities of the nine partner countries and nine country modules featuring the main tourist information required for work; the course will contain case studies, videos, on-line modules and face-to-face problem-based tasks.
The project outcomes will be beneficial to different education institutions, tourism and hospitality industry employees and anyone wishing to raise their intercultural language competence.
The project “Language skills and intercultural issues in the hospitality industry: unity in diversity in the EU labour market” (No. 2016-1-HR01-KA202-022160), the project period 01.09.2016. – 31.08.2018. is financed by the Erasmus+ program.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.