Title e-CLIENT VIRTUAL SIMULATOR FOR LANGUAGE LEARNING FOR TOURISM PROFESSIONALS
Project Number 134736-LLP-1-2007-1-ES-LEONARDO-LMP
Project Type Development of Innovation
Country EU-Centralised Projects
VIRTUAL SIMULATOR FOR LANGUAGE LEARNING FOR TOURISM PROFESSIONALS
Find all the info at: www.e-client.org Languages “a la carte”
This project aimed to help employees in the Hotel and hospitality industry, who would like to improve their foreign language skills: “Simply think how often the reputation of a good hotel or restaurant can be spoilt by poor service? Your staff may, by being sympathetic or apologetic, make the cold soup taste warmer! Knowledge of a language can work wonders! Enhance your business and enable your staff to offer not only service but also good communication”.
e-CLIENT is the tool facilitating communication of hospitality workers with their clients in 6 European languages. Its friendly use, practical and facilitating learning through real situations.
The e-CLIENT virtual simulator is NOT A LANGUAGE COURSE, if it were we would have not attained the final aim nor accomplished with the project proposal as approved and granted. It is important to have this concept in mind before trying the e-CLIENT virtual simulator. The e-CLIENT project was conceived as a language facilitator to help workers dealing with a client face-to-face, to communicate in other languages.
There are hundreds of on-line courses for professionals with similar arrangements in contents, exercises, theory, etc, in fact the e-CLIENT project started with a in-depth research on existing resources which can be checked in “The Content Research” and “Technical Research” free available at www.e-client.org /products. In these reports you will find a thorough analysis of resources in language learning from the two different perspectives; methodology and technology. They can be used as research manuals for planning and development of new projects or research on language learning.
The team has pursued two main aims: to facilitate language learning for tourism professionals and innovating in language learning methodology for on-line courses.
The main innovation has been trying to reproduce TPR (Total Physical Response), methodology in a virtual environment. TPR means teaching oral proficiency at a beginner’s level; the learning process is a mind-process in which, through repetition of the videos, the mind understands the sentences and the learner is able to repeat or react in the target language. This is an automatic reaction of the mind, comparable to a baby learning a language. The videos reproduce situations that the hospitality workers find in their daily work, so that they must guess what is happening in the target language according to their experience. The videos are supported by texts in native language where the user can check what would be happening in his/her country.
E-CLIENT has been a 2 years Leonardo da Vinci funded Multilateral Project – Development of Innovation. It started in October 2007 and was finished in December 2009.
The project was led by FEHR (Spanish Federation of Hospitality) and coordinated by FASE.net in Spain. The partners are: KK (DE) a provider of vocational training running 12 restaurants in Berlin. BASER an NGO promoting growth and training, EUROTECHNIKI (EL) a Technical SME, in charge of the technical implementation of the simulator. GIP-ALSACE (FR), the French National Education public of continuous training and P7 PNM (UK) a SME is providing language services and language training materials. The main product developed has been the e-CLIENT Virtual Simulator.
The e-CLIENT virtual simulator is a Multilanguage tool in 6 languages. (BG, DE, EN, ES, FR, and GR), available at www.e-client.org. The simulator contains all the characteristics and materials described in the project proposal but the tool has the potential to be extended with further situations within the sector, additional languages, and as has been suggested during the testing phase to be transferred into other professional sectors.
This project aimed to help the lower skilled workers in the Hospitality Industry, namely Reception staff, Waiters and bar staff to be able to communicate more effectively with clients in one or more foreign languages. An online simulation tool using filmed scenarios was developed (in 6 languages). The scenarios were selected and approved by representatives of the industry. The language simulator is based in ‘real’ situations occurring in restaurants, hotels and bars. The learners have to react to given situation and solve problems in the target language with given prompts to do so. Before the simulation, the students have the opportunity to work through preparation materials, resources and didactic tips that will help them in managing the simulated scene. The training materials also comprise information about good manners in service, cultural specific features of customers, ethics and fundamentals for customer satisfaction.
Open and distance learning
Accommodation and Food Service Activities
Other Service Activities
open and distance learning
material for open learning
All the project products are available in the web-site: www.e-client.org
The project started with an in-depth analysis of previous resources in language learning from two different perspectives, the methodologies and the technological. The results are two research reports where it can found the analysis of the most important resources existing in the field of languages and the technology available. Both the reports served to create on the one hand the design of the tool from the technological perspective and on the other hand the description of the content. The added value of the comparative methodology used confers the project with the knowledge of previous tools and methods which have or have not been successful in order to prevent the e-CLIENT virtual simulator from making errors previously made in other language learning programmes.
The main project product is the e-CLIENT Virtual Simulator comprising the following characteristics:
-BASIC LEVEL: The tool is strictly focussed on providing basic level content, being realistic and taking into account the failure of previous experiences in the field. These were good for proficiency but neglected a basic level as being less interesting or rewarding. The simulator can be framed within the LEVELS A2 to B2 of the “European Common Framework of Reference for Languages
-LANGUAGES: In the present project four of the most spoken languages in the tourism sector are taught (EN, ES, FR and DE) whereas two less spoken languages are promoted (GR and BG) but the tool has the potential to be extended to other languages.
-USER- FRIENDLY: it can be used by a person with basic knowledge of ICT.
-INDIVIDUAL LEARNING: The tool is specially conceived for self-learning, given the tight timetables of the target group and the difficulties to attend group sessions. Even though the tool could also be used for practising languages supported with classes, tutors and group sessions.
-EASY INSTALLATION: finally the programme doesn’t need any installation, just requires a common updated PC, internet connection, audio and a microphone.
-HELP IN DEALING WITH DAILY SITUATIONS: As the contents is based upon the TPR (Total Physical Response), a language learning method based on the coordination of speech and action the user will learn at the same time some situations that he/she must deal with later.
The simulator reproduces a list of 12 situations usually occurring in a hospitality work-place:
Hotel Reception Staff:
•Booking – telephone bookings and problems with bookings
•Checking in – simple checking in and problems with checking in
•Giving General Information – hotel facilities, local information, directions, wake up calls
•Dealing with problems and complaints with the room
•Other problems and complaints – lost property, noise, smells etc
•Clients’ problems – accidents, damage and illness
•Checking out and paying – simple checking out, problems with the bill, payment methods and problems
•Welcoming clients and taking orders – menus, taking orders and special requests
•Explaining menus, drinks and cultural aspects – localised for each country, explaining dishes, ingredients, cooking preparations, cultural culinary habits
•Serving food – problems and complaints – extra requests, problems, wrong orders, waiting times and accidents
•Bills and payment – explaining bills, problems with bills, transactions and problems with transactions
•Serving drinks and giving information – taking orders, special requests, giving explanations on drinks, information on events