Don’t waste money teaching tourists Spanish

The Observer informs us that

a new language class being tested by Thomson in Spain could help holidaymakers untie their tongues.

Spanish (Out There!) lessons were given to travellers in Tenerife last month. A group of over-50s took five two-hour lessons over the course of their holiday, then put what they’d learnt into practice with the locals.

‘We had fantastic feedback, there were lots of people in their fifties, sixties and seventies who’d never done languages before and were surprised by how much they had learnt,’ said Jason West, managing director of English (Out There!), the company running the lessons.

‘We taught it at beginners level. The class would learn how to ask how to get to a local village on the bus, then go out and actually do it.

Great, you think, but it’s actually not particularly useful – except in terms of client relations – to spend huge amounts of money teaching Spanish to people who will maybe return a couple of times, and who will forget everything they have learnt in the interim. Canarian bus drivers have to deal with these people day in, day out, so why not teach them English?

Thanks to Margaret Marks of Transblawg for the tip.

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