Marriott to Roll Out English Language Training

Washington -- Marriott International yesterday announced plans to roll out an English language training program to its Spanish-speaking employees nationwide, beginning Feb. 15.

Improved English speaking skills among hotel employees, many of whom speak Spanish as their first language, help improve service to guests, including meeting attendees.

The program's core curriculum is Sed de Saber (thirst for knowledge), which consists of workbooks and audio presentations designed specifically for adult Hispanic workers in the hospitality industry. It re-creates situations that students might encounter in the workplace.

Marketed by Retention Education, of Newport Beach, CA, Sed de Saber has been deployed by companies such as Wyndham Hotels, Chili's, and Del Taco.

Marriott conducted a pilot program at 23 hotels over four months last year and found that more than 85 percent of participants improved their English-language skills.

"Our feedback shows stronger associate-manager relationships, improved self-confidence on the job, and enthusiasm to learn more," said David Rodriguez, Marriott's executive vice president of global human resources.

Marriott will make the course available to its more than 2,300 hotels in the United States. The company operates or franchises hotels under the Marriott, JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites, and Bulgari brand names.

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