18 October, 2010

Notes from the Desk - Tourist Sites

In the Regional Lesson I gave, in the Level 4 class, I talked about several Touristic Sites, they are listed here.

Statue of Liberty -
A gift from France.

Hollywood - located within Los Angeles -

Yosemite National Park -

Disney World -
Disney Land is in California.

Grand Canyon -

Smithsonian Institute -
The Smithsonian Institution was founded for the "increase and diffusion" of knowledge from a bequest to the United States by the British scientist James Smithson (1765–1829), who never visited the new nation.

Mount Rushmore -
Sculpted by Gutzon Borglum and later by his son Lincoln Borglum. It was originally concived to promote tourism in South Dakato.The presidents were originally to be sculpted from head to waist, but lack of funding called the project quits after 1941.

Mardi Gras -
Self explanatory.

Yellowstone National Park -
The first national park in the world, and Native Americans have occupied this territory for 11,000 years. It is mostly located in Wyoming, but also extends into Idaho and Montana as well. It's most famous attraction is Old Faithful, which is a geyser that explodes every 60 to 90 minutes, and the explosion lasts anywhere from 1.5 minutes to 5 minutes each time.
Colonial Williamsburg -
Located in Virginia, it includes buildings dating from 1699 to 1780.Re-enactors try to emulate the Revolutionary mentality of the people living here at the time. It was a center for the molding of the American Government and its use of Democracy.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania -
The changing point of the Civil War, which took place from 1861 - 1865. Prior to this Battle and the Gettysburg Address given by Abraham Lincoln, the South was winning the war. After this Battle, the Northern States (the Union) made significant strides to securing a victory.

The Alamo -
Texan-Americans troops were settled in a Fort named the Alamo in what was previously Mexican Territory during the 1800s. The Mexicans threatened to take back their land by force, and they did. This became known as the Battle of the Alamo, known for the cry "Remember the Alamo". This helped to trigger the Mexican War, in which the U.S. eventually won, and took significant amounts of territory from Mexico, and rejoined Texas with the Union.

Golden Gate Bridge

A prefect example of a 'suspension' style bridge. The second longest of its kind in the U.S., the first longest being the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City, which connects Brooklyn and Staten Island.

Willis Tower - (Formerly known as the Sears Tower) -
The site of the tallest building in North America.

Presentation of Previous Experience

It's often easy to predict what types of questions a prospective employer will ask of you. Here are some examples of typical interview questions.

Where did you work? Name of Company & Location
Was it a paid internship?
How many people were employed there? Were you part of a team?
Have you worked as an intern before?
What were your responsibilities/tasks/goals?
What was the most important/useful thing you learned?
What was your favorite part of the job?
How did you communicate with other members of the team?
I see you worked at a travel agency, how many other people did you work with? How many people were employed there?
What kind of hours did you work? How many hours a week did you work? (Questions can often ask the same thing, and be worded differently)
What makes you a good candidate for this job/position?
Why would you like to work with our company?
Did you enjoy working with Sweet Travel?
What did you learn while working with Hobbit Journeys?
What special skills do you have? What will you bring to the team?

You should be able to explain your responsibilities, written and oral. A frequent interview question is "What were your responsibilities at Awesome Tours R Us?"
Customer Service: You provide basic help to customer needs. You are there to listen to them, and respond with answers if necessary.
Administrative Duties / Responsibilities : This includes everything in basic office work from answering the phone, photocopying, filing paperwork, and mail.
Account Manager - Client accounts each have a certain amount of money involved, you are in charge of obtaining payments and maintaining the relationship between agency and client.
Product Manager - You create travel plans by contacting various enterprises within the Tourism Industry.
Sales - You are responsible for selling the products to customers or clients.

Frequent Mistakes - These aren't necessarily completely wrong, they just sound strange from a native speaker. Here are the solutions to some of the things you are trying to say:

incorrect : correct:
My mission was.. My goal was
I animated.. I created a project, I made a report, I studied, I searched, I met

Positive Personality Descriptions - Vocabulary
ability to multi-task: to be able to do many things at once
Goal- Oriented: you make goals and look to accomplish them
driven to succeed: you are motivated by being successful, and finishing things
self- motivated: you are energetic and can give yourself tasks in order to be efficient
team-player: you work well with others, you are concerned with helping the team
organized in administration, good file organization skills
detail -oriented: you make sure every last item, large or small is addressed
tasks/goals/projects/ assignments
Others - sociable, dynamic

Letter of Motivation
•Introduce yourself, you current situation, why you are writing
•Give explanation as to why you are suited for the job
•Explain why you would prefer to work with their company or them.

Pointers for writing a letter of motivation/cover letter:
• Try to keep it short and to the point.

When something happened
When did you start (working/classes) today?
I started at 8 am.
When did you first start working at Disney?
I started in May of 2009.

How long something happened
How long did you have work/classes for today?
I had classes/work for eight hours today.
How long did you work for?
I worked for eight hours.
How long did you work at Disney?
I worked at Disney for one year.
How long have you been learning English?

Since and For
She's been working with us since May.
She's been working with us for a year.
I haven't worked at Disney since September.
I haven't worked at Disney for a month.
I have been a tourism student for five years.
Exception to prove the rule : we do not use for with all ( all day/all night/all of my life).
I've lived here all my life.

Extra Vocabulary -

bilan - balance sheet
assemblée - convention (professional)
salon des métiers - trade show
remue-méninges (?) - brain storming
faire d'avant-projet (?) - project planning
Chronologie du projet - project timeline

Notes from the Desk - Week One

Every so often I will post additional interesting material that is relevant but not covered during class. It will always be titles as 'Notes from the Desk'.
Since everyone likes to travel, everyone should check out this site which claims to have profiles of the people who have traveled the most. They are all very lucky!
Has podcasts and full episode archives for listening to what we did in class, or for you to find another story you might find interesting. All are good listening practice, for accents, slang, and modern English.
The site for South by Southwest, a music festival held annually in Austin, Texas.
This is for Gary in my Level 4 class, this is the Children's Show I was talking about. It's called Yo Gabba Gabba! and they host different alternative bands and celebrities to come sing songs on the show.
Self-explanatory awesome website and video resume. :)
Fabien Barral, a graphic designer and blogger. "I am passionate about images and graphic design. I am a house in the countryside of Auvergne, France. I am a husband and I love my wife. I am a father and I love my daughter. I am not the clients I work with, I am the art I create with them. I am what I create. I create what I am.,
Almost every state has a version of the Renaissance Faire, or Medieval Times but it's nothing like Puys de Fou. Universal Studios in California or Florida is much, much bigger.

11 October, 2010

Job Resources

I will update this as resources are brought to my attention, or as I come across them. Please feel free to send me other websites you know about, or post them in the comments.

General - search by city & by job listing, this is the most popular job site in the U.S. - You can create your profile and CV in French, English, Chinese and whatever other languages you would like to.


Tourism - allows you to upload a CV as well.

Cruise Companies

General -
Disney -

Recruitment Agencies

Travel Trade Recruitment:

Resume / CV Notes - Week 2

Name - Most important, with your contact and personal information being secondary. Should be the first thing on your CV.
Phone - If applying outside the country, include country code, in France +33, and do not include the zero at the front of your French cell phone number.
Address - Can be formatted differently in each country. In English, we normally capitalize the first letter of the name of the town or city.(49100 Angers, France)
e-mail (should look like this, all lowercase, optional to have this before your mail since '@' makes it apparent its your e-mail address): can be presented in blue, but is not necessary.

An objective is an optional thing. Normally, an objective consists of one short sentence stating the type of job or work you are looking for. (Note: when stating numbers, if it is under ten, write the word out, instead of using the numeral.)

Degrees -
Year started – Present.
ex: 2009 – Present First, the University or School you are currently "enrolled in/ attending" : you have not finished.
Next, the degrees you have completed / finished :
2009 Bachelor's of Tourism, University of Angers,
2006 Lycée Baccalauréat (High School Diploma), specialty (if any), with honors (high standing)
Any training with education courses and certification you may have completed.

Format / Style : Consistency
Try to keep each type of information looking the same, ie. dates, Job Titles, Companies
Fonts - Use only one, can be as small as 9pt, and even 7/8 pt in most cases, and still easily read. This will help you keep everything to one page.
Different types of treatments: Title Case, Sentence case. CAPS, CAPS LOCK. (Capital letters)

Full Time, Part Time, Internships & Short Term
Full Time (abbv. FT)
Part Time (abbv. PT)

Not Necessary to Include with main Employment -
Short Term - seasonal work, temporary employment
You don't have to explain how much you worked. (For example, how many days a week, or how many hours a week) If you were employed for 2 years, you should say that. You can explain how much work you did at the interview.
This is the same for being paid. Sometimes a job will ask for your salary requirements, and you can include this is your letter of motivation/cover letter. It should be based on previous salaries or an entry salary.

Travel, Trips, Cruises, Vacations
There are many ways to describe journeys. In English, a journey is usually a long period of time. For example, a journey abroad would be more than one month somewhere, with more than one destination.
A vacation is normally a trip taken with the main concern being leisure. You want to relax and enjoy your time in a 'laid-back' fashion. You can have a vacation that takes you to more than one place, and takes over a month. It the purpose of the vacation that makes it a vacation, and not a journey. In America, you normally have two weeks vacation time per year, so it's important to relax during this time.
A trip is usually to list one destination. For example, "We took a trip to New York City for the weekend." Or, "We took a cross-country road-trip to California on Route 66." Road-trip is taken in a car, truck, van or camper/RV.
Cruises are pretty obvious, they are on a boat. They can be for a multitude of reasons. There is Cruises for Senior Citizens, focusing on an age-group with similar interests. Cruises for single people, looking to date while on the Cruise. Family Cruises, Adventure Cruises, Sight-Seeing Cruises (to Alaska for example.)

"Journeys & Voyages"

A journey is often seen as being a long trip with multiple stops.
I took a backpacking trip to Europe. It was a real journey.
Marco Polo journeyed to China and back again.

A voyage is similar to a journey, being very long, but on a boat.
Christopher Columbus took a voyage across the Atlantic to discover "the West Indies".

Programs / Computer Skills
A basic way of noting general computer use without being specific would be to say.
Proficient in PC Environment & File Management.

Levels: Expert, Proficient, Intermediate, Beginner. Daily use is acceptable.

ex: Expert in Microsoft Office in a PC & Mac environment.
Proficient in HTML, CSS, and Content Management Systems.
Beginner in Adobe Flash and iMovie.

DO NOT list surfing the internet as a skill. Anyone can do it. Same goes for e-mail.

The levels are native (your mother tongue), bilingual/fluent (you can speak the language fluently and without hesitation), conversational, and then levels of good, moderate/intermediate, basic/beginner/novice. Written and Spoken can have two different levels, specify if so.

Recommendations / References
Due to privacy concerns, most references would prefer that you keep their information confidential. In order to do this, I place on my CV "Available Upon Request". This means that if an employer really needs my references, they can ask me, and I would be more than happy to notify my reference that someone would be calling them or e-mailing them, and then passing the contact information on to my prospective employer.

If your job listing asks for references, I would list it as follows

Name, Title, Company, Location (optional), Phone, e-mail

06 October, 2010

Getting to Know Someone - Week One - All Classes

I hope you already know the basic questions in English. (I want to know if you don't!) I hear them on the street in Angers all the time.

" 'ello! 'ow are oo?" correct: Hello. How are you?

This would be the equivalent of me approaching you, and saying, "BonGOUR! Ka Va Been?"

If you are learning a new language, it helps to have the basic pronunciation down first. You must pronounce your h' s in English. Also, pronouncing your th' s will help you to sound less French, and more like an English speaker.

Some simple questions/responses to practice:

Where do you live/come from? I am from... I live in...
How old are you? I am... (age). I am.. (age).. years old.
What do you do? Do you study? Do you work?)
Do you have brothers or/and sisters? Yes, I have... No, I do not..
How do you like it here?
What kind of music/food/movies do you like?
Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?

Although in a professional setting, you may not get the chance to use these type of questions, I feel they are better for really getting to know someone. Please select a partner, and select 3 - 5 questions to ask your partner.

Questioner: read the question, practice it, and then ask again without looking! Write down your partners response, and make up a second question if you can.
Responder: Respond to each question, and give a reason why.
Presenting: Tell us your partners name, age, and years studying English. Please write 8 other sentences to introduce your partner to the class based on their responses to 3-5 questions.

What did you do this summer?
Have you ever been abroad? in Europe? in the US?
When was your favorite party?
What is your dream car? What color is it?
If you were to die tomorrow, what would you do today? what's your last meal?
What is your biggest fear? the scariest thing you ever experienced?
What is something you want to do before you die?
Where is your dream place to travel to? to live?
What is your dream job?

hope - espere
already - déja
correct - corrige
have it down first - expression; to have done it correctly, and first.
switch - changer
dream - rêve, but in this case, de vos rêves, le meilleur chose
die - mourir, avant tu mort.
fear - peur, biggest fear - la plus grand peur
What's - What is (combining non-subject with is, to form one word)
Samantha's class - possesive (subject owns the subject)

Introduction - Week 1 - All Classes

** UPDATED - Expectations**

• ;
• from Philadelphia, PA; visited New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Montreal, Quebec City, Florida (Disney World)
• B.F.A. Graphic & Interactive Design, Tyler School of Art
Comparative to Beaux-Arts +3, Focus - Books & Layout Design
• Studied French for 7 years, Temple University
• Taught at Lycée Jean-Moulin
• Participation - Oral & Group Activities, Pronunciation
• Written - Grammar
• Listening & Reading Comprehension
• 2 Exams: Mid-term & Final 2 Quizzes - Unannounced
• Attendance is Mandatory - Please follow IMIS-ESTHUA standards. You are only to miss class with a Doctor's Note, Transportation Strike, serious problem, or a problem with a child.

Subjects Covered
• Tourism - Addressing problems faced when traveling and within this
field. Hospitality trends in America, comparative studies.
• Technology - Used the world over. e-mail, websites in English, social
media and networking, software, hardware, standard vocabulary.
• Business - Tone of speech for a multitude of situations. Inter-office
e-mails, applying for jobs, interviews, meetings, presentations, lunches.
• Culture - My "best-of" the English language. Modern excerpts from
media (movies, articles, radio), as well as favorites from literature.
Building & Continued Interest Topics
My style of teaching approaches each class and individual
differently. I will work to incorporate subjects you are interested in
learning about into my course planning. I will observe weaknesses, and
construct grammar reviews around this. I will observe strengths and
attempt to build your vocabulary and current language.
• List 2-3 Subjects you are interested in covering this semester
• Questions & Topics
• Prepared Responses
• Ability to Improvise Speech & Conversation
• Films - classics and examples of modern interpreted conversations
• Radio - how well can you hear English? It's harder to comprehend without seeing a mouth moving along with the sounds.