Case study: Weekly English Courses

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Hawksmoor Restaurant Group

Approximately 24% of workers in the UK Hospitality and Tourism industry are non-British nationals. Here at CLT Ltd we realise the major role that excellent communication skills play in this industry and understand that businesses employing a large percentage of non-native English speakers may sometimes struggle with this.

Waiter serving lady wineGood communication among staff and with customers will lead to fewer mistakes, better relationships and increased customer satisfaction, which are critical to success. An investment in your staff and developing their personal skills will lead to increased loyalty.

Renowned London-based Hawksmoor Restaurant Group also realises the value of good English skills in Hospitality. Members of staff from porters and bartenders to waiters and Chefs de partie have all been improving their English with CLT over the past 5 years.

What is involved?

English for Hospitality

‘The best steak restaurant in London’

Hawksmoor called in CLT Ltd to design tailored English packages for their international employees, with face-to-face group classes ranging from beginners to advanced level. With our English for Hospitality courses we discuss your key objectives with you to understand what we need to include in the programme (e.g. specific words, phrases and scenarios) and we carry out pre-course assessments to understand what level the delegates are starting at.

A professional English tutor will be assigned and they will provide all the materials you need. So whether you’d like to focus on speaking, reading or listening, we will design your programme accordingly. You can arrange a time, day and place for the training that works best for you although we would usually carry out the training at your place of work. At CLT Ltd we monitor your progress through your lessons to ensure you are progressing to the next level on the Common European Framework in English for Hospitality. Moreover, all delegates receive a Certificate of Achievement at the end of their course.

Staff from Hawksmoor restaurants in Air Street, Guildhall, Seven Dials and Spitalfields have all taken part in the popular training programme and feedback has been very positive:

“We noticed that we had people who were being held back by their lack of English – in and out of work – and it felt unnecessary for people to struggle over something so fundamental. We thought we could do something about it and the response from the staff has been great.” Will Beckett, Owner.


Manchester City Football Club

With two transfer windows taking place in the year, many football clubs are buying new players whose English communication skills need some improvement. When players sign for a club outside their native country, they are immediately faced with a language barrier as they try to deal with media coverage, communications on (and off) the pitch and a new culture. In the short term, clubs provide translation services for players to deal with the media but this often doesn’t extend to communication with teammates and managers.

Manchester City Football team line upCLT Ltd have been improving the English communication skills of Premier League footballers for the last 10 years. We started working with the First Team Support Manager at Manchester City FC in 2008. Clare contacted CLT as the club required foreign football players to improve their English communication skills on the pitch, in training sessions and during pre-match briefings at the Premier League Club. During that time many First Team players have improved their English skills including Pablo Zabaleta, David Silva and goalkeeper Willy Caballero. Since then we have worked with other Clubs including Stoke City FC, Bolton Wanderers FC and Nottingham Forest FC.

English for Football Programmes

CLT Ltd design tailor-made fully flexible ‘English for Football’ programmes which include weekly sessions at the training ground during the season, following their football training, or at their home. All the training is pitched at the correct level for each individual. We also provide preparation for the Tier 2 UK VISA exam. As well as general English and communication skills for adapting to life in the UK, their lessons focus on football related vocabulary and preparation for press interviews. We have also taught the players’ families general English to allow them to settle in the UK more easily.

At CLT Ltd we provide a free assessment of the players’ current skills and we will design a “top-up” training programme of weekly or intensive sessions to get the players to the level required. We offer full flexibility in terms of what time/day the player prefers and, once the course starts, the delegate may change the time/day if this is required because of their training or match schedule.  CLT Ltd work closely with the Player Support Team to select tutors according to the exact profile given by the delegate – eg ability to speak the native language of the delegate.

All our tutors sign Non-Disclosure Agreements, so the player can be assured that any details which the tutors come to know about them will remain highly confidential. Copies of the Non-Disclosure Agreements are available for the player at any time.


The White Company

Over 23 years ago, Chrissie Rucker had a vision: to create a company that specialised in stylish, white homewares, combining the highest quality with affordable prices. What started as a 12-page mail-order brochure has grown into a multi-channel, international business. The White Company has over 50 stores in the UK with its Distribution Centre based in Swan Valley in Northampton.

Interior of a White Company store

The White Company wanted to look at the potential benefits of English Language Training through development of the people in the Distribution Centre. After hearing of the success around this training with Distribution Centre employees at Charles Tyrwhitt, the Management Team at The White Company were keen to look into this further.

Establishing needs

Approximately 75% of the Distribution Centre workforce within The White Company do not speak English as their first language. On meeting with Commercial Language Training Ltd it was agreed that the key objectives of the training would be as follows:

  • Achieve a uniform standard of English to improve the quality of meetings with Line Managers
  • Confidence to read posters and information relating to Health and Safety
  • Professional communication
  • Personal Development

An Assessment Day was carried out at the Distribution Centre where the delegates had a short informal discussion with the English tutor and sat a grammar test in order to establish the level of their English. It was agreed that there would be 4 groups of around 15 people in each. The classes would take place on-site at the Distribution Centre on a weekly basis for 2 hours each over a 6 to 8 week period.

The Training Course

Group of White Company staff

The White Company delegates with CLT English tutor

It was important to keep the lessons fun and to build confidence in using English. We aimed to build rapport between the delegates and use practical work situations and challenges as a basis for role plays and discussions. The classes incorporated documents used every day within the delegates’ job roles and focussed on communication skills such as listening and speaking.

At the end of the course, English tutor Nicky said: “It was a pleasure working with The White Company Teams; they are a credit to themselves and the company.   Most felt a lot more confident using the English language and, overall, improved fluency and accuracy was achieved by all.”

All delegates received a Certificate of Achievement showing their level according to the Common European Framework at the end of the course.

Delegate Feedback

“I found the course very helpful and fun. I liked the idea a lot and would recommend it to my colleagues.”

“I have enjoyed every single lesson and learned a lot. Thank you!”

“Really great opportunity to develop listening and verbal English skills.”

“The course was well presented and information given well. Recommended to everyone.”

“Very patient teacher – explained everything and helpful”

“Very nice atmosphere. I have improved my communication skills as I am now confident when talking to colleagues.”

“Amazing tutor”