Here are 2 facts for you! Tourism is big business and English is the world’s most widely used language. Because of these two reasons, English for international tourism is a big industry. Although I’m more adept to teaching general English, I have in the past taught English for international tourism.
I found it extremely difficult to obtain high quality teaching books and I often resorted to the internet to prepare my lessons. I subsequently found that this was extremely time consuming so I began looking for some decent books online.
My search for books ultimately led me to Amazon, as is the usual when buying books online. Whilst browsing Amazon, I came across a set of 3 books called “English for International Tourism”. One was for low-intermediate, one for intermediate and one for high-intermediate, all three were published by Pearson (a well respected publisher of ELT books).
I did a little research and found a few teachers that had used them, so I decided to take the plunge and buy a copy for myself. After buying the books, I suggested to the hotel where I was working that they order these books for their in-house English course.
I taught the first two books in the series, pre-intermediate and intermediate. I enjoyed teaching them and my students enjoyed using them too. They weren’t just the same old lessons about ordering food in a restaurant or checking-in to a hotel (although these topics were covered). They included a lot of other topics too, including: customer services, things to do, marketing, air travel and more. Let’s take a closer look at each of the books one by one.
English for International Tourism Pre-Intermediate
This book was written by Iwonna Dubicka and Margaret O’Keeffe. The 144 page book also came with a 44 track CD covering each of the 15 chapters. The chapter’s are very diverse including, city tours, water cities, cruise ships, service and safety, winter holidays and more. Simple grammar tenses are taught as are things like count nouns, passive voice, modal verbs and more. The book contains a wide range of vocabulary that is relevant for each chapter and also covers pronunciation in parts too.
I found the book easy to follow, easy to teach and it had some great practice activities for the students. As always, however, I did need to prepare extra activities for my students where they needed more practice. The book covers speaking, listening, reading and writing alongside each other and the activities are well planned to keep the students interested.
The book has chapters about Europe and Asia (Thailand to be specific) and is a good starting point for students that are interested in the tourism industry. This book is great for pre-intermediate students to give them an insight into the world of tourism and the associated English language.
English for International Tourism Intermediate
This book, written by Peter Strutt, follows a similar format to the pre-intermediate edition. This 144 page book has 12 chapters and it covers some topics like, careers, destinations, hotel facilities, dealing with guests, hotel reservations, sight seeing, eating out and more. It recaps on the grammar tenses studied in the first book and again has a wide range of vocabulary that is relevant for the chapter.
This book comes with 2 cds that cover the audio scripts for all the chapters. Once again, this book was well written and I enjoyed teaching it to my students. My students found the book interesting and their English definitely improved.
When teaching an English course for general tourism, you can’t go far wrong with this set of books. They are some of the best I’ve used and I will use them again if I’m asked to teach tourism. As students reach the more advanced levels, I would, however, prepare something more specific to the country that they are working in. But as a general tourism course book, the intermediate book is very good.
English for International Tourism High Intermediate
Although, I’ve never taught this book (I stopped teaching at the company before I finished the course!), I did buy it at the same time as the other 2. This 128 page book was written by Peter Strutt and Miriam Jacob. I’ve not read a lot of the book, but it does have the same clean layout with easy to follow practice activities for the students and a wide range of topics covered in the chapters.
If was going to be teaching English for International Tourism, I would have no hesitation in using these books for intermediate level students.
They are a bit too easy for advanced level students, but would provide advanced students with some good practice material.
I did a lot of research before finding these books and they really are some of the best tourism English books that are available.