Marriott has launched a 23-hotel pilot language program in the United States. The pilot program will utilize the Sed de Saber (Thirst for Knowledge) Spanish/English Language system, which teaches workplace and life-skills English.
“Marriott is excited about this unique program,” said David Rodriguez, executive vice president of human resources, Marriott International. “We believe that the Sed de Saber(TM) program will be of tremendous benefit to both our associates and managers, helping them improve their ability to communicate with one another and with guests.”
Sed de Saber, an electronic learning system developed by Retention Education, LLC, is interactive and uses storytelling, voice recording, games and review exercises to build and improve English language skills. Sed de Saber combines English as a second language curriculum with the Leapfrog Quantum Pad Plus Microphone(TM), which allows the learner to record, playback, and compare his/her voice to the word or phrase being learned, increasing confidence in pronunciation skills.
To complement the Sed de Saber(TM) program, Marriott has established small learning communities in which associates and managers can learn together. This approach helps associates improve their communication skills, while giving managers an opportunity to create enhanced work environments.
“My idea always was to advance, but there are challenges when you speak a different language,” said Yoseline Martinez, housekeeping inspector, Residence Inn, Pentagon City in Virginia. “I’ve tried Sed de Saber(TM). I can use it in my home to learn together with my family.”
“English is the second language for about 60 percent of our associates at the Residence Inn, Pentagon City,” said Raymond Bennett, general manager of the hotel. “Sed de Saber(TM) will allow our associates to enhance their English language skills, giving them an opportunity to interact more comfortably and confidently with our guests. The learning community concept also enables managers to become more familiar with key phrases in Spanish which also promotes good communication with associates.”
Implementing the Sed de Saber(TM) language program complements Marriott’s Spirit to Serve Our Guests initiative, a guest service program that ensures that each customer is given first-class, personalized service at every level of contact with Marriott: from the first telephone call to the actual check- in. Marriott plans to expand the program into other hotels across all markets in the United States.