On Friday 11 August 2023, 8.30 AM – 4.30 PM, Dr Wasin Praditsilp, FHEA, the head of Tha Sala Global Neighbour’s Social Engagement Project, Walailak University International College (WUIC), Lect. Median Adulyarat, nine of second-year international students, ten of first-year Thai students, and staff from the Centre for Academic Services (CAS) Walailak University, organised a workshop on “English for Restaurant Professionals” for restaurant staff from restaurants in front of the University campus, at Hua Tapan Hall, Walailak University Hospital. Lect. Thassanee Thasrabiab, the head of English Program, School of Arts, Walailak University, kindly accepted the invitation to give a lecture for this full-day workshop.
15 staff members from six restaurants i.e. Ubrger (ยูเบอร์เกอร์), Kai Whan Baan Sushi (ไข่หวานบ้านซูชิ), Charm Poon Halal Boat Noodles (ชามพูน ก๋วยเตี๋ยวเรือฮาลาล), Kum Peng (คำเป้ง ซูชิและอาหารญี่ปุ่น), Loong Yai Steakhouse (ลุงใหญ่ สเต็กเฮาส์), and Kah Da Kai Zab (ก๊ะดา ไก่แซ่บ), participated in the workshop. The morning sessions began with the guest speaker, organising crew, and participant introduction, followed by lectures and workshops on restaurant greeting and ordering. The students helped run the workshops, acting like customers for the restaurant staff to practice their English’s listening and speaking skills. CAS provided buffeted lunch for all staff and participants.
The afternoon sessions began with restaurant vocabulary building strategy, followed by lectures and workshops on billing and direction guiding for customers. The participants then joined role-playing activities, performing their duties like in the real restaurant setting with customers. The workshop ended with a reflection session, learning, and sharing on how the organising crew should improve the workshop for the following years.
Two weeks after this workshop, the Tha Sala Global Neighbour team will randomly send a group of students to visit these restaurants to assess their skills and readiness to operate their services for international customers. If the restaurants passed the assessment, they would receive the “Tha Sala Global Sticker” to put on their front door, and the project will promote those restaurants through the University’s and local media channels to encourage international lecturers, students, travellers, and expatriates to come and try their food. Last but not least, the certified restaurants will become innovators and help the project train other restaurants in the second year, and so on.
This social engagement project is a long-term project, aiming to develop all businesses around the campus to use English language with their international customers. The team integrates this project as part of many courses at WUIC, allowing our students to learn and train themselves outside of the classroom (e.g. service marketing, startup management, project management, leadership in organisation, human resource management etc.) as well as builds partnerships with the businesses around the campus for the sustainable community in the coming years.