The Implementation of Communication Strategies to Improve English Speaking Skills for Eco-Cultural Tourism Staff at Highland Development Area in Thailand
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The purposes of this research were: 1) to compare the pre/post-test scores of high, moderate, and low English proficiency eco-cultural tourism staff by using the BSPE model; and 2) to conduct in-depth interviews and observe the types of communication strategies (CSs) employed by high, moderate, and low English proficiency Eco-Cultural Tourism staff. The sample consisted of 70 eco-cultural tourism staff at the highland development area in Uthai Thani province, Thailand. They participated in the English for eco-culture tourism workshop by doing a fifteen-hour course. A mixed-method methodology was used, with quantitative and qualitative data collected through questionnaires and interviews. The research results were found as follows:
1) Before and after the training with the Paired Sample T-Test, the sampling knew more English for eco-cultural tourism during the post-training period than during the pre-training period, with higher average scores of 8.8 ± 3.7 points, or increased knowledge by 29.7% with a statistical significance at the 0.05 level (t = 18.489, P = 0.000), which was based on assumptions.
2) The in-depth interview and observation found that the high and moderate proficiency groups frequently used the first language-switch and circumlocution strategies. The low proficiency group used the surfing strategy and the word coinage strategy.
However, the study also revealed that the majority of participants believed that English speaking strategies were essential. Implementation of communication strategies will help promote income for eco-cultural tourism staff. These strategies assume that people in the community can communicate well in English.
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