Language Matters: Results from our joint language survey with GFSB

Is English us important across Gibraltar's retail sector?

News Details

The University of Gibraltar in collaboration with the GFSB recently conducted a survey investigating how English is being spoken in the service sector.

The results of the survey were shared at a recent GFSB Breakfast Club event, which are free for members of the GFSB. Rebecca Moon, programme coordinator for the University’s Europa Point Language Centre said, “Whilst the results aren’t necessarily surprising, they did spark discussion and debate about how improvements can be made across Gibraltar’s retail sector”.

Results

The majority of survey responses would indicate that this area requires immediate attention. And that as a business community it is important that we strive to improve English language skills.

This is what you thought:

 when asked, if it is important for employees to speak English; 92% agreed that it was, with only 8% neither agreeing nor disagreeing.
 94% of respondents thought that improved communication would mean greater sales.
 94% of participants also agreed that if employees had a better understanding of English it would have a more positive impact on their businesses.
 And again, 94% felt that the tourist experience would be improved if employees communicated using a better level of English.

We then moved on to explore the skills that business owners feel are important to improve.

These included a resounding support of improving soft skills such as facial expressions, body language and eye contact. Followed by the importance of workers being engaged and polite. All of these results fell between 91 – 100%!

Next Steps

Taking all the survey results into account, the University of Gibraltar, with help from GFSB members, has designed a language course for workers in retail and service sectors. These courses aim to improve, enhance and promote better use of the English language, which in turn should make the visitors’ overall experience to Gibraltar a more positive one, as well as giving locals an added sense of pride when they walk down Main Street.

If you are interested in finding out more about the survey results or language courses please contact eplc@unigib.edu.gi