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Sargent needs analysis 1


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Sargent needs analysis 1

  1. 1. + Connie Sargent Nail Technicians in New York City English for Specific Purposes Vicki Hollett and Evan Frendo November 2, 2010
  2. 2. + Industry Overview  Nail salons are often owned by highly educated immigrants whose skills are not valued for jobs in the United States.  There are over 10,500 licensed nail technicians in the New York City area, the majority of whom are immigrants from Korea and China.  New York State licensing requires a 250-hour course of study plus a written and practical examination.
  3. 3. + Industry Overview  Employees are under pressure to rotate customers through quickly while giving customers a feeling that the experience is relaxing.  This is one of the few times when diverse immigrant women have intimate social interaction with native English-speaking American women.  Interaction is made more complicated by physical contact.
  4. 4. + Industry Overview  M. Kang (2003) found that there are different expectations depending upon race and social class, and different language needs to go with them:  Upper-class white women in upscale neighborhoods expect physical pampering and emotional attentiveness. English language needs are high.  Working-class African and Caribbean Americans in low- income neighborhoods expect artistic technical skills and respect. English language needs are basic and technical.  Middle-class mixed races expect efficiency and courtesy with minimal emotional engagement. English language needs are basic.
  5. 5. + Needs Analysis Surveys and Interviews  My focus was on the basic, no frills nail salon where nail technicians usually speak limited English.  5 different sources were interviewed for information:  Nail salon owners  Non-native speaking nail technicians  Native speaking nail technicians  Beauty schools  Customers
  6. 6. + Results All nail technicians and salon owners agreed:  There is no need to read or write in English.  All social and business interaction in the workplace is conducted in English as a lingua franca because employees speak many different languages (Korean, Chinese, Spanish, Russian).  Non-native speaking technicians also said:  They feel insecure speaking and understanding English, with their clients and their boss.  Their clients rarely speak to them and they rarely speak to their clients.
  7. 7. + Results  Native English speaking nail technicians all said:  Contrary to the non-native speakers, their clients come to relax and often talk about their personal lives.  Clients do all of the talking and nail technicians mostly listen and ask leading questions.
  8. 8. + Results  Nail salon owners, nail technicians, and beauty schools were all disappointing sources of information.  Non-native speaking salon owners and technicians did not have enough English to adequately express their needs.  None had the metacognitive ability or interest to analyze what language they use or need.  All were suspicious of my motives and extremely pressed for time.
  9. 9. + Results  Customer interviews provided a huge amount of quality information.  Customers felt that non-native speakers are rough, curt, and treat them like an object.  Every interview referred to a fear that nail technicians are talking about them to other nail technicians.  Some customers thought they would tip more if they felt more connected to the person doing their nails.  All customers wanted their nail technician to make basic small talk with them.
  10. 10. + Interpretation of Results  Coworkers: Learners need basic English skills for communicating among other employees and their boss.  Communicative needs: Nail technicians need safe opportunities to practice speaking and listening.  Customers: Even basic pleasantries in English would make technicians’ customers feel more relaxed and connected, and would increase their chances of making more money in tips.
  11. 11. + Curriculum: English for Co-workers  Learn concepts that will help communication with their boss.  Money and time: numbers, making change, understanding tips, telling time, prices  Learn vocabulary that will help them in their job.  Technical terms like: backfill, base coat, bonding, decal, foil manicure, gel wrap, glue, colors, linen wrap, quick dry, tips  Instrument names like: buffer, cuticle nipper, emery board, scissors, brush, clipper  Learn how to make pleasantries.  Small talk skills for making friends
  12. 12. + Curriculum: Communicative Activities  Create activities that are focused on speaking and listening.  Ask students to think about small talk in their own culture and language. See if the subjects are transferrable.  Review what is inappropriate in the United States to discuss in small talk.  Play games that require having to think quickly, change subjects, and speak often.
  13. 13. + Curriculum: English for Customers  Teach American ideas of relaxation and indulgence.  Practice small talk skills.  Learn how to compliment sincerely.  Teach American manners and gestures.  Review modals and how they can soften speech acts.
  14. 14. + Bibliography  Lofstrom, Magnus. "Labor market assimilation and the self-employment decision of immigrant entrepreneurs", Journal of Population Economics 15.1 (2002): 83. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 18 Oct. 2010.  Nussbaum, E. “A Stranger’s Touch”, New York Magazine, November 25, 2007,, taken October 18, 2010.  Greenhouse, Steven. “At Nail Salons, Beauty Treatments Can Have a Distinctly Unglamorous Side”, The New York Times, August 19, 2007., taken October 18, 2010.  Pearce, Susan. “Today’s Immigrant Woman Entrepreneur”, The Diversity Factor, Summer 2005, New Frontiers, Volume 13, Number 3.  Pratt, M. “The ABC’s and 123’s of Customer Service”, Nails Magazine, Nails Career Handbook Supplement, 2009,, taken October 18, 2010.  Kang, M. “The Managed Hand: The Commercialization of Bodies and Emotions in Korean Immigrant- Owned Nail Salons,” Gender and Society, Vol. 17, No. 6, December 2003., taken September 29, 2010.