Velez to teach Spanish for Retailers course in April

Monday, February 25, 2002

A Spanish for Retail Salespersons short course will be held for 10 consecutive Thursday mornings from 9 to 10:30 a.m., and will start on April 4. Local resident and City Councilman Hector Velez will be the instructor.

This course is designed for non-Spanish-speaking employees of grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores, department and discount stores and other retail businesses around the Storm Lake area who may come into contact with Spanish-speaking customers and clientele.

The goal of the course is to provide non-Spanish-speaking retail employees with specific Spanish language skills so they will be able to better assist their Spanish-speaking customers and clients with routine sales transactions, exchanges and refunds, thereby promoting better customer relations.

The Thursday morning course will provide immediate access to functional language skills for non-Spanish-speaking employees.

The language component utilizes phonetic encoding to address the most important Spanish commands, questions and phrases pertinent to daily retail interactions. No prior knowledge of Spanish is necessary to take the course.

Upon completion, participants will be able to use Spanish to greet customers and clients, express and receive dollar amounts, cash checks, make welfare card withdrawals, assist customers with the purchase of groceries, convenience store items, gas, alcohol, and/or tobacco, help the customer on the floor, sell numerous orders, wire money and conduct routine security tasks.

Participants will receive a 45-page comb-bound manual and two accompanying cassette tapes (one of which is double-sided) for the class, which will cover a variety of subjects.

The following retail work-specific language topics will be covered: Holiday and Special Greetings; Etiquette and Social Niceties; At the Cash Register; Methods of Payment; Cashing Checks; Gas Station and Convenience Stores; Grocery Stores and other Retail Stores; Assisting the Customer on the Floor; Fitting rooms; Exchanges and Refunds; Sale of Alcohol and Tobacco; Sale of Money Orders; Wiring Money; Security Issues; Spanish Surname System; Use of Commas and Decimals; Expressing Dollars and Cents; Dates; Retail Glossaries, and Signs.

A copy of the manual is available for review by interested citizens at both the Storm Lake Chamber of Commerce and at Iowa Central Community College.

Instructional methods used in the short course will include: modeling, intensive drill, choral response, alpha-beta line, learning pairs and triads, Total Physical Response, role-playing, simulations, and situation cards.

The course will be held at the Arrowhead Area Education Association building located at 824 Flindt Drive in Storm Lake.

The basic fee for the course will be $77.25 plus a text fee of $18.

To register for or to receive more information about the Spanish for Retailers class, contact the ICCC Storm Lake Center at 732-2991.