Georgian taxi drivers learn English

Drivers who have undertaken the course will be given ‘English Speaking Driver’ stickers to attach to their vehicles., 18 Jul 2014 - 13:56, Tbilisi,Georgia

English-speaking visitors to Georgia will be able to navigate the country easier as Georgian taxi drivers undergo an English language course to learn the language.

More than a dozen drivers have already passed the pilot of an English language course that was developed specifically for taxi drivers.

While their overall knowledge of the language was basic, the drivers’ newly acquired understanding of English would allow them to communicate with tourists and understand directions and give advice.

Drivers who have undertaken the course will be given ‘English Speaking Driver’ stickers to attach to their vehicles.

The new initiative was developed by the National Tourism Administration for the purpose of improving the local taxi service for foreigners.

Administration representative Eka Soselia said the project would allow drivers to learn English, but they would also take part in lectures to improve the quality of their service.

She said the lectures would prepare drivers for direct contact with English-speaking foreigners and offer advice to make their service an enjoyable one.

"[The lectures teach them] that they should not smoke a cigarette in the car and should not turn the music up too loud. These are details that they might already know but we are still giving them direction,” she said.

She added all taxi drivers were welcome to participate in the program and every candidate had equal opportunity, in spite of age or gender.

Applications to take part in the first round of the program ended on July 15. The National Tourism Administration said the course would be held during July and August and would involve about 20 participants.

If more drivers are interested in the program, additional courses would be established. The Administration said it was prepared to train up to 300 local taxi drivers.