Shopkeepers in the walled city of Lefkoşa can now learn to speak basic English in around three months under a ground-breaking scheme launched by capital’s municipality.
Lefkoşa mayor Mehmet Harmancı revealed the plan this week to provide “vocational English” lessons for around 300 shopkeepers so they can communicate more effectively with visitors from other countries.
The language training is part of a municipality project to “revive tourism” in the city, he said.
“As part of this project we carried out a survey with all shopkeepers and staff to establish their expectations of the municipality and vocational English language training emerged as one of biggest needs,” Mr Harmancı told Cyprus Today.
“The training will have a positive impact on the socio-economic life of the city and of the country.
“Language is the basis of communication and through this training shopkeepers will be better able to express themselves, help customers and communicate with visitors.”
Two groups have already enrolled for the first English language courses which began on Tuesday and are expected to last 10 to 12 weeks, after which participants will be presented with a certificate. The scheme was made possible by funding from the Turkish Embassy’s aid committee.