April 2002 issue

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South Africa

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: Cape Town School of English and Foreign Languages, Cape Town; Cape Studies, Cape Town; English & TEFL Institute, Durban; Good Hope Studies, Cape Town; Inlingua, Cape Town; One World Language School, Cape Town; Shane English School, Cape Town.

The South African schools that took part in this survey offered a good standard of teaching and host family accommodation, and appealed to a mature, work-oriented clientele.

South Africa feedback at a glance

Total number of students: 57, female 32, male 25

Average age: 31.2 years

Average length of programme: 7.14 weeks

Average number of students per class: 5

Average no. of hours of language tuition per week: 22.6

% of students who found their course through an agent: 35%

% of students who booked through an agent: 53%

% of students who had been on another language programme: 54%

% of students who would recommend their school: 97% (unknown 2%)

Respondents by world region of origin In my class there are...
Western Europe (81%)
Africa (7%)
Asia (7%)

Unknown (5%)
Too many students (9%)
Too many students who speak my language (39%)
Too many students from one other country (0%)
None of these (47%)
Unknown (5%)

How will you use your English in the future?
For college study in South Africa (3%)
For college study in another English-speaking country (2%)
For college study in my home country (11%)
For current or future work (72%)
For pleasure only (12%)

How did you choose your programme?
I saw it advertised (19%)
I found it on the Internet (23%)
Recommended by an agent (35%)
Recommended by a friend (23%)

What was the standard of your academic programme? Did you book your course through an agent?
Excellent (16%)
Good (61%)
Satisfactory (11%)
Poor (0%)
Unsatisfactory (2%)
Unknown (10%)
Yes (53%)
No (47%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study? How easy was it to practise English with native speakers?
Yes (88%)
No (9%)
Unknown (3%)

Yes (75%)
No (23%)
Unknown (2%)

Yes (21%)
No (77%)
Unknown (2%)
Very easy (18%)
Quite easy (68%)
Quite hard (14%)
Very hard (0%)

What was the standard of your social programme? What was the
standard of your accommodation?
Excellent (23%)
Good (54%)
Satisfactory (7%)
Poor (2%)
Unsatisfactory (2%)
Unknown (12%)
Excellent (35%)
Good (42%)
Satisfactory (9%)
Poor (2%)
Unsatisfactory (0%)
Unknown (12%)

What was the standard of the teaching? Top natinalities
Excellent (49%)
Good (44%)
Satisfactory (5%)
Poor (2%)
Unsatisfactory (0%)
Swiss (37%)
German (32%)
French (7%)
Angolan (4%)
Korean (4%)
Chinese (2%)
Japanese (2%)
Mozambican (2%)
Polish (2%)
Spanish (2%)

What do you like most about South Africa?
1- Countryside
2- Language
2- People
3- Culture
4- Shopping
5- Food
6- Sport
7- Nightlife

Student nationality
German and Swiss students made up almost 70 per cent of students at the seven schools that took part in our South Africa Feedback survey, although this result was skewed because one school only canvassed students with a higher language level. In our previous survey, German students were the largest single nationality followed by Brazilians and Argentineans (see Language Travel Magazine, July 2000, pages 18-19). Most of the 39 per cent of students who said there were too many students who spoke their language in their class were from Germany and Switzerland. Noticeably absent from this year's results were Latin Americans, who made up 27 per cent of respondents in 2000. The share of African and Asian students was also down this year, from 11 per cent and nine per cent respectively, to seven per cent each.

Student age and motivation
South Africa attracts a more mature clientele than most other language travel destinations, with an average student age of 31.2 years, compared with, for example, 24.4 years in Australia (see Language Travel Magazine, February 2002, pages 18-19). The youngest students to take part in this survey were 19 years old, while 25 per cent were 26 to 30 years old and 37 per cent were aged from 31 to 50. Given the concentration of students over the age of 26, it follows that learning English for work purposes was by far the most common reason for taking a language course.

Student enrolment
This year, 35 per cent of students said they had found out about their course through an agent, while a total of 53 per cent had actually booked their course through an agent. In 2000, 25 per cent had chosen their course because of the recommendation of an agent (we did not ask whether they had booked through an agent).

Standard of the schools
Schools in South Africa offered a very high standard of provision. Overall, 93 per cent of our respondents said that the standard of the teaching was good or excellent, while 77 per cent said the same of the academic programme, social programme and the accommodation. Host family accommodation is generally of an extremely high standard in South Africa and this is borne out by the results of our survey. Sixty-five per cent of students were staying with host families and of these, 86 per cent said the standards were good or excellent.

Living in South Africa
Because of the relative weakness of the rand, most international students, particularly Western Europeans, find South Africa to be extremely inexpensive. In our survey, 88 per cent of students said they found the cost of living in South Africa to be lower than in their home countries, while four per cent said it was the same.

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