April 2003 issue

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France feedback

Compared with last year's France Feedback, the students in this year's survey were younger and enrolled on shorter courses.

France feedback at a glance
Total number of students: 141 (female 105, male 35, unknown 1)
Average age in years: 23.8
Average length of programme in weeks: 15.7
Average number of students per class: 13
Average no. of hours of language tuition per week: 17.2
% of students who found their course through an agent or educational adviser: 38%
% of students who booked through an agent: 45%
% of students who had been on another language programme: 32%
% of students who would recommend their school: 84%

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
W Europe (50%)
Asia (24%)
C & E Europe (10%)
Latin America (9%)
North America (3%)
Others/unknown (4%)
1.Swiss (13%)
2.Japanese (12%)
3.Swedish (9%)
4.German (8%)
4.UK (8%)
5.Spanish (5%)
5.Korean (5%)
6.Chinese (4%)
7.Mexican (3%)
7.US (3%)

In my class there are... How will you use your French in the future?
Too many students (14%)
Too many students who speak my language (14%)
Too many students from one other country (15%)
None of these (52%)
Unknown (5%)
For college study in France (26%)
For college study in my home country (19%)
For current or future work (30%)
For pleasure only (22%)
Unknown (3%)

How did you find your programme? How easy was it to practise French with native speakers?
I saw it advertised (12%)
I found it on the Internet (21%)
It was recommended by an agent (38%)
It was recommended by a friend/relative (23%)
Unknown (6%)
Very easy (4%)
Quite easy (44%)
Quite hard (33%)
Very hard (12%)
Unknown (7%)

Did you book your course through an agent or educational adviser? Standard of your social programme
Yes (45%)
No (48%)
Unknown (7%)
Excellent (9%)
Good (30%)
Satisfactory (25%)
Poor (10%)
Unsatisfactory (7%)
Unknown (19%)

Standard of your academic programme Standard of your accommodation
Excellent (16%)
Good (45%)
Satisfactory (21%)
Poor (2%)
Unsatisfactory (3%)
Unknown (13%)
Excellent (20%)
Good (33%)
Satisfactory (13%)
Poor (4%)
Unsatisfactory (5%)
Unknown (25%)

Standard of the teaching What do you like most about France?
Excellent (46%)
Good (35%)
Satisfactory (4%)
Unsatisfactory/poor (2%)
Unknown (13%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (80%)
No (10%)
Unknown (10%)

Yes (42%)
No (48%)
Unknown (10%)

Yes (26%)
No (64%)
Unknown (10%)

Student nationality
Swiss students, who did not even make the top line up last year (see Language Travel Magazine, March 2002, pages 14-15), were the single largest nationality group in this issue's Feedback survey of students learning French in France. Japanese, which was only in seventh position last year, was the second largest group. Another notable change was in the proportion of US students, who only made up three per cent of the total number of students this year, compared with 11 per cent last year.

Student age and motivation
Compared with last year's average of just over 28 years, the average student age this year, at just under 24 years, was much lower. The average length of stay was also down from 15.7 weeks to 11.4 weeks. Nevertheless, the motivating factors for taking a language course in France remained more or less the same, with work being the most important reason. The proportion of students who said they were learning French for their college studies in France was up by five percentage points, while the number of students learning French for pleasure decreased from 33 per cent to 22 per cent this year.

Student enrolment
This year, a majority of students said they had found out about their French programme via an education adviser or agent. This was up from 24 per cent last year to 38 per cent this year. In addition, a sizeable 45 per cent of students said they had booked their course through an agent - although this was down from 61 per cent last year. Thirty-two per cent of students in this year's survey had been on a language travel programme before.

Standard of the schools
The standard of the schools was good, with 81 per cent of students indicating that the standard of the teaching was excellent or good, and 82 per cent saying that their academic programme was at least satisfactory. There were over 30 different student nationalities studying in the schools that took part in our survey and no single nationality made up more than 13 per cent. This meant that students were generally very satisfied with the nationality mix in their classes, with only 14 per cent indicating that they thought there were too many students in their class who spoke their own language. Although some class sizes were big - up to 25 students - only 14 per cent of respondents said they thought there were too many students in their class. Overall, 84 per cent of students said they would recommend their school to others, while 10 per cent said they would not (six per cent did not answer this question).

Living in France
The cost of living in France was found to be higher than at home by 47 per cent of students, while a further 28 per cent found it to be the same as in their home countries. Only 18 per cent found living expenses in France to be cheaper than at home (seven per cent did not reply). Among those who found it to be higher, this included all the Spanish students, 75 per cent of Mexicans and 50 per cent of Chinese.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey:
Alliance Française, Toulouse; Alliance Française, Rouen; Alpha B, Nice; Azurlingua, Nice; Centre International D'Antibes, Antibes; Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie, Nantes; Groupe ESC Dijon Bourgogne, Dijon; Groupe Scolaire St Denis, Loches; FPI Formation Postuniversitaire, Paris; Institut Linguistique Adenet, Montpellier; Inlingua Normandy, Rouen; International House, Nice; IS Aix-en-Provence, Aix-en-Provence; Langues Sans Frontieres, Montpellier; Université de Paris Sorbonne, Paris; Université de Savoie ISEFE, Chambéry.

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