Contents - April 2009

Special report
Personalised learning
One-to-one courses, where students are given individual language tuition either in a classroom environment or in a teacher’s own home, are increasing in popularity and the range of courses available is on the rise, with combination courses and family learning on offer, for example. Being in control of their own learning is a particular attraction for some students, while the impressive results often experienced by students in a short space of time are also an incentive. Bethan Norris reports.

Market Report
Australia’s good position
The Australian dollar’s relative weakness may be a blessing for English language schools in the country in the face of economic uncertainty around the world. So far, so good seems to be the mantra down under. Amy Baker reports.

City Focus
St Julian’s and Sliema
Malta’s warm Mediterranean climate beckons students to go and study English in the sunshine. Blue sea, clear skies and a laid-back vibe are the perfect way to ease students into language learning abroad. Nicola Hancox takes a tour of two main coastal resorts.


Two-way support

At the beginning of this year, I was cautious and hesitant to daub too many bright colours on the picture I painted of the outlook for the year. Yet while people seemed braced for a tight year, there also seemed to be optimism that education would continue to be an essential expense in the eyes of many.

Now, as the year unfolds a little more, I am feeling increasingly confident, and I imagine you may be sitting in the same boat. In this issue, we hear that at the time of going to press, bookings were slightly up in Australia for January compared with 2008 trends. And among Ialc members, enrolments are at least steady for the majority of the membership, if not up a little.

I have just read a contribution for a “View from the Desk of” – which appears each week as part of our regular Your World on Monday webzine that you will find on our Hothouse Media website – and I have to say that the news from one UK school is nothing less than extremely positive. Let’s hope this buoyancy can continue as the year progresses.

Among agencies, particularly in Europe, there is expansion happening too, with new branches being opened by businesses that are clearly prospering. One of these agencies points to a move into the work & travel sector as a possible safeguard against any downturn in demand. As we say in the UK, not putting all your eggs in one basket is always a sensible strategy, and in another article in this issue, we learn another useful expression from Germany: “It is always better to stand on two legs”.

This is a quote in relation to “roundbound” business, a term that was explained to me by Andreas Beyer from Exploricus/Educatius – another company that operates an inbound (educator) and an outbound (agency) division. Such hybrid companies may not be the norm, but they are certainly not uncommon, and they put a whole new spin on the notion of partnership if two such composite companies should work together.

Agencies and educators are always on the lookout for new strategies to consider that might lead to increased business revenues. Whether it is tangential business development, investment in school buildings or becoming an Ielts test centre , the first people to know will normally be business partners, whose support and comradeship is essential in 2009 as it is every year.

Two-way support

Canada poised for action
London schools undergo revamp
Navitas posts record half-year profits
Japan considers two-year student visa
Malta builds relationship with Poland
UK provider signs online deal in Iraq
New approach to visa processing in the UK and Australia

Agency News
Language travel agencies expand in Europe
ICEF toasts success in Dubai and Miami

Agency Survey
Turkey resolute
The Turkish market fared well in 2008 with agents reporting positive business growth. Meanwhile, fairs and exhibitions provided plenty of new business opportunities for agencies.

New Zealand
Asia remains New Zealand’s biggest source region, however Western Europeans are making good ground. Meanwhile, this year’s Feedback survey on New Zealand also reveals that agent usage has remained consistent.

Roundbound business
Much is made in this industry of the power of partnerships between agency and school, yet in actual fact, many companies operate both as an agency and a school, blurring the original boundaries of business interest, or they may have an ownership stake in a partner company. Amy Baker reports.

UK summer
Summer vacation programmes in the UK are moving with the times. A whole battalion of activity options means that clients can feel connected and motivated in the extra-curricular environment or consider academic add-ons instead.

Course Guide
Foundation UK
Foundation programmes (also known as access courses) offer international students an alternative route into university. By concentrating on subjects applicable to the degree course they wish to persue, they can pick up on specific terminology and develop relevant skill sets.

Status 2008
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine that aims to gather specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. Through our initiative, it is now possible to compare world market statistics.