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August 2006 issue

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Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
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Special Report
Market Report
Course Guide
Spotlight - Germany
Spotlight - Italy
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Regional Focus
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France uncertain

Pockets of civil unrest in France at the end of 2005 and earlier this year affected the market for language schools in some areas of the country although elsewhere, a good performance was noted. Gillian Evans reports.

When talking of this year';s market performance, there is an air of caution among French language schools in France. At the end of 2005, dramatic pictures of burning cars and mobs of rioters in France were beamed out across the globe by the international media. Then, in March this year, university students took to the streets to demonstrate against certain regulations that were being ushered in by the government. Both these incidents have caused some language travellers to rethink their study plans, according to institutions.

Béatrice Renu at Carel Centre Audiovisuel de Royan pour l';Etude des Langues in Royan reports that the riots last year "deterred foreign students from coming to France" and, by the first quarter of 2006, she says enrolments were low as a direct result of the more "recent events in France". Sandrine Valadoux, Educational and Marketing Manager at Ecole Perl in Paris, also reports low numbers for this year. "[Enrolment figures are] very bad – a fall of almost 30 per cent - thanks to the [university] riots and the [depiction of these by] the media."

But not all schools have suffered. At Education en France in Paris, the effects of the civil unrest in France have not impacted on bookings, says Delphine Crevelle at the school. "So far, enrolments for our summer programmes are higher than last year at the same time and include a [good] variety of nationalities," she reports. "Even though the events in France did not help, with several groups kept their bookings on hold waiting to see what would happen next."

An additional factor has also hampered the market, according to sources. Florence Gaudry, Director of Studies at Accent Français in Montpellier, believes that there is a general trend away from learning French in France. "For numerous foreign countries, France is not the ‘ideal country'; any more," she says, adding that Spain is often chosen over France. Renu also believes that the French language has lost its appeal internationally. She notes, "[There is] no real dynamic promotion at government level of French learning."

Notwithstanding these negative influences, the French language market performed relatively well last year, with many sources reporting a hike in student numbers. At Accent Français, enrolments increased by 10 per cent in 2005, according to Gaudry. "We are growing because we develop new courses without much competition from other schools in France," she asserts. At Ecole Perl, numbers jumped by 15 per cent in 2005, which Valadoux puts down to their marketing as well as favourable exchange rates.

French language schools cannot be accused of resting on their laurels when it comes to marketing. "We recruit by the Internet," says Gaudry. "That';s why we have 40 different nationalities at [the] school. Now we want to extend our market with agent contacts. The ideal should be 50 per cent of recruitment with agencies."

Although the USA and Europe account for the majority of French language students, many schools have been spreading their marketing activities into new areas. "We [have] opened up to the Russian market and improved our numbers [from] all Eastern European countries," says Crevelle, and for 2006 they are targeting other markets. "Besides the ones that we';ve been working with for several years, in 2006 we are responding to demand from ‘new'; countries including USA, Canada, Brazil, Italy and Asia – mostly Japan – which will bring a new dimension to our international programmes."

Some schools say they are limiting their marketing campaigns to countries with which France has visa agreements, but Crevelle reports relatively few visa refusals. Philippe Minereau at Elit-Groupe St Denis in Loches also reports success in getting visa acceptance for students, but says this is because of the school';s efforts with the visa issuing authorities. "We travel a lot and meet the French Embassies'; representatives in order to explain our job and concern about young students," he explains. 

Looking to the future, many sources are reluctant to give predictions. However, Gaudry is hoping that the summer will bring a new crop of students. "After a hard winter due to social and political reasons, it is going to be a good summer!" she asserts.


Course trends

Flexibility is the key to success for French language schools in France. Sandrine Valadoux of Ecole Perl in Paris states, "It seems that students prefer to stay for shorter periods but in more intensive [courses]." She says that one of Ecole Perl';s attractions is that it offers a wider range of tuition options, from four hours a week to 28 and courses running for one to 40 weeks.

Flexibility and listening to customer demand has been the driving force behind course changes at Education en France, says Delphine Crevelle at the school. "We have experienced some changes in demand for particular courses, therefore we are adapting our product offer to match the demand. For instance, in 2006, for the summer programmes, we will be offering an optional preparation course for the Delf [exam] as well as a course oriented towards business," she says. "We also extended the dates of the programme in some destinations with a June start in Biarritz and a programme in Cannes ending later than mid-August."

As well as looking for a more intensive learning experience, schools report students are requesting courses that combine learning French with a specific interest. "More and more students are [looking] for cookery lessons and art & design courses," reports Philippe Minereau at Elit-Groupe St Denis in Loches. "We are working on this, although it takes some time to set things up." Florence Gaudry at Accent Français in Montpellier also reports a trend for "more and more specific requests" such as courses for families.

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Language Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.

Name

Company
Country
Telephone

Email


ACQUISITIONS
ELT Acquisitions

AGENTS
EduQuality.net

ASSOCIATIONS
/GROUPS
Asociación Gallega
      de Escuelas de
      Español - (Spain)
Brighton & Hove
      Group (UK)
Capls - Canadian
      Association of
      Private Language
      Schools
CLC - Canada
      Language Council
Education New
      Zealand Trust
Eltasa (South Africa)
English Australia
Feltom (Malta)
Ialc (International)
MEI~Relsa (Ireland)
OLE - Español en
      Andalucía (Spain)
Quality English
      (International)

EXAMINATION BOARDS
Trinity College
      London

INSURANCE
AVI International

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority

WORK PLACEMENT COMPANIES
LAF
Work Experience UK

WORKSHOPS/EXPOS
English Australia
      Workshop
CEC Network
IHWO Workshop

AUSTRALIA
English Australia
IH Sydney
University of
      Western Australia

CANADA
Académie des
      Langues de Trois-
      Pistoles
Access International
Algonquin College
      Ottawa
Archer Education
      Group
Bodwell College
Capls - Canadian
      Association of
      Private Language
      Schools
CLC - Canada
      Language Council
Carleton University
      Centre for Applied
      Language Studies
College of New
      Caledonia
Conestoga College
CSLI
East Coast School
      of Languages
ELS Language
      Centers
English Language
      Training College
Global Village
      (Australia, Canada,
      USA)
Humber College
IH Vancouver
ILAC - International
      Language Academy
      of Canada
inlingua Vancouver
International
      Language Schools
      of Canada
Intrax English
      Institute
KTC Language
      Centre
Language Studies
      Canada
Lethbridge
      Community College
Malaspina University
      College
Modus Language
      Institute
Mount Royal College
National School of
      Languages
Pacific Language
      Institute
Pacific-Global
      Language Centre
Richmond School
      District # 38
Saint Mary's
      University
Selkirk College
Stewart College of
      Languages
University Canada
      West
University of Calgary
University of Guelph
Vancouver
      Community College
      International
      Education
Vancouver English
      Centre
Vancouver YMCA
      International
      College
Vanwest College
Worldwide
      Language Institute
YMCA Greater
      Montreal
      International
      Language School

CHINA
Mandarin House

ECUADOR
Quito S.I. Spanish
      Institute

ENGLAND
Anglolang Academy
      of English

Aspect (Australia,
      Canada, England,
      France, Germany,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, Scotland,
      South Africa, Spain,
      USA)
Beet Language
      Centre
Bell International
      (Malta, UK)
Berlitz Language
      Centres: Oxford,
      Edinburgh, Bristol,
      Birmingham
Bristol Language
      Centre
Cambridge Academy
      of English
Camp Beaumont
Churchill House
Cicero Languages
      International
College for
      International
      Education
Eastbourne School
      of English
EC Brighton
Eckersley School of
      English
English Centre at
      Hampstead Garden
      Suburb Institute
English Language
      Centre Brighton &
      Hove
English Studio
Excel English
      Language School
Frances King School
      of English
Home Language
      International
      (Argentina,
      Australia, Austria,
      Brazil, Canada,
      Chile, China,
      Czech Republic,
      Denmark, Egypt,
      Finland, France,
      Germany, Holland,
      Hungary, Ireland,
      Italy, Japan, Malta,
      NZ, Norway, Poland,
      Portugal, Russia,
      Spain, Sweden,
      Switzerland, UK,
      USA, Venezuela)
IH Newcastle
International House
      World Organisation
      (Argentina,
      Australia, Canada,
      China, Cuba, Czech
      Republic, Egypt,
      England, France,
      Germany, Hungary,
      Ireland, Italy, Latvia,
      Lithuania, Malaysia,
      Malta, Mexico, New
      Zealand, Poland,
      Portugal, Russia,
      Saudi Arabia,
      South Africa, Spain,
      Switzerland, Turkey,
      UK, Uruguay, USA)
InTuition Languages
      (Australia, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, South America,
      Spain, UK, USA)
LAF
Lake School of
      English
LAL Language and
      Leisure (England,
      Malta, South Africa,
      USA)
Languages Out
      There (England,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, Spain)
Liverpool School of
      English
London School of
      English
Malvern House
Mountlands
      Language School
Oxford Intensive
      School of English
      (Australia, England,
      France, Germany,
      Spain, USA)
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's
      College
Shane Global
      Language Centres
      (England, New
      Zealand,
      South Africa)
St Giles College,
      Brighton
St Giles Colleges
      (UK, USA)
Study Group
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa,
      Spain, USA)
Taunton
      International
      Study Centre
University of Sussex
Wayfarer School of
      English (Oxford)
West London
      Business College
Wimbledon School
      of English
Work Experience UK

FRANCE
Accord
BLS - Bordeaux
      Language Studies
EICAR- Paris
      International Film
      School
Institut Linguistique
      Adenet
IH Nice

GERMANY
Carl Duisberg
      Centren
      (England, Germany)
inlingua Berlin
IH Berlin - Prolog
Lichtenberg Kolleg
      E.V.

IRELAND
American College
      Dublin
ATC Language &
      Travel
Cork Language
      Centre International
DCU Language
      Services
Dublin School of
      English
Emerald Cultural
      Institute
English Language
      Institute
High Schools
      International
      (England, Australia,
      Canada, Ireland,
      USA)
Linguaviva Centre
MEI~Relsa
Swan Training
      Institute


ITALY
IH - Palermo
IH Team Lingue -
      Lecco-Merate

MALTA
EC - English
      Language Centres
      (England, Malta)
English Language
      Academy
Feltom
IH- Malta-Gozo
Linguatime
Malta Tourism
      Authority
NSTS (Head Office)

NEW ZEALAND
Auckland English
      Academy
Education New
      Zealand Trust
Languages
      International
Rotorua English
      Language Academy

POLAND
York School

PORTUGAL
IH Lisbon

RUSSIA
Liden & Denz
      Language Centre

SCOTLAND
EAC Language
      Centres and Activity
      Camps (England,
      Ireland, Scotland,
      Wales)
KBS - Kelvin
      Business School
Live Language

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Studies -
      Pacific Gateway
      Study Group
Eltasa
Eurocentres Cape
      Town
Good Hope Studies
inlingua Language
      Training Centre
      Cape Town
Interlink School of
      Languages
LAL Cape Town
LAL Durban
Shane Global
      Language Centres -
      Cape Town

SPAIN
Asociación Gallega
      de Escuelas de
      Español - AGAES
Colegio de Español
      La Janda
      - IH La Janda
¿? don Quijote
Enforex Spanish in
      the Spanish World
Escuela de Español
      la Brisa S.L.
Escuela de Idiomas
      Nerja
Escuela
      Internacional
Hispalengua
Instituto
      Mediterráneo Sol s.l.
IH Córdoba
IH San Sebastian -
      Lacunza
IH Sevilla - CLIC
Kingsbrook -
      Spanish for
      Foreigners
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispánico SL
OLE - Español en
      Andalucía
Pamplona Learning
      Spanish Institute

SWITZERLAND
Academia Sprach-
      und Lernzentrum.
EF Language
      Colleges Ltd
      (Australia, Canada,
      China, Ecuador,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, Malta, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Scotland, Spain,
      USA)
Eurocentres
      International
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Italy,
      Japan, New
      Zealand, Russia,
      Spain, Switzerland,
      USA)

URUGUAY
IH Montevideo

USA
Academia Language
      School
American Language
      Communication
      Center
Boston School of
      Modern
      Languages
ELS Language
      Centers
Hun School of
      Princeton
IH Portland
Kaplan Educational
      Centers (Canada,
      England, USA)
Oak International
      (Ireland,
      Switzerland, USA)
University of
      California Riverside
University of
      California San Diego
University of
      California Santa
      Barbara
University of
      California Santa
      Cruz
Zoni Language
      Centers

WALES
CELTiC (Schools)
      Ltd