December 2003 issue

Travel News
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Agency Survey
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Market Report
Course Guide
City Focus

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Malta feedback

Although students who choose to study in Malta tend to be relatively young, their motives for learning English have become more serious, which has, in turn, bumped up the average length of stay.

Malta feedback at a glance
Total number of students: 84 - female 52, male 29 (unknown 3)

Average age in years: 24.4

Average length of programme in weeks: 4.27

Average number of students per class: 6

Average number of hours of language tuition per week: 19

% of students who found their course through an agent: 37

% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 58

% of students who had been on another language programme: 33

% of students who would recommend their school: 93

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
W Europe (63%)
C & E Europe (33%)
Asia (4%)
1.Italian (21%)
2.Russian (18%)
3.Spanish (10%)
4.German (8%)
4.Swiss (8%)
5.French (7%)
6.Czech (4%)
6.Japanese (4%)
7.Austrian (2%)
7.Belarus (2%)
7.Belgian (2%)
7.Slovakian (2%)

In my class there are... How will you use your English in the future?
Too many students (6%)
Too many students who speak my language (7%)
Too many students from one other country (8%)
None of these (74%)
Unknown (5%)
For college study in Malta (0%)
For college study in another English-speaking country (9%)
For college study in my home country (35%)
For current or future work (54%)
For pleasure only (2%)

How did you find your programme? How easy was it to practise English with native speakers?
I saw it advertised (6%)
I found it on the Internet (32%)
It was recommended by an agent (37%)
It was recommended by a friend/relative (21%)
Unknown (4%)
Very easy (7%)
Quite easy (60%)
Quite hard (31%)
Very hard (1%)
Unknown (1%)

Standard of the teaching Standard of your academic programme
Excellent (61%)
Good (38%)
Satisfactory (1%)
Excellent (27%)
Good (52%)
Satisfactory (18%)
Poor (2%)
Unknown (1%)

Standard of your accommodation Standard of your social programme?
Excellent (37%)
Good (39%)
Satisfactory (18%)
Poor (5%)
Unknown (1%)
Excellent (23%)
Good (54%)
Satisfactory (19%)
Poor (2%)
Unknown (2%)

Did you book your course through an agent or educational adviser? What do you like most about the Malta?
Yes (58%)
No (35%)
Unknown (7%)

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (66%)
No (32%)
Unknown (2%)

Yes (29%)
No (65%)
Unknown (6%)

Yes (32%)
No (63%)
Unknown (5%)

Student nationality
While Western Europeans made up the lion's share of the students who took part in this issue's Feedback survey of Malta, it is Central and Eastern Europeans whose share has increased dramatically over the past two years. This year, they accounted for a third of respondents, in contrast to just 20 per cent in 2001 when we last surveyed the Maltese market (see Language Travel Magazine, November 2001, pages 20-21). Their share has largely been boosted by an increase in Russian language travellers, who were in second place in the top nationalities league table this year - up from fifth place in 2001. The Maltese market remains heavily focused on the European market, with Asian students accounting for only four per cent of our respondents, and no other world regions being represented by students taking part in our survey.

Student age and motivation
Malta's summer market continues to attract a relatively young clientele, with 41 per cent of students in our survey being 19 years old or younger. However, the motivation for learning English has changed, with the vast majority of students having serious language learning goals. This year, 54 per cent of students said they were learning English for their current or future work, compared with 45 per cent in 2001, and 35 per cent were learning English for their studies at home this year, while only 26 per cent gave this answer in our previous survey. More striking, however, is that, in 2001, 20 per cent of students said they were learning English for pleasure, while only one per cent of our respondents gave this answer this year. The increase in serious motives for language studies has also pushed up the average length of stay, which increased from 2.6 weeks in 2001 to 4.27 weeks this year.

Student enrolment
The importance in recruitment of direct student advertising has decreased for the Maltese market, with only six per cent of students saying they had first found out about their school through an advertisement, compared with 20 per cent in 2001. The Internet, meanwhile, has become a more important tool for schools, with 32 per cent of students finding the school on the Internet this year. And although the share of students who heard of their school through an agency dropped from 47 per cent in 2001 to 37 per cent this year, a healthy 58 per cent of students actually booked their course through an agency.

Standard of the schools
The schools that took part in our survey were of a high standard, with no students grading any aspect of their course unsatisfactory. In fact, an impressive 99 per cent of students rated the standard of the teaching as excellent or good, while 79 per cent said the same of their academic programmes, and 77 per cent of their social programmes. Even the standard of accommodation, which often gets a significantly lower satisfaction rate, was deemed to be excellent or good by 76 per cent of students. Class sizes were small, ranging from one to 12 students, and averaging out at six students per class.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: AM Language Studio, Sliema; Burlington Academy Malta, St Julians; English Language Academy, Sliema; ESE European School of English, Gzira; Inlingua Malta, Sliema; International House Malta-Gozo, Gozo; Linguatime School of English, Sliema; Magister Academy, St Julians.
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