December 2004 issue

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Canada feedback

This year's Feedback survey of students attending English language schools in Canada showed an increase in agent usage as well as a greater diversity of student nationalities in the classrooms.

Canada feedback at a glance
Total number of students: 246, female 134, male 106 (unknown 6)

Average age in years: 23.1

Average length of programme in weeks: 10.4

Average number of students per class: 10

Average number of hours of language tuition per week: 22

% of students who found their course through an agent: 45

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

% of students who had been on another language programme: 35

% of students who would recommend their school: 89

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
W Europe (32%)
C & E Europe (3%)
Asia (43%)
Middle East (4%)
C & L America (14%)
Unknown (4%)
1. Japanese (19%)
2.Korean (14%)
3.Spanish (10%)
4.Mexican (9%)
5.German (7%)
6.French (6%)
6.Taiwanese (6%)
8.Swiss (5%)
9.Chinese (4%)
9.Brazilian (4%)

In my class there are... How will you use your English in the future?
Too many students (11%)
Too many students who speak my language (15%)
Too many students from one other country (13%)
None of these (60%)
Unknown (1%)
For college study in Canada (14%)
For college study in another English speaking destination (16%)
For college study at home (17%)
For current/future work (46%)
For pleasure only (5%)
Unknown (2%)

How did you find your programme? Standard of your social programme
I saw it advertised (7%)
I found it on the Internet (17%)
It was recommended by an agent (45%)
It was recommended by a friend/relative (28%)
Unknown (3%)
Excellent (17%)
Good (44%)
Satisfactory (26%)
Poor (9%)
Unsatisfactory (1%)
Unknown (3%)

Standard of your academic programme Standard of your accommodation
Excellent (18%)
Good (54%)
Satisfactory (20%)
Poor (4%)
Unknown (4%)
Excellent (33%)
Good (35%)
Satisfactory (20%)
Poor (2%)
Unsatisfactory (2%)
Unknown (8%)

Standard of the teaching What is your accommodation while in Canada?
Excellent (54%)
Good (36%)
Satisfactory (8%)
Unknown (2%)
Host family (67%)
Residential/single room (15%)
Residential/dormitory (4%)
Other (13%)
Unknown (1%)

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

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (78%)
No (17%)
Unknown (5%)

Yes (57%)
No (37%)
Unknown (6%)

Yes (31%)
No (62%)
Unknown (7%)

Student nationality
An increased range of nationalities in Canadian classrooms was the most noticeable finding in this year's Feedback survey on Canada. Last year, Asian nationalities dominated language school enrolments, making up 68 per cent of our respondents, while this year Asian students made up just 43 per cent (see Language Travel Magazine, September 2003, pages 14-15). The most noticeable change in the nationality breakdown was the increase in the number of Western European students studying in Canada this year; they accounted for 32 per cent of the student body compared with just eight per cent last year. This finding was in part due to the large number of Spanish students found at two participating schools schools, although four Western European nationalities made it into the top ten this year, compared with just one last year.

Student motivation
Compared with last year, the number of students taking a language course in preparation for further education in Canada dropped by 17 percentage points while college study in another English-speaking country and in the student's home country, as reasons for learning English, increased by nine and eight percentage points respectively. This is largely due to the change in nationality mix in Canadian classrooms, with 63 per cent of the students who said that they were learning English for college study in their own country coming from Western Europe.

Student enrolment
In a continuation of a trend noticed last year, more students going to study in Canada are relying on agents to recommend and book their courses for them. Forty-five per cent of respondents found their course through an agent this year, compared with 42 per cent last year, and 58 per cent of students booked through an agent, compared with 39 per cent last year. South American and Asian students were the least likely nationalities to use the Internet to find their course with just nine per cent and 11 per cent respectively using this method.

Standard of the schools
Satisfaction levels among students were reasonably high this year with 89 per cent saying that they would recommend their school to others. Overall, 60 per cent of respondents were happy with the nationality mix and number of students in the classes, and of the 15 per cent who said that there were too many students of their own nationality in their class, 53 per cent were from Asia and 39 per cent were from Western Europe.

Living in Canada
A slightly larger group of students - 54 per cent - found it either easy or quite easy to practise their English with locals this year, compared with the 46 per cent who held this opinion last year. The average cost per week of a language course and accommodation in Canada was CAN$356 (US$279) and the nationalities who found the cost of living in Canada to be higher than in their own countries were predominantly Asian or Latin American.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: Ashton College, Vancouver, BC; Berlitz, Vancouver, BC; Bodwell Language School, Vancouver, BC; Canadian Business English Institution, Vancouver, BC; Canadian College of English Language, Vancouver, BC; Canadian International Student Services, Toronto, ON; Centre Linguista, Ottawa, ON; Four Corners Language Institute, Victoria, BC; Global Village Victoria, Victoria, BC; Heartland International English School, Winnipeg, MB; KTC Language Institute, Vancouver, BC; Language Circle, Hamilton, ON; Language Exchange, Toronto, ON; Language Studies Canada, Vancouver, BC; Language Studies International, Toronto, ON; Language Studies International, Vancouver, BC; Modus Language Institute, Vancouver, BC; UCC International, Kamloops, BC; Rainbow College, Vancouver, BC; Red Leaf Student Programs, Toronto, ON; Shane Global Village, Calgary, AB; Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary, AB; Tamwood International College, Vancouver, BC; Vancouver Community College, Vancouver, BC; Vancouver English Center, Vancouver, BC; Vancouver Premier College, Vancouver, BC; Worldwide Language Institute, Vancouver, BC; YMCA International College, Vancouver, BC.
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