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December 2006 issue

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Focus on language abilities of migrants

There continues to be a global political focus on the second language abilities of immigrants and migrants to foreign countries, as cross-border immigration increases. In Australia, a discussion paper has been released by the government that recommends tightening
the country’s citizenship requirements to include an English skills test and test of Australian history and values. Prime Minister, John Howard, said, “There’s overwhelming support in the Australian community for… a requirement that people who become Australian citizens have a working knowledge of English.”

The regime, if brought in, will have some flexibility such as for elderly parents joining their children. It will also mean that temporary residents who become permanent residents – such as students – can apply for citizenship after four years instead of five. However, several ethnic support groups have complained that the proposals discriminate against those from non-English speaking countries.

Sue Blundell of English Australia (EA) told Language Travel Magazine, “EA will certainly be making a submission in response to the discussion paper that has been released by the government. I anticipate that there will be a lot of debate in relation to the government’s responsibility for funding language/citizenship training or whether potential citizens will have to pay.”

Blundell added that it was anticipated that community colleges and other low cost providers would provide a large part of any English language training required, but added, “some providers of ELT for international students may see this as an opportunity. A lot will depend on the level of language required and the framework that the government puts in place for [language skill] assessment.”

Meanwhile, a new report undertaken by the Migrant Rights Centre in Ireland has recommended that all migrant workers should have English language courses made available to them. It states that a lack of proficiency in English is a key obstacle to integration, which leaves migrants vulnerable to exploitation, unemployment and deprivation. The report cited a lack of access to state-sponsored tuition and called for English language classes to be made available to all migrants.

Earlier this year, government ministers in the UK, Germany and the USA also spoke out of the need for migrants to learn the country’s national language in order to assimilate (see Language Travel Magazine, August 2006, page 6).


Fedele showcases Andalucia in Spain

With tourism body Turespaña backing the annual Fedele workshop, flying in agents from around the world and showcasing the leisure appeal of Andalucia, there was good feedback again this year from agent and educator participants alike.
The workshop, organised by the federation of national language schools’ associations in Spain, took place in Granada in September and hosted 63 schools keen to promote their programmes and institutions to over 90 agents. After a two-day workshop, two different excursions were organised for delegates – one to the Costa del Sol, which has been rebranded as Costa Tropicale, and one to Guadix.

“Everything went well and [the event] keeps growing from year to year,” commented Enrique Gomez of the Fedele team. Fernando Rivas of AIP Language Institute in Valencia agreed. “It has once again been a very successful workshop,” he said, “and the idea to change destinations [in Spain] each year enables each region of Spain to be promoted.”

One of the agents attending was Karin Busk Demuth from Eurostudy International in Denmark. She said she had attended most of the Fedele workshops because of their useful combination of workshop, social programme and cultural programme.

The social activities included dinners in local restaurants and a visit to the oldest peña (flamenco bar) in Spain. Exhibitor, Marie Rigaud from L’Etudiant in France, said, “It’s been very productive and interesting.” More photos on page 12.

“The size of the workshop is very nice,” she added, “and you always feel welcome by the Spaniards, not matter which part of Spain they take you to.”

Call for Scottish work rights to be extended

Universities UK has called for a ruling that provides a two-year visa extension to international students who have studied in Scotland to be made effective across the rest of the UK. In the first year of this scheme, part of the Fresh Talent Initiative introduced in 2005 to reverse Scotland’s population decline (see Language Travel Magazine, March 2004, page 6), there were 2,000 successful applicants for the visas.

Now, Professor Les Ebdon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bedford, said, “As far as immigration rules are concerned, we are supposed to be one nation, we don’t have devolved immigration rules.” While the UK government considers the request, it has already allowed all international postgraduate students a visa extension of one year upon graduating.

The scheme has already been criticised for being confusing as overseas graduates of Scottish universities and colleges are able to use their visas to work anywhere within the UK, including England, Wales and Northern Ireland (see Education Travel Magazine, November 2005, page 47).


Kaplan acquires Aspect education

International education company, Kaplan, has bought Aspection Education in a move that will mean the company now owns 36 English language schools in six different countries.

Aspect offers English language and cultural exchange programmes, test preparation, vocational training and academic preparation programmes in 19 schools, located in the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. Aspect CEO, David Jones will retain leadership of the schools and will lead the combined English language operations as part of the international division of Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions.

“Aspect will gain enormously from becoming part of a unique global education company, with unrivalled expertise in test preparation, professional training and private sector higher education,” said Jones.

Previously, Kaplan’s 17 language schools have largely been based in north America with one school in London, UK, so the acquisition of Aspect marks a change of direction for the company into new markets. John Polstein, CEO of Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, said, “Aspect and Kaplan share a depth of experience in the international education arena, and our businesses have complimentary strengths.”


UK government frets over language rule

A serious drop in the number of 16-year-olds taking a foreign language GCSE this summer in the UK has prompted the government to admit that it may consider a U-turn in policy and begin enforcing language learning again in the national school system. Education Secretary, Alan Johnson, expressed disappointment that entrants for GCSE French had dropped by 13 per cent and entrants for GCSE German had dropped by 14 per cent.

Two years ago, it became non-compulsory to study foreign languages in the latter stages of school from 14 years old; at the same time as strategies were announced to offer foreign language teaching to all seven-year-olds by 2010.



Victoria in Australia enjoys population boom

The population of Victoria in Australia is booming, and the current growth rate of 1.3 per cent means an extra 65,700 people resident in the state since March 2005. This tallies with the national growth rate of 1.3 per cent. Australia’s national population is expected to rise by one million residents over the next five years.

The majority of the new residents in Victoria, home to the city of Melbourne, are permanent and long-term visitors who plan to live, work or study there. State Treasurer, John Brumby, said the state’s AUS$6 milion (US$4.4 million) migration strategy had helped make Victoria the “number-one choice for migrants”.


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


ASSOCIATIONS/
GROUPS
Belta
English Australia
Fedele
Ialc
MEI-Relsa
Quality English

STUDENT WEBSITES
language-
       programs.net

TOURIST BOARDS
Fedele/Turlingua
Malta Tourism
       Authority

WORK EXPERIENCE/
INTERNSHIPS
Access
       International
Anglolang Academy
       of English
Aspect
Auckland English
       Academy
Cambridge Academy
       of English
Cape Studies -
       Pacific Gateway
       Study Group
Churchill House
Cork English College
Eastbourne School
       of English
Eckersley School of
       English
Excel English
Frances King
Kaplan Educational
       Centers
Lake School of
       English
Languages
       International
Malvern House
Modus Language
       Institute
Monash University
Prolog- International
       House Berlin
Rotorua English
       Language Academy
Tellus Group / Work
       Experience UK
University of
       California San Diego
Vancouver English
       Centre

WORKSHOPS/EXPOS
Belta
English Australia
IALC
MEI-Relsa

AUSTRALIA
English Australia
Monash University

CANADA
Access International
Immersion Baie-des-
       Chaleurs
Modus Language
       Institute
Vancouver English
       Centre

CHINA
Mandarin House

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)
Cambridge Academy
       of English
Churchill House
Cicero Languages
       Int.
Eastbourne School
       of English
Eckersley School of
       English
English Language
       Centre Brighton
       & Hove
Excel English
       Language School
Frances King School
       of English
Ialc
Lake School of
       English
LAL Language and
       Leisure
       (England, Malta,
       South Africa, USA)
London School of
       English
Malvern House
Millfield Enterprises
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's
       College
Study Group
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, New Zealand,
       South Africa,
       Spain, USA)
Tellus Group
West London
       Business College
Wimbledon School
       of English

GERMANY
Prolog- International
       House Berlin

IRELAND
Cork English College
       /Language &
       Activity Holidays
Galway Cultural
       Institute
Linguaviva Centre
MEI-Relsa

MALTA
Malta Tourism
       Authority

NEW ZEALAND
Auckland English
       Academy
Languages
       International
Rotorua English
       Language Academy

POLAND
York School

RUSSIA
Liden & Denz
       Language Centre

SCOTLAND
Stirling University

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Studies -
       Pacific Gateway
       Study Group
Good Hope Studies
Interlink School of
       Languages

SPAIN
Fedele/Turlingua

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
       Colleges Ltd

USA
American Language
       Communication
       Center
Brown University
California State
       University Fullerton
ELS Language
       Centers
Kaplan Educational
       Centers (Canada,
       England, USA)
Monterey Institute of
       International
       Studies
University of
       California Riverside
University of
       California San Diego
University of
       California Santa
       Cruz
Zoni Language
       Centers