December 2010 issue

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USA Feedback

The US language teaching market continues to attract volumes of Asian students, however, the Middle East is proving to be an alternative and lucrative source. Once again tuition and living expenses were a concern for students.

US Feedback at a glance

Total number of students: (female 78, male 67, unknown 9) 154
Average age in years:
Average length of programme in weeks:
Average number of students in class:
Average number of hours of language tuition per week: 22
% of students who found out about their course through an agent:
% of students who booked through an agent or adviser:
% of students who had been on another language programme:
% of students who would recommend their school:

Respondents by world region of origin Top nationalities
1. Asia 37%
2. W Europe 20%
3. Latin America 16%
4. C & E Europe 9%
5. Middle East 9%
6. Africa 2%
No reply 7%
1. Korean 15%
2. Japanese 12%
3. Saudi 8%
4. Brazilian 6%
4. Chinese 6%
4. Italian 6%
4. Spanish 6%
8. Venezuelan 5%
9. Colombian 3%
9. Swiss 3%

In my class there are... How easy is it to practise your language skills with native speakers?
1. The right amount of students (61%)
2. Too many students from one other country 15%
3. Too many students 12%
4. Too many students who speak my language 9%
No reply 3%
1. Quite easy (38%)
2. Quite hard (34%)
3. Very easy (16%)
4. Very hard (8%)
No reply 4%

How did you find your programme? Did you book your course through an agent or an educational adviser?
1. Recommended by an agent (39%)
2. I found it on the Internet (30%)
3. Recommended by a friend/relative (28%)
4. I saw it advertised 2%
No reply 1%
Yes (50%)
No (42%)
Unknown (8%)

Student reasons for school selection included:
“Fees, location, fewer students from my country”
“Good service, friendly staff and I heard it is a good school”
“I have the opportunity to take English with dancing courses and acting”
“The chance for me to study at UCLA and more Europeans that Asians”
“Tuition is cheap, interesting programme and in Los Angeles”
“On the Internet the site looked professional”

Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Yes (88%)
No (7%)
Unknown (5%)

Yes (69%)
No (25%)
Unknown (6%)
Yes (40%)
No (53%)
Unknown (7%)

Student nationality
There was a good cross section of nationalities in this month’s Feedback survey on the USA. Overall, 36 different domiciles were recorded by the 13 providers that took part, with Asian students the most prolific. This world region was represented by 37 per cent of the student sample, a marked difference to the 51 per cent recorded last year (see LTM, September 2009, pages 26-27). Meanwhile, the number of Western Europeans dipped marginally, from 28 per cent to 20 per cent, while both Central Eastern European and Latin American experienced increases, up six and four percentage points respectively. Korean students remained the single most numerous nationality group, down two percentage points to 15 per cent, followed by Japanese students. Saudi students impacted greatly on the survey this year, jumping from ninth to third place with an eight per cent share of the nationality mix. In fact, the Middle East appears to be a real growth area for US schools, accounting for nine per cent of the student base.

Student motivation
A greater proportion of students (48 per cent) signalled that they presently used English for their studies at home while 36 per cent indicated that they currently used English at work. Over half of all feedback respondents reported that they would continue to use their newly honed language skills in a current or future work capacity, highlighting the languages’ continued prevalence in the workplace. The remainder were motivated by further studies in the US (25 per cent), tertiary study at home (12 per cent) or higher education in another English-speaking country (eight per cent). Of those interested in continuing their education in the USA, 16 per cent were Saudi, 13 per cent were Chinese and 13 per cent were Japanese. Ranging from 17-to-61 years of age, statistics show the dominant age group was 19-to-24 year olds (43 per cent).

Student enrolment
Slightly more feedback respondents used an educational adviser or agent to source their school this year, up six percentage points to 39 per cent, with a further 50 per cent booking a language programme based on the advice received (compared with 48 per cent last year). The information found on a school’s website proved conducive for 30 per cent of the student sample, while 28 per cent of students relied on the advice of friends.

Standard of the schools
Class sizes were slightly bigger than last year – numbers ranged from two to 20, compared with three to 16. However, 61 per cent of our student respondents agreed that both class size and nationality spread was “just right”. A further 15 per cent thought there too many students from one other country, a majority of whom were Korean, Japanese or Venezuelan, and a further 12 per cent thought their class had too many students full stop; 26 per cent of which were Japanese. This did not detract, however, from how highly students rated the school with an impressive 95 per cent saying they would happily recommend it to others.

Living in the USA
A majority of respondents (66 per cent) found that the cost of living was much higher in the USA than at home; Korean was the predominant nationality that shared this view (20 per cent), followed by Saudis (12 per cent). The average student spend per week was similar to last year; US$498 compared with US$497.

Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: Boston School of Modern Languages, Boston, MA; Bridge English, Denver, CO; California State University Fullerton ALP, Fullerton, CA; ELC, Boston, MA; ELC, Los Angeles, CA; Embassy CES, Boston, MA; Embassy CES, Fort Lauderdale, FL; Embassy CES, San Diego, CA; Embassy CES, San Francisco, CA; Embassy CES Seattle, WA; Geos, Los Angeles, CA; Geos, New York, NY; Geos, San Francisco, CA; LAL, Fort Lauderdale, FL; Language Studies International, Los Angeles, CA; Language Studies International, Alhambra, CA; Rennert, Miami, FL; Rennert, New York, NY; San Diego University American Language Institute, San Diego, CA; International English Institute, Nashville, TN; Syracuse University ELI, Syracuse, NY.
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.






IALC International  
NEAS Australia  

Alphe Conferences  
IALC International  

Pearson Education  

Dr. Walter GmbH  

LTM Digital  
Student Marketing  

Malta Tourism

Twin Group  

NEAS Australia  

College Platon  

Academia de
      Español Surpacífico

Cambridge Education
International House
Kaplan Aspect  
King's Colleges  
LAL Central
      Marketing Office  
Queen Ethelburga's
Sedbergh School  
Study Group  
Twin Group  
University of Essex -
      International Academy

International House
      Berlin - Prolog  


Genki Japanese
      and Culture School  
Kai Japanese
      Language School  
      Education Academy

Alpha School of
      Language School  
Malta Tourism

Malaga Si  

Cape English
      Language School  

EF Language
      Colleges Ltd  

California State
      University Chico  
Califorinia State
California State
      University Long
ELS Language
IH New York  
San Diego
      State University  
Zoni Language

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