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Contents - February 2005


Special Report:
The evolution of ELT
Now a multi-million dollar business, the English language teaching (ELT) industry is at least a century old, but it only really took off from the 1960s onwards. From small language schools set up by trailblazers with visions of international exchange, to the global language school companies of today, Amy Baker charts some of the key operators of the ELT industry. Some original pioneers also share their memories of the early days.


City Focus:
Seville in Spain
With flamenco, fiestas and fantastic cuisine, Seville offers an experience of Spain that will not disappoint language travellers. Its impressive architecture and university also add an air of grandeur to the city. Jane Vernon Smith takes a tour of the city.



Destination:
Florida in the USA
A warm climate, significant tourism infrastructure and notable Latin American influence give Florida a safe yet exotic appeal. The state offers white sand beaches, lively cities, the famous Florida Keys as well as access to the
'deep South'.



Opinion

Pioneering spirit
Taking a step back in time to see how the English language teaching industry evolved, for this issue's Special Report, proved to be a salutary experience. It was inspirational to see how ideals of promoting international communication, and a pioneering spirit, characterised the formative years of the industry.

The ELT industry only really took off from the 1960s onwards, and in many cases, the first language schools were set up by people with bold plans and a desire to embrace international exchange. These same values still hold true for many working in the industry and typify why people enjoy working so much in this domain, as I am often told. Most genuinely enjoy the international friends made and the personal growth achieved through intercultural connections; profit and success are not their only motivations.

The industry has clearly come a long way. From no regulation, the worldwide industry is increasingly well maintained in terms of meeting consumer expectations and government rule. In Australia, one school points to the sophisticated regulatory set-up as a saving grace of an industry that has its vitality under the microscope.

As has been well documented, many markets have not had the easiest ride in the last 18 months, and the mainstream education sector of the USA has witnessed a slowdown in international student numbers turn into a decline. However, if selected readers' opinions are anything to go by, the outlook is by no means dismal. All the agents giving their views in our 'Industry issues' section forecast that study abroad among their clientele will continue to rise in popularity, for reasons ranging from parent power to a developing job market.

If the study abroad market's potential continues to expand, then more evolution can clearly be expected, in terms of regulation and associated services. The French government, for one, is considering joining the standards drive and introducing a national accreditation scheme, which association Souffle may incorporate into its charter.

In Australia, another government initiative aims to improve the efficiency of the visa system. Selected agents in Thailand, India and China can now bypass the paper application stage of visa issuance and apply directly for a student visa on behalf of clients. Perhaps a modern twist on a pioneering approach to furthering international exchange?


Opinion
Pioneering spirit
Taking a step back in time to see how the English language teaching industry evolved, for this issue's Special Report, proved to be a salutary experience. It was inspirational to see how ideals of promoting international communication, and a pioneering spirit, characterised the formative years of the industry.

News
Open Doors: mainstream sector suffers in USA
UK schools to be linked up overseas
EFL Services rebrands and expands
IDP in cash crisis
English [Out There!] expands reach
Irish trade mission to Korea, Japan

Travel News
Ryanair diversifies further
Korean Air
's bold plans
Asia Pacific tipped as growth region

Agency News
BC crisis in Turkey resolved
Australia trials agent e-visa system

Agency Survey
Russia
's buoyant mood
Strong growth in the Russian language travel market was largely fuelled by a stable economy and a desire by students to improve their prospects, according to this year
's Agency Survey.

Feedback
Italy feedback
More Americans were present at Italian language schools, according to our most recent Feedback survey, and student satisfaction levels were unanimously positive.

Course Guide
UK summer schools
There are a number of attractions of studying on a summer school programme at a mainstream school in the UK, not least of which is the vast number of exciting activities that are generally on offer.

Direction
Innovative learning
Although not a new concept in the language travel industry, activity-led language courses are a developing sector and agents are beginning to sit up and take notice. Bethan Norris finds out about the latest developments.

Spotlight
Cultural interest French courses
Combining French language learning with instruction in a cultural activity, such as cooking, wine tasting or exploring French literature, seems to be a growth market and the range of courses available in this field continues to expand.

Status
Status: Germany 2003
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine that aims to gather specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. Through our initiative, it is now possible to compare world market statistics.