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Schools were rated highly by students in France; many of whom were simply learning the language for pleasure.
France feedback at a glance
Total number of students: 171
Average age in years: 29
Average length of programme in weeks: 9.5
Average number of students in class: 9
Average number of hours of language tuition per week: 19
% of students who found out about their course through an agent: 33
% of students who booked through an agent or adviser: 49
% of students who had been on another language programme: 40
% of students who would recommend their school: 93
Respondents by world region of origin
1. W Europe 52%
2. North America 14%
2. Australasia 14%
4. Asia 8%
5. C & E Europe 4%
5. Latin America 4%
7. Middle East 1%
No reply 3%
1. German 16%
2. Australian 13%
3. American 11%
4. Swedish 9%
5. British 7%
6. Spanish 5%
7. Swiss 4%
7. Korean 4%
7. Mexican 4%
In my class there are...
How easy is it to practise French with native speakers?
Too many students (1%)
Too many students of my language (12%)
Too many students from one other countries (9%)
The right amount of students (78%)
1. Quite easy (45%)
2. Quite hard (40%)
3. Very easy (9%)
4. Very hard (2%)
No reply (4%)
How did you find your programme?
Did you book your course through an agent or an educational adviser?
1. I found it on the Internet (37%)
2. It was recommended by an agent (33%)
3. It was recommended by a friend/relative (23%)
4. I saw it advertised (7%)
Student reasons for school selection included:
“My mother studied at this school a few years ago and she learned a lot.”
“It looked like the most well organised on the website”
“Because I wanted a school near Paris and my agent recommended it”
“It has a good reputation and it’s situated in the south of France”
“Because of the Rugby World Cup”
Before looking for your course, did you know where you wanted to study?
Country Yes (89%)
Unknown (3%) City/town Yes (46%)
School Yes (23%)
Student nationality France continues to boast a good spread of nationalities across its language schools, as just over half of the students surveyed this year came from Western Europe (52 per cent), which is similar to the 47 per cent recorded in our previous survey (see Language Travel Magazine, January 2007, pages 18-19). In fact, this is also similar to levels recorded in Ireland and Malta in recent Feedback surveys – suggesting a prevailing trend in Europe. This year, Australians in particular were in abundance in France and as a result were the second most populous nationality after Germans. This is unusual, and one reason given by a student is the “rugby world cup”. As a consequence, Australasians represented 14 per cent of the market share by world region of origin, the same proportion as North Americans. Of the eight per cent of Asians recorded, Koreans were most notable, not Japanese as last year. Asia’s market share had declined on last year.
Student motivation Pleasure continues to be an important motivator for language learners in France, with 22 per cent of respondents indicating this was a reason for their studies – many respondents indicated more than one reason. Last year, an even more impressive 39 per cent of students said pleasure was a motivator. Current or future work was the main reason given for language study, however, and with an average age of 29 – there was a wide age span from 14 to 71 years old – the French market attracted professionals (17 per cent) and business people (7 per cent) as well as students (60 per cent), high school pupils (eight per cent) and those who did not fit in to any of these categories.
Student enrolment Good news this year for our agent readers is the fact that agent usage increased on last year, with more students also booking through an agency than those who found their course using this method. Last year, the same trend was highlighted, but while 24 per cent of students first found out about their course via an agency, and 34 used an agency to book; this year 33 per cent used an agency initially to source a school but 49 per cent, almost half, of all students canvassed had actually booked via an agency. The Internet remained the most popular way to choose a school, as last year, with 37 per cent of students going online.
Standard of the schools The teachers at French schools received an overwhelming thumbs-up from our students; 62 per cent of them said their teachers were excellent and a further 32 per cent said they were good. The academic programme was rated slightly less well but still, 83 per cent said it was excellent or good as opposed to the 94 per cent who said the same of their teachers. Close to 80 per cent of students were happy with their class mix and size, but 12 per cent said there were too many fellow nationals in their class. One-fifth of Germans and one-quarter of Brits voiced this sentiment.
Living in France Fifty-eight per cent of those surveyed said the cost of living in France was higher than at home; this included 77 per cent of Australians, all New Zealanders, most Japanese and a range of other nationalities. Most seemed satisfied with their experience in France although 40 per cent did report that they found it quite hard to practise their French with locals.
Thank you to the following schools for participating in our survey: Alfmed, Perpignan; Centre International de Langues, Manosque; CIA, Antibes; College International de Cannes, Cannes; Ecole Suisse, Paris; France Langue, Paris; French in Normandy, Rouen; Insted Language School, Chamonix; Institut de Touraine, Tours; Isefe Universite de Savoie, Chambery; IS, Aix-en-Provence; International House, Nice; Les Cedres, Massy; LSF, Montpellier.
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