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Contents - July 2002


Special Report
Specialist products
Globalisation dictates that languages for business is a growing sector of the market. As well as intensive business courses, incorporating elements such as interview technique and cultural assimilation, there are many specialist courses offered by language teaching institutions, such as English for law or Spanish for aviation. Many schools paint a picture of highly individualised courses and high expectations, from both the client and their company. Gillian Evans reports.


Destination
Canada's local charms
As a bilingual country with a diverse multicultural population, Canada offers many festivals and local events celebrating all aspects of Canadian culture. The country's natural beauty also lends itself well to outdoor activities, with pursuits such as sea kayaking, snowboarding, horse riding, fishing and rafting on offer to international students. As Bethan Norris reports, students will find plenty to keep them occupied when studying in Canada.



Direction
High school access
For those students who are hoping to enter the mainstream education system in the UK, an academic preparation programme is a foundation course that aims to ensure they are culturally and linguistically up to speed with their new learning environment. Many privately-run independent schools offer such courses, and they have the advantage of teaching international students alongside British students. Gillian Evans asks some about their programmes.



Opinion

Globalisation is often cited as the catalyst for increased personal opportunities to travel and work in the world. And as international business between countries becomes easier and trade flourishes across borders, opportunities and choices for the consumer increase. The range of products available, for example, becomes greater, leading to increased specialisation as international exporters seek to hone their products for an increasingly knowledgeable and demanding clientele.

This is true of the language travel industry, as language teaching institutions are permanently updating and improving their products to remain current and competitive in this fast-moving industry. Within the field of general business and specialist business language programmes, education providers report that they often tailor-make a language learning course for their clients. As trade barriers fall, the need for language ability among a company's employees increases - so they are able to conduct business overseas. English is already the international business language, and language learning programmes in English and many other languages are now offered that teach targeted language skills for all types of industry sectors (pages 20-24).

The accessibility of international travel is also evolving, as companies that are part of the global travel industry - chiefly, air travel - strive to remain competitive and to accommodate their ever-increasing customer base. As a result, we see many code-share deals in the aviation industry, which allow airlines to expand their services by, in effect, sharing a route with another airline. In Poland and Hungary, new code-share deals have been set up with German and Spanish carriers that are opening up air travel opportunities for citizens (page 6).

Meanwhile, the low-cost sector of the aviation market is booming, as cheap fares and minimal in-flight services appeal to many potential travellers. EasyJet has just secured its position as a strong no-frills operator within Europe by buying rival, Go (page 6). Of course, the availability and affordability of international air travel fuels the growth of language travel market, as the prospect of overseas study becomes more affordable.

Another key factor helping to boost the language travel market is the growing concensus that global opportunities should be seized and that international experience is enriching. Therefore, we see governments around the world supporting international exchange programmes at university level, such as in France and China (page 4); academics in the USA pushing for more incentives for students to study foreign languages (page 5); and more students keen to spend part of their academic career overseas.

Such demand has led to the development of targeted academic preparation courses for international students who wish to attend high school or university overseas. Independently-run high schools in the UK offer such courses, which are designed to help students adapt, both socially and academically, to the British high school study environment (page 17).

The ongoing evolution of our global experience points to more choice for consumers and greater opportunities to interact on an international level. However, with choice comes the need for insightful analysis. This is the critical role that agents and consultants provide in our industry.


Opinion
Globalisation is often cited as the catalyst for increased personal opportunities to travel and work in the world.

News
Immigration act review in Australia
More changes for US visa system
A win for Alphe USA in Las Vegas
US hopes for languages funding boost
French - Chinese education links promoted

Travel News
All change for low-cost sector
Eastern European code-shares
UK - China traffic on the up

Agency News
Australia's efforts to woo agents
Asian associations build interest in study abroad'
UCIEP launches
agent initiative

Agency Survey
Taiwan downturn
Economic problems have had an adverse effect on the language travel market in Taiwan, with the majority of agents reporting fewer student bookings in 2001.

Feedback
Spain Feedback
Although under a third of the students who took part in our Spanish survey first found out about their school through a language travel agency, over half had actually booked their course through an agent.

Market Report
Malta's wide reach
English language schools in Malta paint a positive picture of their market and believe its safe reputation will help win students from an increasing range of countries in 2002. Gillian Evans reports.

Course Guide
Executive programmes
Language schools in the USA offer students a wide variety of executive programmes, most of which offer extra activities such as site visits, seminars and excursions.

Q&A
Fedele's philosophy
Spain's national group of regional schools' associations, Fedele, is now three years old.

Status
Status: UK 2001
The Status survey is a new venture by Language Travel Magazine, in collaboration with the Association of Language Travel Organisations (Alto), which gathers specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. For the first time, it is possible to compare world market statistics.