Contents - July 2006

Special Report
Ready for success
Libraries, note-taking, lectures' all part of the machinations of higher education, for which international students can often be unprepared and maladjusted. Amy Baker speaks to providers of academic preparation programmes, all of whom aim to ensure international students are linguistically and culturally prepared for success with their studies overseas.

Inbound Brazil
Brazil is stepping up as the newest study destination offering a range of opportunities ? from language and volunteering to MBAs and football training. Amy Baker visits the country to get a first-hand look at what's on offer.

Snapshots of Britain
Football, fun, tolerance, lush green countryside, lively cities and picturesque villages ? all part of the kaleidoscope of Britain that attracts international students, as Jane Vernon Smith finds out.


Real life learning

I was reading a “blog” on the Internet the other day about the lack of innovation in English language schools’ marketing materials, and teaching, for that matter. The author suggested that the same methodology at schools has been used for years with little innovation. As a guest at the annual British Council ELT Innovation Awards, I would have to disagree that the ELT landscape is unchanging, as new coursebooks and syllabuses seem to crop up with surprising regularity.

But the blog raised an interesting question for me as to how often language schools review the coursebooks that they use and how well they believe their teaching approach allows students to learn English (or any language). As we all know, language acquisition depends on the student – factors such as prior experience of learning a language, aptitude, age, and so on – but teaching materials and quality of teachers are also significant.

In my experience, however, the best way to really get a working use of a foreign language is to live in another country and keep testing your fledgling skills on the natives – and this is a different consideration. Many schools increasingly try and incorporate “interaction” into their language learning programmes. High schools in Canada, for example, promote short language courses as an introduction to life in Canada and a venue for “meaningful interaction to make Canadian friends” (page 52).

Within the academic preparation sector, programme providers underline the better orientation that is attained by pre-university study and agents acknowledge that such courses “help young people fit into the different culture and language environment” (pages 26-30). Meanwhile, one-to-one tuition in a teacher’s home has been recognised as a speeded-up way of learning a language because constant opportunity to practise is afforded to the learner. We provide a list of one-to-one providers in Spain in this issue (page 33). Another good occasion to use newly acquired language skills is by teaming language training with sports, according to providers in Malta (page 35).

The end goals in our industry are to ensure that language learning, studying overseas and/or intercultural exchange (ie volunteering in Brazil, page 20) are achieved. Innovation for the sake of innovation is unwise – but for those in the language training sector, blending effective language learning methods with real-life opportunities to interact will be increasingly expected in the future.

Real life learning

EF teams up with Amadeus
Ialc scores in Madrid
Australia makes it easier to work, study
USA and China's education exchange
French in Normandy's new cuisine course

Travel News
Fuel surcharges on the rise
Wizz air gears up for competition
Travel industry to undergo radical change

Agency News
Icef event showcases Work & Travel partnerships
Speak Out

Agency Survey
China on the up
This year's Agency Survey on China reports a more positive business trend over the last 12 months than has been seen in previous years. The outlook for the future also looks good as a growing economy and improved visa policies in certain study destinations take effect.

Feedback South Africa
South African English language schools are attracting students from a broader range of world regions as well as those with more serious language learning goals.

Course Guide
One-to-one in Spain
Courses that offer individual tuition provide a good way for students to learn a language quickly. A number of schools in Spain provide such an option.

French and cookery
Language schools are increasingly adding value to their courses by offering further instruction in a range of activities. In France, interest in the country's cuisine means that French and cookery courses are becoming common.

Regional Focus
Moscow offers all the attractions of a modern Western city as well as a distinctive Russian outlook. Bethan Norris finds out how schools ensure students make the most of their stay in Russia's capital city.

Australia 2005
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine, 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.