June 2007 issue

Travel News
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Course Guide
Regional Focus

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English plus sport in Australia

English plus sports programmes are growing as a sector among Australian language course providers, with local amenities directing growth and development in this area.

The percentage of students choosing to study on a combined English and sports programme in Australia is relatively low when compared with those studying on more popular courses such as academic preparation or general English courses. But by offering such programmes, individual schools can add a unique selling point making the effort worthwhile.

Richard Brown, from Browns English Language School in the Gold Coast, QLD, notes that “English plus courses are popular because [students] cannot experience these sports in their home country. Often these sports are unique to Australia,” he adds.

Australia’s warm climate and outdoor culture gives it many advantages over other English language destinations and those wanting to learn to scuba dive, surf or play golf, while also learning English, will not have to look very far. Some schools, however, have gone one step further when it comes to catering for this particular student market.

Jenny Byatt, Director of Studies at West Coast International College of English in Bunbury, WA, says that they have offered an English and dolphins course – where students undertake part-time research of wild dolphins at Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre – and a retiree leisure learning programme since the college opened in September 2006. Their first study and scuba diving course started in January this year and Byatt has plans for an English and flying course to start in the winter as well as surfing and adventure sports courses starting in 2008. “We plan to continue offering new adventure courses for as long as our imagination holds out,” relates Byatt.

Another school to recently enter the English plus sports sector is the Central Queensland University Language Centre in Rockhampton, QLD, which has been offering English plus golf and football programmes for the last three years. “Our most recent venture was to develop the [English plus] leadership course and offer it to a group of primary- and secondary-aged Japanese students,” says Helen Stewart at the centre.

As well as catering to the junior or sports leisure market, some language providers in Australia have turned their attentions towards the professional sports sector. Diana Pilling, from Australian Internships, based in Brisbane, QLD, says that they have offered internships within the sporting field since the company began in 1998. “[We’ve] seen a massive increase in the popularity of sporting internships in recent years,” says Pilling, “with events such as the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Melbourne Commonwealth Games and the Australian Open [tennis championships].”

Budding professional footballers between the ages of 14 and 16 years can also train at an AC Milan junior camp, while learning English at the English Language Company in Sydney, NSW, after the school recently signed a collaboration with AC Milan football club. David Scott, Managing Director of the school, says ”It’s quite a unique partnership and the combination of an English programme delivered in Australia, combined with a soccer programme delivered by AC Milan, is attracting a lot of interest.”

For many schools offering language plus sports programmes, courses develop naturally as a result of the activities available in the local area. Burleigh Heads Language Centre is fortunate in its location near “one of the world’s most famous surfing beaches”, according to Patsy McLachlan, Managing Director at the school. The school has offered English plus surfing as well as English plus scuba diving courses since it first opened seven-and-a-half years ago.

For Hills International College in Brisbane, QLD, developing language plus sports programmes was a natural progression from their existing general English and high school preparation courses. “We have our own golf course surrounding our campus,” says Paul Warfield at the college, “and students have complete access to all our golf activities seven days a week in conjunction with their normal studies.”

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.





English Australia
English UK
IH World
Perth Education City
Quality English

Malta Tourism

Alphe Conferences
CEC Network

AEI (Australian
Australasian Golf
Bond University
       (Deakin University
       Language Institute)
English Australia
ICET (Intercultural
       Education Today)
Perth Education City
St Paul's
       International School

IH Vancouver
Ilac - International
       Academy of

Aspect (Australia,
       Canada, Ireland,
       Malta, NZ, UK, USA)
Bell International
City College
       Brighton & Hove
English Language
       Centre Brighton &
LAL Language
       and Leisure
       (England, Malta,
       South Africa, USA)
London Metropolitan
Malvern House
       College London
       Language School
NILE - Norwich
       Institute for
       Language Education
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's
St Giles College,
Study Group
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, New Zealand,
       South Africa,
       Spain, USA)
SUL Language
University of
University of Sussex
Wimbledon School
       of English

IH - Palermo

EC - English
       Language Centres
       (England, Malta,
       South Africa)
Malta Tourism

Cape Studies -
       Pacific Gateway
       Study Group
Garden Route
       Language Centre

Asociación Gallega
       de Escuelas
       de Español - Agaes
International House
       Sevilla - CLIC
Pamplona Learning
       Spanish Institute

EF Language
       Colleges Ltd
       Canada, China,
       Ecuador, England,
       France, Germany,
       Ireland, Italy, Malta,
       New Zealand,
       Russia, Scotland,
       Spain, USA)

IH Montevideo

ALCC - American
Kaplan Educational
       (Canada, UK, USA)
Zoni Language
       (Canada, USA)


Global Lifestyles

Tellus Group
Training Partnership
       Ltd. (The)
Twin Group

International House
       Sevilla - CLIC