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Contents - June 2006


Special Report
Quality springboard
The need for regulation and quality certification within the language travel industry has long been recognised and more and more language teaching centres are seeking recognition from accreditation bodies that exist around the world, be that in their own country or overseas. Bethan Norris reports.


Direction
Insuring success
Providing adequate insurance cover for students embarking on a language travel trip is not only necessary to ensure client satisfaction, but it also has revenue-earning potential. Jane Vernon Smith looks at types of cover available.



Destination
Maltese memories
Malta offers beaches, history, unique cuisine and friendly locals keen to practise English, all in a beautiful Mediterranean environment. Jane Vernon Smith reports.



Opinion

Adapting to change

I remember when the harmless little TV remote control first appeared in our lives, and social commentators recoiled in horror, heralding the birth of the couch potato and the end of exercise as we knew it from the sofa to the television. I also recall attending a speech in 1991 or 1992 that foretold that libraries as we knew them – musty, learned smells and well-thumbed books that have passed through many homes – would not exist in 10 years as the Internet changed the face of reading and our relationship with the written word.

Of course, these scenarios did not occur and the world did not become an alien place with the advent of these technologies. Sure, in the UK at least, changing the TV channel without leaving your seat is a given, but the remote control did not create a pandemic of apathy. Likewise, the Internet is becoming commonplace in most homes in the UK but it has been accommodated into our lives without changing them beyond recognition. We send emails, not letters, and go to the gym. But the desire to communicate/be fit remains unchanged.

The fundamental reason for learning any language is to foster communication with others and for this reason, I don't believe that the language travel industry will expire, although it will adapt to changing circumstances. Recent research into the English language teaching (ELT) industry predicts that the number of learners of English will hit a high point and then slowly decline, which indeed is likely (page 6). But while future generations will consider the ability to speak English a basic skill, they will still desire the opportunity to practice their skills in native English speaking countries, which will fuel our industry. However, it is possible that elementary level evolves into remedial level!

The predicted growth in demand for third age language programmes, aimed at older learners, also underlines that given the opportunity, broadening experience through travel and language learning is a desired activity for many, to enable interaction with others. In Japan, a desire to experience the lifestyle of local people overseas has been a noted trend among mature travellers (pages 24-28).

Reasons to learn a language are rooted in aims of personal interaction, for business or leisure reasons. As long as we desire to interact with the world, then experiential learning will, in its many guises, evolve and flourish, be it through internships (page 31), vocational training (page 48) or targeted language programmes.


Opinion
Personal assurance

News
UK's new recruitment drive
Qisan in talks with UK Home Office
English New Zealand in Saudi Arabia
Chinese death in New Zealand
Canadian report urges government action


Travel News
Airline profits pick up worldwid
Europe adds links to Duba
Canada set to welcome Chinese tourists

Agency News
New Zealand hosts education agents again
QE busy meeting agents in-country


Agency Survey
Swiss hopes
The outbound student market in Switzerland experienced improved fortunes in 2005, according to 12 education travel agencies, with the needs of business fuelling increasing interest in language learning programmes.

Feedback New Zealand
Agent usage was high among students studying in New Zealand this year, with agent advice playing an important role in deciding where to study, ahead of other considerations such as cost and location.

Course Guide
Academic prep. in Germany
As international interest in Germany's higher education opportunities have grown, so have the range of academic preparation courses available for students interested in this academic pathway.

Spotlight
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
West country charms
Lively cities, thrilling countryside, friendly people, great food... the West Country is a treasure trove of experiences for international language students, as Amy Baker discovers.

Status
UK 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.