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March 2011 issue

Contents
News
Agency News
Advisor Survey
Feedback
Market Report
Direction I
Direction II
Special Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
City Focus
Status

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Exam courses in New Zealand

With a catalogue of English proficiency exams available, providers in New Zealand report that the Cambridge suite of tests are popular with overseas clientele, with Ielts becoming more and more commonplace. Nicola Hancox investigates.

Following a general language course, gaining a qualification in an internationally recognised language exam is the logical next step for an international student. Not only are they beneficial for those looking to enter higher education in a host country, but some carry leverage where immigration and employment are concerned.

According to Geoff Butler, Director at Mount Maunganui Language Centre in Mount Maunganui, the school has been running preparatory exam courses for over 18 years and he notes that demand has always been consistent. “We generally have good demand for each course we run, with the spring and summer sessions occasionally over-subscribed. It pays to book early!” he affirms. Offering Cambridge First Certificate of English (FCE), Ielts and Toeic preparation courses, he adds that the FCE is by far the most popular elective requested by study abroad students.

Indeed, Cambridge Esol produces an extensive selection of tests including general English exams such as the aforementioned FCE, the Preliminary English Test (PET), Certificate in Advanced English Test (CAE), the Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) and the Key English Test (KET), as well as professional English exams such as the Business English Certificates (BEC). At CPIT School of English, the language arm of the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology in Christchurch, International Director, Beth Knowles, notes the range – a majority of which are readily available at CPIT – are typically suited to students who “want an academically demanding course and are interested in English for work or for further studies at tertiary level”. Owing perhaps to its association with a university campus, Knowles adds that a bulk of their students are already at pre-intermediate or intermediate level and therefore often opt for the Cambridge PET or FCE models, which the school runs twice a year.

On average, uptake of preparation courses for the Cambridge upper main suite of examinations at Languages International in Auckland and Christchurch accounts for 13 to 14 per cent of all international student weeks. “In the last quarter of the year, 25 per cent of students are involved in those courses,” adds Brett Shirreffs, Marketing Manager. However, in terms of sheer student numbers, Ielts is the popular choice. “We offer the course as one of the options for the afternoon part of a general, business or academic English course, so many of our students opt for it after they have arrived at the school,” says Shirreffs.

However, according to Katie Peckitt from Eurocentres in Auckland, there has been a noticeable drop in the number of students signing up to take a preparation course in FCE and CAE of late, with students drawn instead to the Ielts exam. “It tends to attract a wider variety of nationalities and is more for academic purposes so for university age students… I think [Ielts] is more adaptable to different countries and student needs than the Cambridge exams,” she muses. Knowles too has seen an upturn in demand for Ielts courses and she reasons direct entry into a New Zealand tertiary institution helps fuel this appeal.

Responding to nationality trends, Knowles observes that different exams suit different nationalities, with Chinese candidates preferring the Ielts model and Japanese students favouring the Cambridge suite of courses, “although both suites of courses attract a range of nationalities,” she adds. Meanwhile, William Neale, Director of Seafield School of English in Christchurch, comments that Cambridge FCE, CAE and CPE attracts a strong Swiss crowd, while Toeic and Ielts typically appeal to Asian nationalities. “Saudis are now keen to do Ielts,” he adds. Butler, however, sees student understanding concerning the FCE exam spreading throughout parts of Northern Asia. “We are also noticing more students wishing to transfer into exam preparation courses after a certain period of general English study – something we encourage them to do,” adds Butler.

Aside from the mainstream Cambridge and Ielts prep, some providers see the value in offering alternative models. Eurocentres in Auckland started offering Toeic preparation after the number of students studying Business English spiked. TKT – the Cambridge Teaching Knowledge Test – was another recent addition and, says Peckitt, has already proven popular with the Korean market. Others are less assured. Shirreffs notes that demand for Toeic preparation has “fallen right away” recently while Toefl’s scheduling, payment and reporting system, makes it “extremely cumbersome compared with Ielts, so it is failing to reach its potential in New Zealand at least”.

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.

Name

Company

Country

Telephone

Email


ASSOCIATIONS/ GROUPS
ALTO  
English Australia  
International House
      World Organisation  
Languages Canada/
      Langues Canada  
MEI Ireland  
Perth Education
      City  
Quality English

EXAM BOARDS
Cambridge Esol 

INSURANCE
Dr. Walter GmbH  
Student Guard
      Insurance  

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority  

WORK EXPERIENCE
Twin Group  

AUSTRALIA
Academies
      Australasia  
English Australia  
Perth Education
      City  

BELGIUM
Ceran Lingua
      International  

CANADA
Access
      International
      English Language
      Centre  
Algonquin College  
Banff Education
      Centre  
Bow Valley College  
East Coast School
       of Languages  
English School of
      Canada  
French
      Immersion
      Programs  
Global Village  
ILSC  
Languages
      Canada / Langues
      Canada  
Niagara College  
School District
      No. 42 Maple Ridge
      & Pitt Meadows  
Student Guard
      Insurance  
Thompson
      Rivers University  
Vancouver English
     Centre  

ENGLAND
Bell International  
Bright World
      Guardianships  
Brooke House
      College  
Bury Language
      School  
CMT Learning  
International House
      World Organisation  
Kaplan International
      Colleges  
Language Studies
      International  
Link School  
London School of
      Business & Finance  
London School of
      English  
Malvern House
      College London  
King's Colleges  
Quality English  
Queen
      Ethelburga's
      College  
Rishworth School
Sedbergh School
St Giles Colleges
Study Group
University of
      Essex -
      International
      Academy  
St Michaels
      College  

FRANCE
Accent Francais  
Alpha B -
     Institut Linguistique  
CLE  
College International
      de Cannes  
Ecole PERL  
Ecole Suisse
      Internationale  
Idiom  
Institut de Langue
      et de Culture
      Françaises - ILCF  
Langue Onze
      Toulouse  
LSF Montpellier  
Lyon Bleu
      International  
Paris Langues /
      Club CEI des 4
      Vents  

GERMANY
inlingua Berlin  
International
      House Berlin -
      Prolog  

GUADALOUPE
Media Langues
      Caraibes  

INDIA
Incredible
      English  

IRELAND
International
      House Dublin  
MEI Ireland  

MALTA
Clubclass
      Residential
      Language School  
EC English
      Language Centre

SCOTLAND
EAC Language
      Centres and Activity
      Camps  

SOUTH AFRICA
EC Cape Town  
EF  
Eurocentres
      Cape Town  
Good Hope
      Studies  
inlingua Language
      Training Centre
      Cape Town  
Interlink School
      of Languages  
International House
      Cape Town  
Kurus English
      CC
LAL Cape Town

SPAIN
Escuela La Ola
International House -
      Sevilla CLIC  
Inturjoven  
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispanico SL  
Malaga Si  

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
      Colleges Ltd  
Eurocentres
      International  

USA
International House
      New York  
ELS Language
      Centers  
Educatius  
New York
      General Consulting  
University of
      Arizona  
Zoni Language
     Centers  



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