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May 2007 issue

Contents
News
Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Feedback
Direction
Special Report
Market Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
Regional Focus
Status

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Ialca's media tour of Scotland

Two representatives of the Italian agency association, Ialca, toured language schools in Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland last year and took six journalists with them, ensuring media coverage of the trip and promotion of English language learning opportunities in the country.

Colin Furness at Ialca told Language Travel Magazine that the trip was sponsored by Visit Britain, Visit Scotland and the flights were offered by Ryanair, which offers many flights from Italy to Glasgow Prestwick. Pina Foti, President of Ialca, approached the tourism bodies with the idea for the tour, he said, adding that as well as increasing the awareness in Italy of Scotland as a high quality location for language study, “at the same time, the intention [of the trip] was to present the advantages to consumers of using the services of professional language consultants and agents represented by Ialca”.

Trip delegates toured Basil Paterson, Regent Edinburgh and Edinburgh School of English in Edinburgh – all language schools that are in fact owned by the OISE Group, although this was not the case when the trip was being organised last year – and Live Language School in Glasgow. “The schools were selected by Ialca on the basis of members’ experience and judgment of the highest quality providers in Scotland,” commented Furness.

The trip resulted in press and TV coverage of the event including an article in financial daily newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore, and a four-minute prime time report on national television. The association now has plans to organise an education trip for members every year, although at the time of going to press, the location for this year’s event had yet to be decided. This year, trade press will be invited.



Speak Out

This month, Timothy Blake, Managing Director of the London School of English, questions whether it is purse strings or heart strings that influence business management.

“I want to go back to the theme of whether ours is a real industry. My school is lucky enough to own a very fine building in one of the best parts of London, and a charming Jordanian, visiting us recently, told me that he was attracted to working with us because only someone in love with what they were doing would do something as absurd as to run an English language school in such an expensive property. It was meant positively, and I took it as a compliment, but it made me think again about our crazy industry, and the way we do things. There are a lot of people like me, keeping their businesses going despite the attraction of alternatives, and to some extent based on false economics, because we love what we do.

This is true for agents too – many of the ones I know have a dedication to their customers far in excess of what those customers, and the schools, pay them. These agents are also often small – in fact the consolidation into larger units which is clearly taking place at the supply end of the business has probably been less marked in the agent sector, so the personal touch is in some ways even more marked. We all provide something like a 24/7 level of service – the schools, in the UK at any rate, are even required to do that – but none of us charge 24/7 prices.

The students benefit, certainly, but I do worry about the long-term future of an industry containing quite so many commercial lunatics. Sooner or later the men in grey suits will take over; owners will retire, larger units, with purely commercial imperatives, will predominate. Everything will seem different. In some ways things may improve – it will almost certainly all get much more efficient – but I am not sure that the customers will really benefit. And I suspect it will be a good deal less fun.”



Tieca scoops award in Thailand

The Thai International Education Consultants’ Association (Tieca) has won an award for excellence in adminstration and management at an association-level. Sayamol Nongbunnak, Manager of the association, explained that the objective of the award, organised by the Department of Business Development, Ministry of Commerce and the Board of Trade of Thailand, is to raise the standard of practice at trade associations in the country.

Four elements are considered when awarding the prize, which was collected by President, Udom Ditsamroeng (right): mission accomplishment; administrative and management ability; quality of services; and organisation development.

Industry issues - agents speak out

Q Is there a growing demand among your clientele for “non-mainstream” languages such as Greek, Portuguese, Russian?

Renata Woacewicz-Kordas, Felberg Travel Agency, Poland

“The world is becoming a global village nowadays. People migrate from place to place, from country to country: some just to explore, others in the quest for a job, for a new dwelling place. All of them need to communicate somehow. So it seems that the more people travel the better they know foreign languages. You couldn’t be further from the truth! Through our observation, Polish people enjoy studying only mainstream languages. It means in this case English and German. One can state firmly that there isn’t a growing demand for “non-mainstream” languages among our clientele. Rarely do we get such an order as Norwegian, Swedish or Greek. But more and more Polish citizens marry foreigners. They wish to communicate with their new families better so they sometimes do learn a bit of their spouse’s language. Russian seems to be becoming more popular. A surge in demand for Russian is brought about by increased economic relations with Russia.”

Bourg Liu, Boanda Group- TaiDa International Education Services, Taiwan

“There has been a very limited demand for Greek and Portuguese languages in Taiwan for years. No evidence shows that there has been any growth for either language in the last 12 months. However, there was a little growth in demand for Russian in 2006, due to the effect of BRICs I think [the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China]. In Taiwan, English is the only mainstream language, and all the other languages are considered to be “non-mainstream”. I have found that learning Chinese is getting more popular around the world. A few overseas agents have contacted our company asking if we could work with them to develop this market. Our cooperative TCSOL (Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages) School here in Taiwan has also seen a great increase in the amount of foreign student enrollments in the last 12 months.”

Fernando Boeira, Director - Study-Abroad, Culturas Inglesas RS, Brazil

“I haven´t had from my clientele any requests for non-mainstream languages. In fact, Mandarin Chinese might be the only one I would mention. Due to the impressive growth of China in international business, I have got students taking Chinese lessons here in Brazil and some have mentioned the possibility of going to China to improve and learn more Chinese.”


Agency of the month

In a series appearing each month in Language Travel Magazine, we ask a different language teaching institution to nominate one of their preferred agencies or agent partners, and to explain why this person/company is worthy of their nomination.

This month, Regent Australia in Port Douglas, Australia nominates ALC Education in Japan. David Hurford, Director of the school, explains this decision.

“We would like to nominate a Japanese agency, ALC Education, for their invaluable contribution to strengthening links between our countries through international education. Our praise goes to the agency’s Yoyoi Nakanishi and her dedicated staff for their professionalism, dynamic approach and total commitment to high standards of service. Over the years we have enjoyed continued cooperation based on mutual trust, understanding and deep respect for each other. Our partnership continues to evolve to meet the growing demands of the industry.

ALC Education agency first contacted us via the Internet a few years ago. They saw our website and got attracted to our fast-track custom-tailored mini-class programmes. Our commitment to high teaching standards matched what they were looking for – an ideal quality school with a personal touch, a school founded and run by dedicated career teachers. Since then we have enjoyed a flawless performance that has been growing from strength to strength.”


On the move

Lord Andrew and Lady Elizabeth Hollingrove are the operators of a new English language school in Gloucestershire, UK. Hollingrove Language Academy opened in Longhope in 2006 and offers students the chance to experience an English language course while enjoying traditional English family life.

Study Group is delighted to announce further expansion within its agent support network. Will Maciver (left) has been appointed as the new Regional Manager for Russia, based in Moscow. With over 20 years’ experience working with the former Soviet markets, his role will be to expand and develop key markets for Study Group and ensure agents’ needs are met on the ground. The team will also be joined by Natalia Maciver (centre) who will be moving from her role as Admissions Manager in Brighton, UK to that of Academic Area Manager based in Moscow. Joining the Middle Eastern team at Study Group is Ali Shafie (right), previously of Amin Institute in Tehran. Mr Shafie will be focusing on strategic development throughout the Middle East.

Annie Wright has been promoted to Deputy Chief Executive (Business Services) at English UK following the departure of Richard Truscott, who left at the end of March for a new position outside the education sector. Ms Wright has worked for English UK since early 1999. She has been mainly responsible for the successful annual fair, now re-branded StudyWorld. She will focus in the short-term on StudyWorld London in September, assuming the full duties of her new post in stages.

Christian Tiplady (left) is the new Director of Studies at Exsportise, which specialises in sports and English language summer courses in the UK. His job is to help the company to improve and update the quality of English language tuition provided. He has been in the ELT business for 15 years. Remco Weeda (right) is the new Academic Manager at the company. He is responsible for the new EFL programme and syllabus.

After several years in EFL as a teacher in China and the UK, then two years as Director of Studies, Lucy Oram has now been appointed Manager of the Briar School of English in Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK.


Q&A

The American Association of Intensive English Programs has serious goals of reform in its sights. President, Don Back, answers our questions.


Full name: MFull name: The American Association of Intensive English Programs 
Year established: 1988 
Number of members: 280 
Type of members: US-based accredited intensive English programs 
Association’s main role:   
1) to support ethical and professional standards 2) to advocate for the value of English study in the United States and seek to lower barriers to such study; 3) to increase the visibility abroad of member programmes.
Government recognition: yes 
Code of practice: Accreditation by CEA, Accet or under the governance of a regionally accredited institution. 
Complaints procedure: n/a
Agent workshops: yes
Contact details: AAIEP Central Office, 229 North 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19014-2709 USA, Tel: + 1 215 895 5856; Fax: +1 215 895-5854; Email: Info@aaiep.org; Web: www.aaiep.org


What has AAIEP achieved in the last year?
We can point to several accomplishments. AAIEP has a new website to more effectively promote our member programmes. Also, we have begun to implement a requirement that all AAIEP members be accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (Accet) or the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA), or are under the governance of a regionally accredited institution [typically a college or university – see Language Travel Magazine, February 2007, page 6]. Further, we have engaged a lobbying firm to address issues of importance to our membership in Congress, with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and with the State Department.

The biggest news to come out of AAIEP is that senatorial support is being harnessed for compulsory accreditation of language programmes. How is this progressing?
AAIEP believes only accredited language schools should be authorised by the DHS to issue the certificates of eligibility necessary to obtain a student visa. It is possible to achieve this aim either legislatively or by regulation, and we are proceding on both fronts. On the legislative side, we were successful earlier this year in inserting language into a Senate immigration reform amendment, an enormous task unto itself, but the amendment ultimately did not make it to the floor. On the regulatory front, through the support of several key Senators, we have secured an upcoming meeting with key DHS officials for the specific purpose of addressing an accreditation requirement. We will keep you posted.

 

Was AAIEP active in lobbying the government to allow short-term students in on a tourist visa ?
Yes. We did make some headway on this issue last year by securing the support of a number of major educational associations in backing our position. Unlike the accreditation issue, which will involve a change in DHS regulations, permitting short-term, full-time study in tourist status may only be accomplished by a change in law. This is a much longer, more involved and expensive process, and as such requires a longer-term effort by the association.


Grapevine


BETA and VisitBritain organised the British Youth Travel Awards for the second time this year to celebrate excellence in the UK tourism industry. Winner of the award for Best Website represented the wider Work & Travel industry – www.gapyear.com – and the team are pictured above.


Hothouse Media’s Amy Baker and Jane Gilham went to inspect the building progress of the new Study Group international study centre in Brighton on behalf of our readers (see page 6/7). They braved the dizzy heights of the state-of-the-art five-storey building to bring back pictorial evidence of the view of Brighton afforded from the upper floors, attended by Jonny Peters, Nick Rhodes and Nigel Pamplin. These pictures are actually taken from the roof, which will be out of bounds to students of course…


For the fifth year in a row, names and faces from the cutting-edge of English language teaching development mingled in London earlier this year to see who would win a British Council Innovation Award, known as an Elton. No language schools were in the shortlist this year, but creative learning solutions in the form of CD-Roms or online learning tools were honoured. Pictured, Gavin Dudeney and Nicky Hockly of Consultants-E pick up an award for their ICT in the Classroom online course. The course aims to enable teachers to incorporate online technology into lessons.


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
English Australia
Felca
Feltom
Perth Education City

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
       Authority

WORKSHOPS/EXPOS
International House
       World Organisation
       (Worldwide)

AUSTRALIA
English Australia
Perth Education City

CANADA
Bodwell College
Cowichan Valley School District # 79
Richmond School
       District # 38
Stewart College of
       Languages

CHINA
Mandarin House

COLOMBIA
World Education

CZECH REPUBLIC
Global Study
       (Karlov College)

ENGLAND
Aspect (Australia,
       Canada, Ireland,
       Malta, NZ, UK, USA)
Bell International
International House
       London
International House
       World Organisation
       (Worldwide)
LAL Language and
       Leisure
       (England, Malta,
       South Africa, USA)
Malvern House
       College London
Queen Ethelburga's
       College
Sels College London
St Clare's Oxford
St Giles Colleges
       (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, New Zealand,
       South Africa,
       Spain, USA)
Tellus Group
Twin Group

FRANCE
AGISEFE - Université
       de Savoie
Alliance Française,
       Paris
Cipel
Home Language
       International
       (Argentina,
       Australia,
       Austria, Brazil,
       Canada, Chile,
       China, Czech
       Republic, Denmark,
       Egypt, Finland,
       France, Germany,
       Holland, Hungary,
       Ireland, Italy,
       Japan, Malta, NZ,
       Norway, Poland,
       Portugal, Russia,
       Spain, Sweden,
       Switzerland, UK,
       USA, Venezuela)
Institut International
       de Rambouillet
Lyon Bleu
       International
SILC - Séjours
       Linguistiques
       (England, France,
       Spain)

GERMANY
Carl Duisberg
       Centren
       (England, Germany)
inlingua Berlin
Prolog- International
       House Berlin

IRELAND
Galway Cultural
       Institute
High Schools
       International
       (Australia, Canada,
       England)

MALTA
Feltom
International School
       of English
Linguatime
Malta Tourism
       Authority

PORTUGAL
SELF Escola de
       Línguas

RUSSIA
AMBergh
       Management AB
       (Russia, Ukraine)

SCOTLAND
University of
       Glasgow

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Studies

SPAIN
Pamplona Learning
       Spanish Institute

SWITZERLAND
EF Language
       Colleges Ltd
       (Australia, Canada,
       China, Ecuador,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, Malta, New
       Zealand, Russia,
       Scotland, South
       Africa, Spain, USA)
Eurocentres
       International
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Italy,
       Japan, New
       Zealand, Russia,
       Spain, Switzerland,
       USA)

USA
ALCC - American
       Language
       Communication
       Center
ELS Language
       Centers
       (Canada, USA)
inlingua New York
International House
       San Diego

SCIEL
Kaplan Educational
       Centers
       (Canada, UK, USA)
University of
       California
       Riverside
University of
       California
       San Diego
University of
       California
       Santa Cruz
Zoni Language
       Centers
       (Canada, USA)


EDUCATION TRAVEL MAGAZINE

ASSOCIATIONS/
GROUPS
Felca

CANADA
Bodwell College
Cowichan Valley
       School District # 79
Richmond School
       District # 38
Stewart College
       of Languages