Contents - May 2007

Special Report
Ready to fly
Academic preparation and foundation courses that prepare international students for studies in a different country can be invaluable in helping them make the transition from novice to confident and successful student, yet there is a lack of transparency in the sector and a lack of understanding from some agency clients as to the inherent value of such courses. Gillian Evans reports.

Non-English language exams
While demand for English language proficiency exams has been increasing steadily, interest in qualifications in other languages is also on the rise, and retains plenty of potential for further growth, as Jane Vernon Smith finds out.

French polish
France is a heady mix of stunning landscapes, characterful cities and charming towns. And history, culture and, of course, gastronomy, each imbues the various regions with a distinctly different character. Gillian Evans reports.


An agency's worth

There are many articles in this issue that point to the overall development of our industry and the role that language teaching plays within the context of the wider international education industry. For example, we discover that 37 per cent of total business across our sample of Taiwanese agencies is placing clients directly into higher education overseas – a direct follow-on from language placement. And in fact, agencies estimated that 30 per cent of their language learning clientele were studying to facilitate further learning overseas (pages 14-15).

Language learning is not always about further plans of course – an equal 30 per cent of Taiwanese clients were estimated to be learning a language for pleasure – but aside from business and pleasure, onward learning is a big motivator for agency clients. In Germany, an important generator of business is the low university tuition fees in the country, which lead to bookings for appropriate language courses (page 35).

In Australia, while the English language teaching sector has seen a good rise in student visa issuance, student visas for all education sectors were up in 2006, indicating an across-the-board rise in interest in education opportunities in the country (page 6). And in Canada, state secondary schools and private teaching institutions point to increasing demand for high school education from international students as helping to improve and evolve the programmes available (page 51).

Global migration for all types of education services is on the up but the imperative in international placement is, of course, to ensure that students are adequately counselled to know what to expect. A recent study in Germany concluded that unprepared students may be quitting degree programmes early because they are losing time due to cultural disorientation (pages 26-30). And agencies that provide a well established orientation service testify that they have fewer clients leaving their programmes since such pre-departure sessions – which can include psychological profiling – have been offered (page 52).

This is where agencies can really make their mark in the field and stand out from online agencies that simply facilitate the booking process. The better prepared, and better placed, an agency client is, the greater the liklihood that their experience overseas will be a success, leading to more word-of-mouth bookings for the agency and helping to boost the potential for growth at their partner institutions, and in international education in general.

An agency's worth

New buildings for British ELT
Capls and CLC to join forces in Canada
Amerispan situation close to resolution
Numbers boost in Australia
Online booking for Alphe conferences
Malvern House offers uni application service
Primary language tuition for all in the UK

Travel News
Airport expansion in India
EU bans Pakistani planes
Malaysia Airlines making profit
USA and EU agree tentative open skies deal

Agency News
IIalca's media tour of Scotland
Speak Out

Agency Survey
Taiwan stable
Taiwan's language travel market continues to grow steadily. Language study abroad, as well as a focus for academically motivated students, now seems to be a pleasurable pastime for many agency clients. Meanwhile, both the UK and the USA lead in the destination stakes.

UK feedback
Language schools in the UK have done well to diversify their student base, according to the results of this year's student Feedback survey, with Middle Eastern students particularly on the increase.

Course Guide
WIelts/Toefl in the USA
With the discontinuation of the computer-based Toefl test, the new Internet version is in demand throughout the USA. Ielts preparation courses are also starting to attract international students.

Language and work in NZ
There are many opportunities for students in New Zealand to team language tuition with a taste of working life; either in the form of a paid work placement or an unpaid internship. We profile a range of such options available.

City Focus
Texan charm
Located in the USA's deep south, Texas is somewhat off the beaten track for the typical language travel student, although for those that do venture into this state, the lack of other international students is one of its principal attractions.

Ireland 2006
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.