Contents - October 2007

Special Report
Strong bonds
In many countries worldwide, language school associations exist to provide support to their member schools. In general terms, their primary functions lie in the areas of quality assurance, advocacy and marketing, although the exact nature of their remit can vary considerably. As agents are the mainstay of recruitment for many language schools, most target them with at least some of their marketing efforts. However, the extent to which they actively pursue relationships with agents differs, as does their level of recognition among agencies. Jane Vernon Smith explores the extent of current links and discovers more plans for workshops afoot.

A question of size
Most language travel agencies work with a range of schools varying in both size and location. This way, they can best accommodate the needs of their clients who may differ greatly in terms of age and temperament. Bethan Norris reports.

The melody of Germany & Austriay
From a rich historical and cultural legacy to awesome scenery, Germany and Austria offer students seeking German language opportunities a fulfilling range of experiences. Gillian Evans finds out more.


Respecting others

Like those in the medical profession, the motto for volunteers who travel overseas to work on projects in the developing world should be “Do no harm”, and the same could be said for any student travelling overseas for a language or education programme in any country around the world. Anyone travelling overseas is an ambassador for their country and the way they behave can have a significant effect on the experiences of those travelling abroad in the future.

This topic has featured heavily in the UK press recently as UK students are being told not to undertake volunteering projects overseas in their gap year as they are regarded as a waste of time and serve no purpose for the host country. Our feature on the ethics of volunteering in Work Wise this month enters this debate by pointing out the efforts taken by many companies to ensure that their projects are truly locally-run and serve a purpose for the local community (page 51). Instead of condemning all volunteering schemes, students are encouraged to look into a project’s credentials and take responsibility for their choices.

With any programme involving travel overseas, care has to be taken to ensure that both the incoming students and the local community have a positive experience of it. Language schools often go out of their way to ensure that students get to experience something of the local life of the country they are visiting and our Spotlight feature on English and culture programmes in the UK highlights the innovative thinking going on behind the development of new courses (page 25).

In France too, the French government is working at ensuring that relations between local people and rugby world cup funs run smoothly as the country plays host to most of the games being played. A comprehensive language programme and phrase book has been launched to try and encourage fans to speak French to local people and minimise the impact of so many people visiting the country at the same time (page 7).

Our Direction feature on the benefits of large chain versus small independent language schools highlights the importance of personal communication in all schools at all levels (page 32). It is this sentiment that should guide all travellers, whatever the objective of their pursuits.

Both travellers and organisers of travel programmes have a responsibility to respect their hosts and as an industry it is up to all of us to ensure that this is the rule rather than the exception.

Respecting others

UK announces approved accreditation bodies
First English village for Taiwan
Ireland - Japan working holiday visa boosts language enrolments
Rugby world cup promotes French

Travel News
British Airways fined for price-fixing
Carriers vie for Indian student passengers
Virgin flies from Australia to the USA

Agency News
EduNova hosts fam trip for agents in Canada
Japan agent association grouping

Agency Survey
Japan cruising
Business is looking good for the Japanese study abroad market and many providers are reaping the rewards after turning their attentions to further studies overseas. Meanwhile, non-English speaking study destinations are increasing in popularity.

This year, English language schools in Ireland welcomed a higher proportion of Latin American students, but agent bookings have slipped in comparison with our previous year’s survey.

Course Guide
Executive courses
Executive language programmes provide the perfect chance for students and business professionals to master workplace terminology. Traditionally more suited to those who already have a firm grasp of the English language, English for business courses in Australia come in various guises and students now have the luxury of selecting from group courses, intensive programmes and can even opt to have a course tailor-made to meet their needs.

English and culture in the UK
Language schools aim to appeal to a varied market and language plus courses offer international students a chance to inject more culture into their programme. We look at several cultural options on offer at UK language schools.

The Status survey gathers specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. Through this initiative, it is now possible to compare world market statistics, a summary of which will be published in the March 2008 issu