October 2008 issue

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Junior courses in Canada

Characterised by the inclusion of many activities and picking up language skills in a fun way, junior language programmes in Canada are popular with a range of nationalities. Schools also work hard to keep them up-to-date and interesting.

Despite being a very seasonal part of a language school’s business, junior programmes make a significant contribution to the overall product mix. Veronica Cartagenova from Berlitz Language Centre in Vancouver, BC, says that they started offering programmes for students under the age of 16 in 2003 after agents requested such courses. “During our peak winter months – mainly January – up to 25 per cent of enrolments are from students under 16. During our summer months, up to 30 per cent is made up of students under this age,” she says.

At EduTour Homestay Associates in Gabriola, BC, the percentage of business gained from junior students is even higher. “About 40 per cent of our business is junior closed ESL group programmes,” says Vivian Hart at the school. “Since we opened in 1997, we have always offered junior programmes. Ours are for closed groups and not individual applicants.”

The nature of junior programmes means that demand reaches a peak during the school holidays – July and August in the northern hemisphere or January and February of the southern hemisphere. Canada’s extreme weather conditions – very hot in July and August and very cold and snowy in January and February – mean the activities on offer are varied; something students may find particularly appealing.

Kristina Stewart from Stewart College of Languages in Victoria, BC, says that the activity programme is one thing that has changed in their junior programmes over the years while the English tuition remains constant. “Students can opt to take activities and over the years the activity programme has developed to be quite comprehensive,” she says. “In peak weeks we offer daily activities just for teen students.”

Change is something that all schools must keep abreast of in order to keep pace with consumer demand and junior programmes are no exception. Thaddeus Monckton, CEO and Owner of Pan Pacific International English College in Victoria, BC, says “Every year [the junior programmes] change for the better where we offer more sports programmes and different activities as well as adapt the curriculum based on current trends in language teaching.”

New and different sports and excursions are continually being offered at junior programmes across the country and Cartagenova says that their activity programme is currently being looked at to make sure it remains up-to-date. “We are planning to add more sport outings – local hockey and/or football games – so that students see Canadians cheering their favourite teams,” she says. “We will be including some weekend trips where students will be staying overnight.”

Lianne Hodgson from Toronto Languages Plus in Toronto, ONT, says that they only started offering junior programmes this year and hope to expand their offerings in the future. “If anything our goal would be to expand to accommodate even more young international students,” she divulges.

Student demands and motivations behind their language trip are also changing, according to Hart. “We have found [more] groups are looking for more intensive ESL than say 10 years ago and we use very good materials and published work books that students can take home with them and keep working on,” she explains. “Teachers within the group are also far more likely now than in the past to take part in all aspects of the programme. They are very interested in our lesson plans and how/why we do things in a certain way.”

Canada’s location, easily accessible from South America and Asia, means that it is a popular destination for younger age students who may be away from home for the first time. Helen Green from Study in Canada in Charlottetown, PEI, relates that their junior programmes particularly attract students from “Mexico, Korea and Japan and students from the province of Quebec”.

Stewart says that the largest nationalities on their junior programmes are from Japan, Korea, Mexico, Germany and “sometimes Venezuelan and Argentinean students”, although she adds that they may have different motivations for their trip abroad. “[The junior programmes attract] Japanese students who will go on to a Canadian high school in September, Japanese holiday students, Korean holiday students and Mexican holiday students,” she says.
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.





English Australia  
Feltom Malta  
IALC International  
MEI-Relsa Ireland  
Perth Education City  
Quality English  

Internet Advantage  
Your World on Monday  

Malta Tourism Authority  

Alphe Conferences  
English Australia  
IALC International  
MEI-Relsa Ireland  
Quality English  

Austral Idiomas Srl  
Ecela - Latin Immersion  

English Australia  
Perth Education City  

Bodwell College  
Canadian & International Student Services  
Centre Linguista Canada (OISE)  
College of New Caledonia  
Richmond School District #38  

Bell International (Malta, UK)
Bournville College of Further Education  
Hampstead School of English  
IP International Projects GmbH 
      (England, France, Germany, Spain)
Kaplan Aspect
      (Australia, Canada,Ireland, Malta, New Zealand,
      South Africa, UK, USA)
LAL Language and Leisure
      (England, Canada, Cyprus, Ireland, South Africa,
    Spain, Switzerland, USA)
Malvern House College London  
Northumbria School of English  
Oxford Intensive School of English
      (Australia, France, Germany, Spain, UK, USA)
Princes College School of English 
Queen Ethelburga's College  
Scanbrit School of English  
St Giles Colleges (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group (Australia, Canada, England, France,
     Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, South
     Africa, Spain, USA)
Wimbledon School of English  

Alliance Française Paris Ile de France  
SILC - Séjours Linguistiques  

Carl Duisberg Medien GmbH  (England, Germany) 
International House Berlin - Prolog  

Educational English Culture  
Feltom Malta

Languages International  

EAC Language Centres and Activity Camps.
      (England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales)

Cape Studies  

EF Language Colleges Ltd 
      (Australia, Canada, China, Ecuador, England, France,
    Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, New Zealand,
     Russia, Scotland, Spain, USA)

ALCC - American Language Communication Center  
Boston University  
Eastern Washington University  
LAL Fort Lauderdale  
Rennert Bilingual  
University of California San Diego  
Zoni Language Centers (Canada, USA)


Perth Education City

Princes College
      School of English 
Twin Group
      (Ireland, UK)