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September 2008 issue

Contents
News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Feedback
Market Report
Direction - insurance
Direction - workshops
Special Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
CityFocus
Status

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TestDaF prep. in Germany

With the TestDaF gaining ground as a universal test of German skills for university entrants, TestDaF preparation courses look set to become more popular in the future.

The Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (TestDaF) is a requirement for students wanting to go on to study at a university in Germany and as such, preparation courses make up a small percentage of the language teaching industry in Germany. Dorothee Robrecht from GLS Sprachenzentrum in Berlin says, “TestDaF courses account for approximately two per cent of all course bookings. To do the TestDaF really only makes sense if you want to go to university in Germany.”

Katrin von der Heyden from Sprachschule zum Erhstein in Freiburg says that TestDaF preparation courses currently make up just five per cent of their intensive courses. However, she adds that the exam may become more popular in the future as it outcompetes the other university entrance exam for international students, the Deutsche Sprachprufung fur den Hochschulzugang (DSH). “The current development is a decline in the other big university entrance exam – the DSH,” she says. “More and more universities no longer combine a conditional admission with an invitation to sit the DSH exam at their university. So TestDaF is gaining importance.”

Lennart Guthling from Humboldt-Institut in Argenbuhl agrees. “We believe that the DSH exam will disappear within the next few years,” he says. “The reason for the trend is that it is much easier to prepare students for the TestDaF as it is a worldwide standardised exam. The DSH in comparison differs slightly from university to university and there are not as many examination dates available as with the TestDaF.”

The growth of the TestDaF exam also depends on the international view of studying at a German university. The country recently introduced tuition fees for all students (see LTM, May 2007, page 35) but compared with many other destinations, the cost of studying in higher education in Germany is relatively cheap. Guthling believes that government help could improve the country’s reputation as a higher education destination in the future. “The German government is now sponsoring so called elite universities,” he says. “We believe that more students might come to Germany to study at a German university [in the future].”

The TestDaF preparation courses provide a solid grounding in the four language skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening and Sabine Steinacher from ADK Augsburger Deutschkurse in Augsburg says that the course can be useful for non-university candidates as well. “We have also students who [have completed] a degree already and want to work in Germany,” she says. “They [take] the TestDaF course to improve their command of the language.”

However, those students sitting the TestDaF exam are more likely to have future higher education goals in mind and come from a variety of countries. Guthling says that the majority of students on these types of courses are from Eastern Europe, while von der Heyden says that no world region or country dominates in these classes. “Generally, it’s very well mixed,” she attests.

The TestDaF exam is offered at test centres in Germany six times a year and schools report that short intensive courses that prepare students specifically for one of these six exams are the most popular. Josef Wergen from Fokus Sprachen & Seminare in Stuttgart says that the school started offering TestDaF preparation courses in 2003 and in the beginning the courses were offered year round. “Currently we only offer preparation courses between the registration deadline and the actual exam – four weeks intensive or two half days per week,” explains Wergen. “Our local students tend to decide last minute and want to spend the minimum of time and money,” he relates.

Henning Pruess from Tandem Hamburg says that they have also started offering preparation classes that are shorter in length. “Since [2002 when we became an accredited test centre] we have changed our offer from a four-week intensive course to two options of a two-week intensive or crash course of 20 hours per week or a six-week evening course,” he says. “That proved to be the right decision, as students are very timetable-conscious.”
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


ACCOMMODATION
Britannia Student
      Services  
Sara's New York
      Homestay  

ASSOCIATIONS / GROUPS
Eaquals
      International  
English Australia  
Ialc  
International House
      World Organisation  
Languages Canada /
      Langues Canada  
MEI~Relsa Ireland  
Perth Education
      City  
Quality English  

EXAM BOARDS
Ielts  
Trinity College
      London  

INSURANCE
Student Guard
      Insurance  

SERVICES
Internet Advantage
InTouch  

TELECOM SERVICES
Business Telecom
      Systems  

TOURISM BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority  

WORKSHOPS / EXPOS
English Australia  
Ialc  
International
      House World
      Organisation  
MEI~Relsa Ireland  
Quality English  

AUSTRALIA
Bond University  
Geos Oceania 
      (Australia,
      New Zealand) 
Griffith University  
Hawthorn English
      Language Centres  
La Trobe University
Language Studies
      International  
Navitas 
      (Australia, Canada,
      UK)  
Pacific Gateway
      International
      College  
Perth Education
      City  
Sun Pacific College
TAFE NSW English
      Language Centres  
University of
      Sydney  
University of
      Tasmania  
Wollongong
      College Australia  

AUSTRIA
Cultura Wien  

BELGIUM
Ceran Lingua
      International  
      (Belgium, France,
      Spain, UK)

CANADA
Bodwell College  
College of New
      Caledonia  
East Coast School
      of Languages
      (ECSL)  
Edutour Homestay
      Assocs Ltd  
English Bay
      College  
English Language
      Training College
      ELTC  
Eurocentres
      Vancouver  
Global Village
      (Australia, Canada,
      USA)  
Hansa Language
      Centre  
ILSC  
ITTTI Vancouver  
Language Studies
      Canada  
Lethbridge
      College  
National School
      of Languages  
Red Leaf Student
      Program and Tours  
Richmond School
      District #38  
Saint Mary's
      University  
Stewart College
      of Languages  

CHINA
Mandarin House  

COSTA RICA
Centro
      Panamericano de
      Idiomas (CPI)  

CYPRUS
Language Explorer
      Cyprus  

CZECH REPUBLIC
Karlov College  

EGYPT
International
      House - IH Cairo  

ENGLAND
Ardmore
      Language
      Schools 
      (UK, USA) 
Bell International
      (Malta, UK)  
Bournville College
      of Further
      Education  
Cambridge
      Education
      Group  
Camp Beaumont  
Concorde
      International
      Language Home
      Tuition 
      (Argentina, Australia,
      Canada, England,
      France, Germany,
      Greece, Hawaii,
      Ireland, Italy, Malta,
      New Zealand,Russia,
      Scotland, Spain,
      Sweden, USA)  
Hampstead School
      of English  
International House
      Newcastle  
International House
      World Organisation  
InterNexus Centre
      for Language
      Studies
IP International
      Projects GmbH
      (England, France,
      Germany, Spain)    
LAF  
LAL Language and
      Leisure
      (England, Canada,
      Cyprus, Ireland,
      South Africa, Spain,
      Switzerland, USA)
Kaplan Aspect 
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta,
      New Zealand,
      South Africa, UK,
      USA) 
Malvern House
      College London  
Oxford Intensive
      School of English 
      (Australia, France,
      Germany, Spain,
      UK, USA)
Prime Education  
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) 
Twin Group
      (Ireland, UK)  
University of Essex -
      International
      Academy
Wimbledon School
      of English  

FRANCE
Alliance Française
      Paris Ile de France
      (France, Spain, UK)  
Home Language
      International  
Silc - Séjours
      Linguistiques  
Université de
      Paris Sorbonne  

GERMANY
Carl Duisberg
      Centren 
      (England, Germany)
Inlingua Berlin  
International House
      Berlin - Prolog  
Sprachcaffe
      International /
      Languages Plus 
      (Australia, Canada,
      Cuba,England,
      France, Germany,
      Italy, Malta, Spain,
      USA)

INDIA
Prime Speech Power
      Language School  

IRELAND
Alpha College of
      English  
Centre of English
      Studies
      (Ireland, UK)     
Dublin City
      University
      Language Services  
Grafton College  
ISI - International
      Study Institute
      Ireland  
MEI~Relsa Ireland
Portobello School  
Swan Training
      Institute  

MALTA
Clubclass
      Residential
      Language School  
EC English
      Language Centre 
      (England, Malta,
      South Africa, USA)
IELS - Institute of
      English Language
      Studies  
Linguatime  
Malta Tourism
      Authority  
NSTS  

NEW ZEALAND
Languages
      International  
Unique New
      Zealand Education  

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

SOUTH AFRICA
Cape Studies  
EC Cape Town  
Eurocentres Cape
     Town  
Good Hope
      Studies  
Interlink School
      of Languages  
LAL Cape Town  
Shane Global
      Language Centres -
      Cape Town  

SPAIN
Camino Barcelona
      Spanish school  
Esade Executive
      Language  
Escuela de Espanol
      
la Brisa S.L.  
Idiomas Sí!  
inlingua Las Palmas
      de Gran Canaria  
International House
      Sevilla - Clic  
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispanico SL  
Wired Spain  

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

USA
ALCC - American
      Language &
      Communication
      Center  
ELS Language
      Centers  
Global Immersions
      Inc  
University of
      California Riverside  
University of
      California San
      Diego  
University of
      South Florida  
Virginia Polytechnic
      Institute & State
      University  
Zoni Language
      Centers
      (Canada, USA)