The global language learning market has seen significant growth, with revenue reaching US$52 billion in 2022, and is expected to register substantial expansion to US$155.2 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 20% from 2023 to 2032. The individual learner segment dominated the market, accounting for about 60% of the total market share, approximating over $30 billion in 2022. This growth has been driven by a preference for self-directed learning platforms that offer users control over the timing and pace of their language education.

Italian Language School Market: Navigating Trends and Preferences

Delving into the Italian context, language schools fall under Ateco Code 85.59, which saw a sharp dip in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic but bounced back with a growth of over 20 percent in 2021. Market demand for language training, as per household expenditure, surged by nearly 12 percent from 2018 to 2019. However, the spending trend took a downward turn by over 25 percent from 2019 to 2022, possibly reflecting the economic impact of the pandemic and a shift to more cost-effective digital learning platforms. The motivations drawing Italians to language study are multifaceted. Over 30 percent of individuals are motivated by professional enhancement, while around 20 percent are inclined to enrich their children’s cultural backgrounds. Additionally, over 10 percent pursue new language skills with relocation aspirations. Interestingly, a considerable number of Italians, nearly 10 percent, engage in language learning for personal cultural enrichment. Despite this, a future drive to learn new languages appears tepid, with more than half of the populace showing no intent to pursue language courses. Geographically, there is a variance in language education spending across Italy. Central regions lead the expenditure charts, followed by northern and southern regions, respectively. The Italian language school market is predominantly characterized by small businesses and freelance operators, accounting for over 85 percent of entities under Ateco Code 85.59. This suggests a market that values autonomy and personalization in language education services. Amidst this landscape, the number of employees within the sector has seen a modest climb of nearly 7 percent between 2017 and 2021.

Key Players in Italy's Language School Market

The language school market in Italy hosts a variety of players offering a diverse range of services to facilitate language learning among different demographics. Each company brings its unique approach to delivering language education, catering to the individual needs of its learners. Here's a closer look at some of the leading institutions in this sector:

The British School Of Milan: (BSM) The British School of Milan stands out as a prestigious international British school, with a history traced back to its foundation in 1969. It was established by the British community in Milan and has been named after Sir James Henderson, a prominent Scottish businessman. BSM prides itself on offering a curriculum that emphasizes a blend of traditional British education with international learning approaches, making it an educational landmark for expatriates and international students in Italy.

Wall Street English (WSE) Italy: Wall Street English is renowned for its effective English language education programs that span across the globe. Since opening its doors in 1972, WSE has become synonymous with English language proficiency, delivering flexible learning solutions that adhere to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Their courses cater to a broad audience, from beginners to advanced level students, with a strong emphasis on conversational skills and practical usage.

My English School (MyES) Florence: My English School takes a personalized approach to English language learning by offering a diverse array of courses for adults, students, teenagers, and professionals. It is known for the flexibility it provides, enabling learners to choose between on-site and online learning options. The adaptability in course structure and timing makes MyES an attractive option for individuals with dynamic schedules. 

GoFluent: Corporate language training finds a dedicated and innovative partner in GoFluent. Specializing in delivering tailored language learning experiences, GoFluent merges technology, rich content, and human interaction to create hyper-personalized solutions for each organization. Their expertise lies in their ability to cater to business language training needs, facilitating cross-cultural communication in the globalized corporate landscape.

Online Language Learning Enterprises: In the realm of digital language education, platforms like Duolingo, Babbel, Memrise, and Wlingua have made significant strides in offering asynchronous language learning solutions. These apps allow users to learn a new language in flexible, interactive, and affordable ways, often incorporating elements of gamification and social competition to enhance the learning experience. They address the modern learner's need for on-the-go education accessible right from their smartphones.

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Summary and extracts

1 Synthèse du marché

1.1 Introduction

The language school market in Italy represents an important segment of the Italian educational sector, focused on language training for students of all ages. Language courses can be classified mainly into:[Academyinternational]

  • Individual Courses: Customized and flexible, they are suitable for those who have specific needs or need intensive learning in a short time.
  • Group Courses: Take place in classes of several students, with a regular pace and set times, ideal for gradual and collaborative learning.
  • Conversation Courses: Aimed at improving the ability to speak in the foreign language through interaction on topics of daily life or current events.
  • Children's Language Courses: Designed for different age groups, from 3 to 14 years old, to take advantage of young children's natural predisposition for learning.
  • Specialized/Business English Courses: Designed for those who need specific language in their professional or business field, to improve fluency and mastery of technical terminology.

Most language schools in Italy are small businesses founded by teachers, with revenues ranging from 150,000 to 300,000 euros. However, the public database that categorizes companies by ATECO code presents a variety of business types, some of which are not language schools in the strict sense of the term. These include international universities with campuses, study vacation agencies, language school franchise operators, technology platforms dedicated to language teaching, and bilingual training consultants.[Openminds]

The size of the global language learning market in terms of revenue was US$52 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach US$155.2 billion in 2028, growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 20 percent from 2023 to 2032.[Global Market Insights.]

This study focuses exclusively on the language school market in Italy. For more information on related markets, such as the business school market, please refer to the respective studies available in the Businesscoot catalog.

1.2 The global market

The size of the global language learning market in terms of revenue was US$** billion in ****and is expected to reach uS$***.* billion in ****, growing with a CAGR (***) of ** percent from **** to ****. Language learning includes online and offline platforms, which provide resources, courses, and interactive features to help learners and acquire ...

1.3 The local market

To visualize the value of the Italian language school market, consider Ateco Code **.**, related to Services in education (***).

Value of turnover of enterprises active in "Education services nca" (***) Italy, ****-****, in millions of euros (***) Istat

2 Analyse de la demande

2.1 Demand characteristics

To visualize the demand in the analyzed service, we consider the item of monthly household spending in education courses that cannot be defined by level. Specifically, it can be seen that from **** to **** there was an increase in the expenditure item of**.*%. **** represents the year with the highest value in the ...

2.2 Demand drivers

There are several motivations for individuals to approach foreign language study in ****. **% are compelled in order to excel within their field of work, while **% believe it is necessary to expandtheir children's cultural background. **% study a new language with a view to moving to another state. A significant percentage (***) decide to study ...

2.3 Geographical distribution of demand

To visualize the geographic distribution of Italian households' demand in services related to other education not defined by level (***), comprising the South and Islands.

2.4 Languages most in demand in the world of work

Knowledge of the most in-demand languages in the working world is crucial: mastering one or more foreign languages offers both professional and cultural advantages. To identify the languages most worthy of personal and professional investment, one can consult the Power Language Index (***), a gauge that evaluates the power of each individual ...

3 Structure du marché

3.1 Market structure and dynamics

To delve into the dynamics of this market, an overview of active enterprises belonging to Ateco Code **.** of the Istat database is proposed. From **** to **** there was an increase of *.** percent, a value that slightly decreased in **** by *.** percent in ****. In **** , active enterprises in the sector grew again by **.*% from the ...

3.2 Value Chain

The value chain in the language school market can be analyzed by following several main steps, involving both the creation and distribution of language education services.

Development of educational materials: at this stage, educational materials are developed, designing courses to meet the specific needs of students. Technology and platforms: a key ...

3.4 Main actors

The following is an overview of the main market players (***):

The market also consists of enterprises operating exclusively online, such as:

4 Analyse de l'offre

4.1 Type of Offering

Regarding the type of offerings, it is noted that language courses can be of two types:

Individual courses: suitable for those who have specific needs and urgency to perfect the language. In this case, lessons are tailored to the student's pace of study and learning. Individual courses can have an intensive ...

4.2 Prices

The following is a current price list of a language school, which is useful for providing a general overview of the field:

Language English, French, German, Spanish Italian (***)

One-person lessons adults: hourly cost €**.**; course materials and registration €**.**. Two-person lessons - adults: hourly cost **.**€; course materials and registration **.**€. Adult group course: €***.** all ...

4.3 Apps for learning foreign languages

Unlike years past, today it is possible to learn new languages through different modes:

synchronous solutions: teacher in realtime on an online platform; asynchronous solutions: that is, e-learning, in which the language is learned independently.

Regarding asynchronous solutions, there has been an explosion of possibilities in recent years. Among the advantages ...

5 Règlementation

5.1 Rules and regulations

Regarding the purely regulatory sphere, we appeal to DL ***/****, later converted into Law **/**** regarding the regulation of private schools and courses. These kinds of courses are no longer subject to obtaining recognition from the Ministry of Education (***) with the consequence that today anyone can undertake the following activities without requiring any ...

5.2 Youth culture card 2024

Law No. *** of December **, **** (***) introduced new tools that will be operational from ****, namely the Youth Culture Card and the Merit Card, both aimed at allowing the purchase of tickets for theater and film performances and live shows, books, subscriptions to newspapers and periodicals including in diglital format, recorded music, autovisual publishing ...

6 Positionnement des acteurs

6.1 Segmentation

"Physical" schools

Language App

  • The British School Of Milan
  • Wall Street English
  • Myes Firenze
  • GoFluent
  • Duolingo
  • Babbel
  • Memrise
  • Wlingua

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Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

The British School Of Milan
Wall Street English
Myes Firenze

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