1.1 Presentation and definition of the language travel market
Language study stays occur for varying lengths in a foreign country. The goal is to learn or improve the language of the country in question. Linguistic stays are carried out by:
- Children (under 12),
- Teenagers (12-18 years)
The global market for language travel has seen an impressive growth in recent years both in value and volume, due to the increasing attention towards the necessity of foreign languages in an increasingly globalized world. Demand is strongly driven by students from Asia studying English in Europe or the US.
Among the main players on the market are agencies specializing in language holidays, associations, and specialized organizations that own their own language schools. Key names include EF Education First, Language International, and GoAbroad. The UK market’s benefiting from the fact that English is taught all over the world; it still, together with the US, dominates the number of recipients.
In recent years, the offers and formulas proposed have evolved. The offer has been extended to a larger number of countries, even if knowledge of english remains the primary motivation for this type of stay.
While this study is mainly focused on the students that come to the UK to study English at the various language centres, it also includes a little bit about British students travelling abroad to learn foreign languages.
1.2 A healthy global market largely dominated by the UK and the US
Despite the lack of research and information on the language study abroad segment, which is part of the broader international education industry, there is some evidence that the global market for language study abroad is doing quite well. According to the IALC Study Travel Research Report (***), which, among other things, collects ...
1.3 The UK language travel market has been in better shape since 2017
Established in ****, the British Educational Travel Association (***) is the institution that governs all educational travel activities in the UK. In ****, the inbound youth, student and educational travel sector was worth £** billion to the British economy [***].
Within the educational travel sector, the language travel industry accounted for £*.* billion, or *% of the total ...
1.4 The importance of learning English
The fluency in English in particular is considered a crucial professional asset, since it is the language of choice in many fields (***) and an increasing number of jobs require proficiency in this language. The companies are internationalizing, and speaking English allows you to take advantage of more professional opportunities. In addition, ...
1.5 The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic
The covid-** pandemic and the resulting lockdowns and restrictions imposed by the British government brought terrible consequences for language travel industry. Starting with the market size, this decreased by approximately £*** million compared to the previous year (***).
In terms of number of students, this also fell between **** and ****. A study by Bonard, ...
2.1 Europeans learn many languages, with English being the main language
English is by far the most popular foreign language in Europe, with **% of students in secondary education learning it. Spanish, French and German are the next most popular languages among European students. The evolution has also been promising, with the percentage of secondary school students learning English increasing by * percentage points ...
2.2 English, a useful language for the majority of Europeans
As seen in the part *.* of this study, English is a very popular language among European countries. This is supported by the fact that * out of the top ** nationalities of the visitors to the UK are European, with only Japan and China as the outliers.
Main nationalities for the English language ...
2.3 Chinese students are highly represented in Great Britain
In regards to the profile of those who travel to the UK for English language courses, we see that there is a slight difference in the gender distribution of those undertaking these courses. **% of visitors are female while **% are male [***].
Gender distribution of visitors who take an English language course UK, ...
2.4 Strong demand during holiday periods
There is a clear seasonality in the number of visitors travelling to the UK to undertake English language courses. While overall visits to the UK tend to be somewhat evenly spread out along the year, visits for English language courses mostly happen in the Summer period and are quite low at ...
2.5 The falling popularity of foreign languages in the UK
Given how this study also focuses on the behaviour of the British towards learning foreign languages, it is interesting to note how the British have been giving less and less importance to foreign languages.
First of all, only **% of the British population speaks at least one foreign language, and only *% speak ...
3.1 Who are the organisers of language stays?
There are three main types of players participating on the market language stays in Great Britain.
The local universities which offer the possibility of summer camps to improve your English: Sussex, Ashford, Oxford, etc. The host families and sites for connecting with families to be able to enjoy full cultural immersion ...
3.2 Online learning platforms are gaining traction
According to the Ambient Insight, the digital language learning should experience an exponential growth worldwide until ****, supported by the learning of English. Indeed, between **** and ****, forecasts predict a doubling of the size of the digital language learning market in the English language segment, from €*.* billion in **** to €*.* billion in ****.
A player ...
3.3 Geographical distribution
The South of England - and predominantly London - is where the largest concentration of English language course visitors is. In fact, the * southern-most regions (***), concentrate **% of total visitors who undertake an English language course. This can be seen in the table and map below.
Geographical distribution of visitors undertaking ...
4.1 A wide range of products on the language travel market
Stays generally take place during school holidays and often last from * to ** nights. However, the duration can be longer depending on the type of stay and can even be one year.
Duration of stay of visitors undertaking English Language courses UK, ****, in % Source: ****
In general, there are between ** and ** hours of ...
4.2 Prices vary according to the type of stay chosen
The price of language stays depends on several factors:
The type of organization chosen, The duration of the stay, The choice of location (***), The course and cultural immersion formula chosen
Some of them formulas include accommodation, courses, activities and travel, while some include only courses or cultural immersion, for example.
4.3 Towards a more professionalized offer of language stays
According to the Let's study abroad, the demand is no longer limited simply to young teenagers wishing to improve their English and the offer is adapting by offering more professional courses.
For example, Kaplan English International, one of the leading companies in the sector, has launched two new offers for this ...
The regulations that govern the activity of language travel in the UK is mentioned in the following document.
- EF International
- Kaplan International English
- Boa Lingua
- Homestay English
- Ashford University
- Oxford Summer Courses
- English Country Schools
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