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The Broken business model of EFL

There is an insightful article that was recently published in the EL Gazette about the broken business model of EFL schools in the US and the UK. While many teachers think of language schools as money makers that deliberately keep their teachers poor, this article blows that idea out of the water to show an industry that definitely is not making money the way it used to. Note too, that many of the problems the US and UK are facing also exist in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.

Read more in the EL Gazette.

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Enrolment and graduation rates continue rising in Canada

Stats Canada recently revealed that the school year of 2017/2018 was the third consecutive year of increases in enrolment and graduation from postsecondary institutions. Our readers will not be surprised to also learn that this growth was largely attributable to international students, whose numbers increased 15.6%. The increase in domestic students was much more modest at 0.2%.

Read more from StatsCan.

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The higher a student’s level, the more they blame their teacher

We remember once teaching a beginning level class at a Toronto college. At the end of the course, the students startled us with a $200 gift certificate and a lovely card signed by everone. We were amazed at this and didn’t feel truly deserving; the students had made a lot of progress, but seeing as they had almost no English, it would have been difficult for them not to.

The following month, we taught an advanced level class. There was no gift certificate that time; rather there were some complaints that we hadn’t done a good enough job. We were annoyed. Certainly, advanced students did not make as quick progress as beginners. Furthermore, advanced students have such wildly different individual needs that it is difficult to address them while still following a curriculum.

And so we read with great interest an article in the EL Gazette that summarizes recent research that shows that, indeed, as students become more proficient, they tend to blame their teacher for their slow progress (beginners tend more to blame themselves when they do not make sufficient progress).


Read the article here.

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Something else to feel bad about: the carbon footprint of international students

It is probably a good bet that a larger than average percentage of ELT professionals are concerned about climate change. Well, a recent article in Inside Higher Ed puts the spotlight on international education and the large carbon footprint that it has. Possible solutions are suggested – including students staying home – but that leaves ELT professionals between a rock and a hard place.

Read more on IHE.

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Lakehead University turns international students into ambassadors

In an effort to attract more international students, Lakehead University is turning to the international students it already has. With its Global Ambassador program, some students at Lakead will be recruited to help attract more students from their country. These students will be taught special speaking and presentation skills and will be featured on social media programs.

We are generally pretty cynical and jaded, but this sounds like a bright plan.

Read more on the CBC website.