No beginners, please

February 15, 2010 - Amanda

Have you spared a thought for people running English Language schools lately?

This is an important part of the UK’s tourism industry – for the billions it brings into our economy (from students and their visiting friends and families), and also because young people coming here to learn English often revisit later in life.

Yet tough new immigration controls mean that anyone from outside the EU applying to come here to study in future must already be able to speak English to near GCSE standard. So does that spell the end of beginners’ courses for people from the world’s fastest-growing economies?

And those on short courses can’t bring their dependents any more – so no more family holidays while an adult brushes up his or her English.

What will this do to the UK’s EFL sector, already facing tough competition from the other anglophone countries?

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