Almost 145,000 students from China pursued an English language course in one of eight major English Language Teaching (ELT) destinations. These destinations include the UK, the USA, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Malta, New Zealand, and South Africa. They predominantly learnt English for academic purposes, as part of a pathway or packaged enrolment.
Standalone ELICOS courses (the Chinese equivalent would be ‘Individual Adult English Study Tours Overseas’) – where students wish to improve their English language proficiency primarily for career or personal reasons – has to date not developed as a market in China.
This research paper synthesizes the findings of a detailed, multi-faceted market research initiative that measured and evaluated demand levels for standalone ELICOS programs among prospective Chinese students. It examined the push and pull factors behind their motivation to study English in the Chinese context, both domestically and abroad, with a specific focus on determining the feasibility of the concept of Chinese students pursuing short-term English studies in Australia. Ultimately, the study sets forth preconditions that need to be met in order to turn this segment into a viable opportunity for Australia.