Learn to speak English in Africa? That’s a strange choice! I went on my first international marketing visit for the year in February. Here I realised that South Africa and Cape Town form a relatively small part of the ESL industry worldwide. Students and their parents do not consider learning English in Africa. They prefer to go to more traditional native English countries such as England and America. However there are many reasons why this perception is changing.
Learn to Speak English in Africa because it’s Affordable
South Africa is an affordable destination. Some might argue that it is less easily reachable than the UK, but so are countries such as Australia. The cost of living is notably lower than most other English speaking markets. The problem lies in the fact that South Africa does not actively promote itself like other countries.
Learn to Speak English in Africa because it’s Easier to get Accepted
Agents in Turkey told me something interesting They said that Turkish students want to go abroad to study from an early age. Often their parent promise them a study trip to the UK or the USA. To change this dream and expectation is no easy feat.
But on a positive note, there are changes in the industry. Many international factors are helping to the grow the English learning market in other places. The ‘big boys’ like the United States are facing problems that are directly influencing the English learning industry. ST Magazine recently featured an article on the industry’s response to Trump’s election. They stated that many members of EnglishUSA are predicting a decline in enrolments. They go on to quote Dr Derar Bal’awi from the Saudi Agency IGEC, “Recent internal surveys indicated that significant percentages of prospective students would be less likely to study in the USA following a Trump election victory.”
Learn to Speak English in Africa because it’s Good English
The history of English in South Africa dates as far back as 1806. This is when the British arrived in the Cape. Even though the Constitution recognises 11 official languages, South African English is an extremely clear dialect. At the same time the South African accent is easy to understand.
All this being said, the South African market has seen an increased market share. When the visa issue is solved, there will be even more students coming to South Africa. Learn to speak English in Africa because it’s a great choice.