Young Learners Language Education Tops Family Budget Priorities, Shows the Verbalisti Survey in Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia

Belgrade, Serbia – March 6, 2012 – PRODIREKT and its language network Verbalisti today announced the results of the poll designed to discover how parents in the Balkans feel about the language education of their children. The visitors of the Verbalisti Facebook page were asked “How important is it for your children to learn a foreign language in the native speaking country?”. The survey was conducted in four countries – Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, during two time intervals – from 21st November to 21st December 2011, and from January 6 to February 6, 2012, and it generated enormous interest among the Verbalisti network fans and other Facebook members alike. The poll reached 247,757 people, while 1,566 participants cast their vote, with 1,226 of them saying that they would send their children to learn a foreign language in a native speaking country, regardless of the family budget constraints.

Verbalisti Poll: Young Learners Language Education Tops Family Budget Priorities
The Verbalisti poll reached 247,757 people, while 1,566 participants cast their vote

The Prodirekt poll was inspired by the similar one Berlitz Corporation conducted in Japan, Germany, the USA, Mexico, China, Brazil, France, Poland and Italy earlier in 2011. The purpose of the Berlitz poll was to determine how parents of children between the ages of 4 and 17 perceive the importance of foreign language learning. Their key findings show that almost 90% expressed interest in foreign language learning for their children outside regular school hours. Countries with recent strong economic growth, such as China, Mexico and Brazil, showed especially high interest in language education abroad. The lowest interest was in developed countries such as USA, Japan, France and Germany.

“It was interesting to find out from the Berlitz poll how parents in those 9 countries feel about language education of their children, but it is also helpful to see how Berlitz findings relate to our poll conducted in part of Southeast Europe. Furthermore, we wanted to determine what the parents’ opinion about learning a foreign language at home and abroad was”, said Jasmina Saric, director of educational programs, Prodirekt.

Verbalisti (attending My London program) about to leave for LondonThe Prodirekt survey polled 1566 people from 4 countries: Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Participants were asked “How important is it for your children to learn a foreign language in the native speaking country?” There were 4 answer options:

a)    It’s extremely important and I will provide it for my child regardless of financial constraints in the family budget – voted by 78% (1,226 votes)

b)    It’s very important, and I’ll provide it for my child if the family budget allows it  – voted by 16% (246 votes)

c)     It’s not that important, a local language school is good enough – voted by 2% (34 votes)

d)    It’s not important at all – voted by 4% (51 votes)

The Facebook members can access the poll here.

The poll results clearly showed that parents in SEE regard foreign languages as extremely important part of their children’s education:

  • 96% of them would send their children to a private language school – 94% to a language school in a native country, plus additional 2% who maintained that a local language school was good enough for their children’s language education;
  • 78% of the poll partakers uphold that improving a language in the country where its spoken is so important that they will provide it for their children regardless of the financial constraints in a family budget
  • Only 5% maintains that learning a language abroad is not important – 2% believes a local language school will do the job, and 3% claims that language education abroad is not important at all.
Jasmina Saric, Director Educational Programs, PRODIREKT
Jasmina Saric: "With the economic crunch and high unemployment rate among young people, parents perceive their children's language competencies as a key factor in getting a job, or at least as a necessary requirement for further education options abroad"

Jasmina Saric from Prodirekt further commented on the poll results: “The prolonged and severe economic crisis apparently does not affect, at least declaratively, the parents’ willingness to spend on their children education. This makes perfect sense: with the economic crunch and high unemployment rate among young people, parents perceive their children’s language competencies as a key factor in getting a job, especially in the local offices of foreign companies, or at least as a necessary requirement for further education options abroad.”

This high percentage of parents in Southeast Europe who perceive foreign languages as key to their children’s success ties in with the analysis about the boom in the junior language market, published by Dan Thomas, of The Pie, an online publication for educators (Is the junior language market seeing a boom?”, January 12, 2012). In an ever more competitive job market parents recognize a second language – and having studied abroad – as a distinct advantage. The Pie analysis also shows that the demand is not only for English courses, but for other world languages as well.

Job opportunities have been shrinking with the global crisis and employers are becoming more selective; therefore, speaking English as a second language has become more important. The Verbalisti survey confirms the Pie findings, but also points out that in the developing economies the need for children language education is perceived as a must, and that parents are willing to continue spending on their children’s education abroad even in the harsh economic times.

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About PRODIREKT LLC and Communication Network Verbalisti (Verbalists)
PRODIREKT provides strategic management and executive education and training in the Balkan region. PRODIREKT’s innovative solutions for corporate management, marketing and international business communication offer a bridge between strategy and education, while its business group and social network Verbalisti, dedicated to language studies and professional training, helps young professionals and business people achieve their objectives in international communication.

The communication and language network Verbalisti has been created for language lovers and all those wishing to improve their communication skills. Furthermore, Verbalisti are the answer to the growing demand for the regional standardization in foreign language studies. Verbalists offer quality language courses for students of all ages and levels according to their various budget needs.

English UK, the World’s Leading Language Teaching Association, Recognized PRODIREKT as a Partner Agency

Belgrade, Serbia – January 25, 2012 – English UK, which works with the British Council to operate the English in Britain Accreditation Scheme, recognized PRODIREKT as an educational consultancy that successfully promoted the UK as an English language teaching destination in the past years. The recognition and accreditation of PRODIREKT as an English UK Partner Agency came as a result of PRODIREKT’s strictly adhering to the principles of the agency code of conduct, while providing language education services since 2002.

PRODIREKT has been recognized by the English UK as a Partner Agency
PRODIREKT was the first in the region to be recognized by English UK as a Partner Agency

“We are delighted to be the first company in the region to be recognized as an official Partner Agency by English UK, which is known for its independence, reputation and strict monitoring of its members’ work in the local markets,” commented Dejan Trpkovic, Managing Director of PRODIREKT. “This recognition is a great reward for our hard work during the last three years, the period that was also marked with the regional success of the communication and language network Verbalisti. The English UK partner membership will certainly be viewed by our clients and partners as an extra mark of quality of PRODIREKT services, and is a good start in the regional standardization of foreign language studies and recognition of high quality local agencies,” said Dejan Trpkovic.

Review the English UK media release in January 2012:  English UK’s newest Partner Agencies

English UK web site PRODIREKT profile:  PRODIREKT English UK Partner Agency

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About English UK
English UK is an independent organisation which works with the British Council to operate the English in Britain Accreditation Scheme. As the world’s leading language teaching association,  English UK has more than 450 members – all accredited by the British Council – including private language schools, educational trusts and charities and language centres in further education colleges and universities.

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PRODIREKT education consultancy has met strict standard of quality of German ICEF, PRODIREKT recognized as ICEF Agency

Bonn, Germany – November 21, 2011 – German ICEF today formally recognized PRODIREKT as the Agency and educational consultancy that met ICEF’s strict standard of quality. PRODIREKT successfully completed a quality assurance screen during 2011 and has become a preferred Agency of ICEF.

Language study abroad and Verbalists students in LondonPRODIREKT Director of Educational Programs Jasmina Saric said, “The global population of international students has grown dramatically over the past decade, and all signs point that the same is happening, albeit at the slower pace, in Southeast Europe. This also means that our customers are becoming more demanding and knowledgeable about the opportunities in international education. Therefore, we must be transparent in our practices and be more accountable how we conduct our business. Our company, with the support from the Western educators, created the Verbalists Language Network in 2010 to meet this growing demand for the regional standardization in foreign language studies. The popularity of Verbalists and its fast growth to a 11,000-member strong community in less than two years is the best evidence that the regional customers needed one credible opinion forum and education market place they can trust. With ICEF’s recognition of PRODIREKT’s high quality education services, we continue to show our commitment to improved practice and professional standards”.

Along with our well-established quality assurance screening for agents, ICEF has for some time followed strict guidelines for educators participating in ICEF Workshops. All institutions that attend the ICEF Higher Education Workshop must be fully accredited in their home countries.

About ICEF
ICEF logoICEF’s industry-leading quality assurance processes are increasingly recognised worldwide as an important qualification for agencies who have been successfully vetted for, and participated in, ICEF Workshops. In 2010, ICEF launched a formal recognition programme, acknowledging agents who have met ICEF’s strict standard of quality. The ICEF Agency status is conferred for a two-year period and is renewed through ongoing quality assurance screening and participation in ICEF Workshops.

About PRODIREKT
PRODIREKT’s innovative solutions for corporate management, marketing and international business communication offer a bridge between strategy and education, while its business group and social network Verbalists, dedicated to language studies and professional training, helps young professionals and business people achieve their objectives in international communication.

Learn about ICEF’s services and listen to educators from around the world talk about how ICEF impacts their international education and language travel:

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