Language schools from Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland – including the North West Academy of English in Londonderry – joined Tourism Ireland recently at AULA in Madrid, a promotion targeting providers and specialists in EFL (learning English as a Foreign Language).
AULA is an annual fair, attended by students and their parents, as well as language teachers and decision-makers who put in place arrangements for Spanish students who wish to travel abroad to improve their language skills. The EFL sector is a valuable source of tourism business and Spain is the largest generator of EFL to the island of Ireland. There has been a steady rise in the number of students travelling to Northern Ireland to study English as a foreign language in recent years and Tourism Ireland considers it to be an area with potential for growth, particularly in 2012.
Barbara Woods, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Spain, said: “We have been working hard to promote Northern Ireland as an ideal destination for Spanish students wishing to improve their English. We know that Northern Ireland appeals to the influential EFL specialists and students – as a dynamic and modern place with a high standard of education which is known for its rich culture and, of course, for the warm welcome extended to visitors.”