The following is a summary of Japanese student participation in the ELICOS sector in Australia 2002 - 2005 based on Australian Education International, Research Paper " Study pathways of international students in Australia through the ELICOS sector, 2002 to 2005", Number 2006/2.
English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas students or (ELICOS) in the period 2002 to 2005 in Australia represented 14.2% of all single sector students and 19.5% of multiple sector students. Japanese students represented 12.9%of all international students enrolled in ELICOS 2002 - 2005, the third largest population of students after the Republic of Korea and China.
Pathways of study Japanese students chose in Australian education institutions included ELICOS only 65.6%, ELICOS - VTE (Vocational education) 16.6% and ELICOS - Higher Education 5.5%. Revealing that Japanese students have yet to fully participate in Australian education possibly due to their confidence based on their English language skills.
In terms of length of study in ELICOS courses, 1.3% of Japanese students studied 1 to 4 weeks, 46.9% studied 5 to 26 weeks and 51.8% studied 27 or more weeks. These figures indicate that Japanese students are not confident of their English language skills even though they have studied English for a number of years at school in Japan.
ELICOS is intensive English whereby students study for four or more hours per day depending on the course plus homework, revision and study for tests and assignments meaning that students could easily study 10 plus hours a day. English study in Japan is less rigorous and the change over between the two systems for the student must be very difficult. Learning language in a condensed format may be very good for some students and not so good for others. Pressure can be both a positive an a negative in learning depending how it is applied and interpreted by the individual student.
In summary 63.9% of ELICOS sector Japanese students undertook non award courses which suggests that they wanted to learn without the course counting on their academic record. That is, they wanted to learn, practice and achieve English skills before undertaking a course that would count.They wanted the freedom to learn and improve.
The results of this research have important implications for attracting, managing and retaining Japanese students to ELICOS courses in Australian education.