Editorial on ELTNEWS.com
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The new school year is upon us and so is the recession. The big question for many of us is how much effect the recession will have on our fortunes this year.

Language schools will obviously suffer. Those that depend on company contracts will probably suffer the most, and smaller schools with strong personal relationships with their students will probably suffer the least. I live in Hiroshima, and it's not a good time to have a language school in a city that is so heavily dependent on a car company. When Mazda is in trouble, it has a strong negative effect on the whole local economy. The number of new students enrolling at our school this year is well down on last year.

Publishers and other ELT-related businesses are also likely to suffer to some extent, especially with books that are suitable for company classes. However, it is not all doom and gloom. The strong yen is having a positive impact on schools and companies that send students overseas.

Even if we are being seriously affected by the recession, I think it is always important to remember that there are millions of people around the world who are suffering much more. Even in Japan, the Brazilian community has been devastated. The number of students at Brazilian schools has declined 40% in two months and almost 70% since 2007. Brazilians have been losing their jobs in droves and cannot afford to educate their children. This is a local tragedy on a scale that puts the problems of English language schools and other ELT-related businesses into perspective.

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