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June 06, 2003

SARS Reverses ELT Boom in NZ

Various world crises have hit not just the global travel industry but also the ELT business. Language schools in Auckland, New Zealand, for example have been laying off teachers in a reverse of the boom that the city enjoyed last year. Schools that usually employ teachers for the peak June to August northern hemisphere summer period are not offering those teachers work this year, according to Association of Private Providers of English Language chairwoman Barbara Takase. She added that the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is one reason for the worrying trend. "There have been lay-offs of teachers and these are continuing. This is a real concern for the motivated, well-qualified teachers who have lost good professional jobs," says Ms Takase, who is also director of the Auckland English Academy. "There have been a big number of cancellations of tour groups from Thailand, Japan and Korea. These cancellations are SARS related," Ms Takase says.

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