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Eurocentres - 60 years of competence and innovation

Pioneer period 1948 – 1960  

1948
An idea turns into a school. Erhard Waespi founds his first language school "on the spot" in Bournemouth, on England's south coast. His goal: learning  a language should be a fun, enriching and personal experience, and at the same time, increase awareness and understanding between cultures.

1959
His schools (at that time in Bournemouth and Lausanne) come to the attention of Gottlieb Duttweiler, founder of Migros. He is fascinated by the idea of creating meeting points for adults from all over the world, and thus making possible a dialogue which exceeds all limits set by nationality, race, religion, social position and education. The Federation of Migros Co-operatives takes over the two schools and new centres are opened in Florence, Barcelona and Cologne.

1960
An independent Foundation, under the name Eurocentres - European Language and Educational Centres - is set up by Gottlieb Duttweiler and like-minded people. The number of students per year rises to 4 300. 

 

Initial expansion period 1960 – 1975            

In this period the collaboration with schools in France, Spain and the USA begins.

1968
The Council of Europe bestows on Eurocentres (as the only non-governmental organisation) the "Status Consultatif de la Catégorie 1" - advisory status in the field of language teaching and learning.

1969
Eurocentres establishes its Research & Development department in Bournemouth - where the world-famous "Kernel Lessons" take shape.

1975
The number of students exceeds 20 000 per year. 

 

Implementation of new pedagogic concepts 1975 – 1985           

The testing and evaluation of "Threshold Level" of the Council of Europe begins in Bournemouth.

1977
London Lee Green is built as the first school in Britain purposely designed for language learning - implementing at the same time pioneer work on new classroom design, the concept of self-access learning in multi-media learning centres and "CALL" (Computer Assisted Language Learning).

1984
Eurocentres Cambridge, the second purpose-built model school for teaching English to adults follows.       

 

Second expansion period 1986 – 1998    

1986
The first purpose-built school for teaching German opens in Cologne.

1988
A new school teaching American English is opened in Washington DC-Alexandria. A new centre for teaching Japanese is opened in Kanazawa.

1991
Completion of a new purpose-built school in La Rochelle. There are now 3 year-round schools in France – Paris, Amboise and La Rochelle.

1993
The "Eurocentres Scale of Language Proficiency" as a basis for new course certification is put into practice. It is followed by the development of a computerised language testing system called Item banker which enables teachers to generate reliable tests according to their individual needs.

1995
Formulation of a new strategy with the possibility for Eurocentres to offer consultancy for teaching languages in the home country. As a result, the first consultancy agreements in Switzerland, Spain and Brazil take shape.

1999
Formation of partnerships to offer courses in Canada and Malta.        

 

Third expansion period 2001 – 2008

2002
There are two Eurocentres schools in Canada, and further partnerships develop through the collaboration with partner schools in Malta, Australia and Spain.

2005
By now there are three Eurocentres schools in Australia: Perth, Brisbane and Cairns, plus Auckland in New Zealand.

2006
New school in the fabulous environment of Cape Town, South Africa. Closure at the end of year of the school in Cologne.

2007
New school for teaching German opens in Berlin.

2008
The Eurocentres school network in Australia is completed with the opening of Eurocentres Sydney.   

 

Today 

Eurocentres, with a worldwide network of Eurocentres enrolment offices and agents, welcomes ca. 13 000 students every year to its schools in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Japan. We remain committed to our original goal of teaching languages supremely well and providing high standards of services to our clients.                

 

Dedicated to quality  

The Swiss Eurocentres Foundation has been a consultant to the Council of Europe for language learning since 1968 and has played a crucial role in the development of the Common European Framework of Reference for language teaching and learning. As a Foundation Eurocentres has provided top quality language teaching and aims to contribute towards a better understanding among people everywhere by helping to bridge national, cultural and social barriers.       

Why Eurocentres?

  • Quality at the best price - with lowest price guarantee
  • Carefully chosen network of quality schools
  • Language schools with official accreditation
  • We speak your language: consultation with enthusiasm