Few answers for language market

Japan’s language-related business sales have been on the decline, falling for the fourth straight in year in fiscal 2008, according to a market research firm.

English-language schools, the largest segment of the language market, admit they are hurting from a decline in adult classes and blame the sluggish economy and the fallout from the Nova Corp. bankruptcy.

Susumu Ikegami [a corporate spokesman for Geos] said the market’s downward trend began about five years ago, although the reason is hard to pinpoint. However, he pointed out that the bankruptcy of Nova Corp. in October 2007 had some impact.

“Nova, which was the largest language school, caused distrust among the public about English-language schools,” he said.