LTO Profile

       Elac
Summer Vacations was established in 1991 under the name Eastbourne Language and
Activity Centre. It was initially a homestay course based at Park College in
Eastbourne but since then, the organisation has grown and during the summer
they run 8 multi-national residential as well as homestay centres in a range of
high-quality boarding schools and university campuses around the UK. Every
summer, Elac welcomes almost 3,500 young and teenage learners from Asia, Europe
and Latin America.

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       Even
though Elac Summer Vacations is a relatively small organisation, it is a
British Council accredited EFL centre and is also a member of English UK and
Young learners English UK. It provides English language summer courses to
students aged 12-17 that focus on communication, oral fluency, pronunciation
and skills development. The communicative syllabus in place attempts to assist
students to develop functional English, immerse them in the English culture and
through that help them to communicate both with native speakers and make
friends from other countries, hence developing their interactional skills. For these
goals to be achieved, the organisation recruits only qualified EFL teachers
with experience in ELT and has set up a teacher support network that includes
immediate support by more qualified members of the staff as well as some
professional development sessions and workshops. Finally, to ensure
high-quality teaching, a variety of resources is available to teachers n order
to accommodate their students’ exact linguistic and interest needs.

Key Stakeholders

“Key stakeholders are the groups and
individuals that have an interest in the well-being of the company and/or are
affected by the goals, operations or activities of the organisation or the
behaviour of its members.” (Freeman, 1984, p. 46 )

       In
the case of Elac, the internal stakeholders are the managers who are at the
same time the business owners, other members in managerial positions and the
teaching staff. The connected stakeholders are the students as well as the
foreign language schools or vacation agencies responsible for bringing the
students to Elac Summer Vacations. I believe that the main influence comes from
the owners whose interests sometimes might be in conflict with changes in
practices proposed by other managers. A secondary influence might come from the
clients, students in our case who are interested in value for money and  the quality of the product they receive, that
is the entire summer school experience.

 

Situation Analysis –
Principles, Methodology and the SWOT Analysis

       A
good starting point would be to define the term ‘situation analysis’ in order
to better understand the need for conducting one. Witkin and Altschuld’s (1995), (p. 4) define
situation analysis as “a systematic set of procedures undertaken for the
purpose of setting priorities and making decisions about programme or organisational
improvement and allocation of resources. The priorities are based on identified
needs.” 

       Therefore,
a situation analysis is a series of logical steps that aim at identifying and describing the needs as well as the contributing
factors to those needs and ultimately compose a suitable plan for those needs
to be met.

       Witkin and Altschuld (1995) identify 4 reasons that deem a situation analysis
necessary. The first reason focuses on the fact that the situation analysis in
a way standardises the process of information gathering. Secondly, prioritising
needs and specifying the steps towards a solution is another important reason.
The third reason has to do with the fact that a situation analysis ultimately
leads to the identification of the action that need to be taken in order to
improve the services, operations and organisational structure of the situation.
Lastly, the fourth reason refers to resource allocation and how to best exploit
what
is available.

       When
carrying out a situation analysis one can choose from a collection of
methodologies that can be generally divided into two categories, inductive and
deductive methods respectively (Berwick, 1989). Deductive methods refer to the use of an
extensive range of tests (West,
1994), observations and surveys based on questionnaires (Yalden, 1987). For the
purpose of this specific situation analysis an inductive method has been
selected. It is called SWOT analysis and it employs the use of a four-section
matrix.

       More
specifically, the SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used by educational
organisations in order to clarify the objectives of a specific project and
factor in both the positive and negative aspects of school systems and
procedures. SWOT takes under consideration 4 factors: internal forces, meaning
strengths and weaknesses and external forces, that is, opportunities and
threats (Osita, Onyebuchi
& Justina, 2014).  The reason
why this method was selected is because according to Piercy and Giles (1989) this technique has
many benefits as it is simple enough and readily accessible and most
importantly, it provides the opportunity to combine and assess a heterogeneous
collection of quantitative and qualitative information, of known and unknown
facts, essential to strategic planning. Therefore, its purpose is to collect,
analyse, and evaluate information and identify an organisation’s strategic
options.

Finally, it should be noted that data collection was
conducted by myself as part of my position as Academic Manager in the LTO.