Dragons Teaching has had a busy 2021! While there have been challenges – just like any other business navigating the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – we have ended the year in a strong position, ready to grow the company further in 2022 and extend our language teaching to schools and individuals worldwide. Read on to find out more about our highlights from 2021.
Extending our language curriculum
Early in 2021 we extended our Dragons Teaching language curriculum from two main languages (Mandarin and Spanish) to three with the inclusion of French, as FrenchConnect was launched in January. Later in the year we were delighted to acquire Wickersley Partnership Trust as one of our clients with a scaffolded approach to their French curriculum.
“I am delighted to have led the development and launch of the FrenchConnect platform this year. It is a joy to watch children learn French through plenty of opportunities for speaking, as well as games and small-group learning. After the successful launch of our Spanish language programme AmigosConnect in 2020, Dragons Teaching has grown a suite of products and teaching-delivery method that make us a truly robust, reliable and fun partner for schools.”Alex Peek, Product Development Manager
We have now gone further and we are bringing Arabic onto the curriculum in early 2022. As we look ahead to next year with the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, this is the perfect opportunity to start learning Arabic and gain a greater understanding of Arabic culture at the same time. We are particularly delighted to be partnering with the Qatar Foundation International (QFI) to help promote the learning of Arabic worldwide.
“We are delighted to be introducing Arabic to our suite of languages in early 2022. We believe that the World Cup in Qatar next autumn will be an exciting opportunity to promote the learning of Arabic as a community language here in the UK, as well as throughout English medium schools globally.”Adam Ennis, Business Operations Manager
DragonsConnect received MEP endorsement
Following a pilot collaboration with a group of primary schools in 2020, there has been a positive increase in enrollments for the Mandarin Excellence Programme across linked secondary schools. In early November, we were thrilled to receive news from the MEP that DragonsConnect – our Mandarin language e-learning platform – has been recognised as a recommended resource for the programme.
“I am delighted that our Year 6 ‘My Week in China’ programme has been so well received by MEP Schools. Dragons has always aimed to help demystify Mandarin before starting the language at secondary level. This exciting joined-up approach is sure to be hugely impactful in terms of increasing the numbers of young learners going to GCSE and beyond.”Marcus Reoch, Managing Director
A Larger Dragons Team
This year we have welcomed four new recruits to the Dragons Teaching head office team. In June we welcomed Beth Gore, Marketing & Communications Manager, who brings her experience in education marketing to help Dragons launch an international marketing strategy with the aim of becoming a language teaching provider for schools and individuals globally. Later in the summer, we recruited Baker Tsai, Celia Rodriguez and Isobel Haskell. Baker, who is based in Taiwan, is our Head of Teacher Training (Chinese) and brings his experience from co-managing an education agency to recruit, onboard and train excellent Mandarin teachers. Celia, our Academic Lead in European languages, has an extensive background in language education and is a key role in managing the support and ongoing observation of our teachers. Isobel, who recently graduated from the SOAS with an MA in Chinese Studies, is our enthusiastic Customer Support Executive and ensures that both our B2B and B2C customers have a seamless, enjoyable experience while learning with Dragons Teaching.
Dragons Teaching in Taiwan
This year, Dragons Teaching has launched a subsidiary in Taipei, Taiwan which will help us with our international approach to teaching global languages. The recruitment of our Head of Teacher Training (Chinese) Baker Tsai is key to ensuring that we can recruit high-quality Mandarin teachers for both our B2B (schools) and B2C (private tuition) Mandarin language teaching.
“I’m very happy that the Dragons Teaching Taiwan subsidiary has been set up in Taipei – this opens an exciting new chapter for Dragons Teaching where we will provide the best Mandarin teachers and the highest teaching quality to the children in the UK and beyond! I very much look forward to the supporting our team from Taiwan.”Baker Tsai, Head of Teacher Training
Development of the Dragons Teaching Certification
Baker and Celia have been working on developing the Dragons Teaching Certification – our bespoke in-house teacher training programme. Formerly known as the MCTC – the Mandarin Chinese Teaching Certification – the newly developed DTC recognises all of our taught languages. The DTC enables Dragons’ teachers to continuously develop and refine their teaching skills, approaches and creativity, with completion of the programme leading on to higher teaching posts within the organisation. We expect the DTC to be fully complete in 2022.