As always, the new year has come around at rocket speed, and it feels almost as though January 2015 began before January 2014 had a chance to come to an end. So before we find ourselves fast-tracked to 2016, recounting the events of this year, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on and to celebrate 2014’s successes.
Last year continued to be an interesting year for the education sector and saw modern foreign languages remain a focus for educational reform. If all goes to plan, it seems that by 2016 we will be looking at a very different education system.
2014 was also an incredibly busy year for us at Vocab Express, full to the brim with exciting things, some of which include:
Setting new records for Vocab Express’ championships
Kicking things off in March, the Global Challenge saw more than 28,000 students show off their foreign language skills, competing for a winning spot and collectively scoring a whopping 32 million points. Following suit, 33,000 students from more than 200 schools battled it out for the top spot in the League of Champions in October, scoring over 34 million points in 13 languages. The participation last year was beyond anything we’d expected and we can’t wait to see our championships grow even more in 2015.
Encouraging healthy competition
With our championships scoring points with students and teachers nationwide, we launched a new competitions feature last year, based on feedback from our customers. This allows schools to set up in-house competitions, meaning schools can now run their own mini championships. As well as setting up leaderboards to track the performance of individuals students, classes or entire year groups, they can also filter these by language should they want to do so. The perfect way to inject fun in to any language classroom!
Partnering up with language leaders
Once again in 2014 we continued to support Routes into Languages’ Foreign Language Spelling Bee and Speak to the Future’s 1000 Words Challenge, for which we teamed up with Oxford University Press to provide a free online language learning platform specifically for participants. There’s still time to sign up for this, but be quick as availability is limited!
Last year also saw us partner with the Language Show Live, Speak to the Future and Oxford University Press, to launch the new Strictly 1000 Words national language competition, requiring entrants to submit a short video using no more than 1,000 words in another language. You can check out the winners’ videos here.
It wasn’t only the summer making us smile in August, as Vocab Express’ assignment module was commended in the ‘Technological Innovation of the Year’ category for Teach Secondary’s inaugural Technology and Innovation Awards, in association with LEGO® Education. And there we were thinking that 2014 couldn’t get any better!
All in all 2014 was an excellent year, and we plan to continue this upward curve this year, channelling our efforts in to making Vocab Express bigger and better than ever. In addition to the Global Challenge (4th – 10th March 2015) and the League of Champions, Vocab Express will be introducing a number of new and improved features to enhance usability for teachers and students, so keep an eye out for that!
With plenty on the horizon, we’re looking forward to seeing what the coming year brings. In the meantime, we’d like to wish you the best of luck for 2015, wherever it may take you!