Mandarin Upskilling Course – 2021-2022

We are delighted to announce that our teacher training course, the Mandarin Upskilling Course, is open for enrolments for September, in what will be its fourth year of running.

If you are a qualified primary or secondary teacher in the UK or a PGCE student and are looking to either support or introduce the delivery of Mandarin in your school, then this course could help.

Our Mandarin Upskilling Course aims to build UK teachers’ Mandarin language proficiency to teach up to KS4 Level. Each level takes one year to complete. At the end of each year, your progress will be assessed and certificates of completion will be provided. In July, there are also intensive learning sessions, which take place in China in the second year of the course.

It offers a blended learning approach, consisting of a self-study online course punctuated with several core face-to-face workshops. It is planned to fit in with teachers’ busy schedules. The textbooks for the course are frequently used in schools and there are many free resources available to accompany them. You will therefore be well-equipped to translate your learning from this course directly into the classroom.

“I teach French and some Spanish as well…I think when you’ve been learning a language for so long, you forget what it’s like to learn [from the beginning]. Me doing this has taken me back to how the children are feeling when they’re learning French, Spanish, or Mandarin. It helps me think about how I can make this simpler and what kind of questions can I ask to help them understand it. When you learn Chinese, you can’t overcomplicate it, so I think more about whether I’m overburdening my students and whether they’re taking in the words, teaching them a few at a time. It’s making me think about the absolute basics again, how I’m learning in this and what I can take from this to my classroom. It’s definitely made my planning a bit easier!” – Rachel Whittaker, Level 2 Mandarin Upskilling Course Participant & MFL Teacher

“When you point out the radicals in the characters – that’s something I try to do with my students – they really enjoy it and they really respond to it. It gives them a sense that they understand what it means. It’s like a code that you’ve cracked” – Jess Hearn, Level 2 Mandarin Upskilling Course Participant & MFL Teacher

This is a holistic course and will teach both linguistic and cultural language competency. Its workshops are supported by UCL IOE Chinese MA TESOL students who will help you perfect your tone and pronunciation and will share their insights about the Mandarin language and life in China with you.

Hear what our participants have to say about the Mandarin Upskilling Course and the support they receive…


…and hear some of our lovely MA student volunteers discuss how they help in our workshops below:


Blog with Qingqing Liu

The course is free, other than travel & textbook costs.

If you are interested in enrolling in our Mandarin Upskilling Course and/or have any questions, please contact us at