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Redmaids’ High students win the Silver Award in the UK Linguistics Olympiad 2022.

Linguistics winners-1This February, a group of eleven Year 12 students represented Redmaids' High School at the Linguistic Olympiad (Advanced Level). The results are in, and we are delighted to announce that Eloise and Phoebe have achieved the Silver Award! Only 10% of the participants in the UK attain this outstanding award, proving what talented linguists our students are.

Participants competed in identifying patterns and rules in linguistic data to solve problems, almost like a logic-game competition, but in relation to languages, they do not necessarily know anything about. They had to deduct meaning from minority and endangered languages such as Bilama, Korowai, Haruai, Avoiuli, Zuni, Tzeltal, and even Mazateco -the famous tonal (whistle) language used in Mexico- to name just a few.

Linguistics Olympiad, which started in the 1950s, has evolved, and now involves over 40 national competitions (such as UKLO) and various annual international competitions, such as the International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL). UKLO itself is a challenging educational competition for students interested in languages, much like the Mathematics Olympiad, only in this event all problems derive from languages. Participants analyse data from some of the world's 7,000 languages, improving their analytical skills and breaking language codes. 

With one language becoming extinct about every two weeks and with approximately 3,000 languages in the world currently in danger of extinction (UNESCO, 2022) the Linguistic Olympiads are part of the continued effort to protect this important cultural heritage of humanity.

Mrs Ransom, Head of Languages at Redmaids' High, commented: "We are so proud of all our students who took part in this year's National Linguistic Olympiad and for Eloise and Phoebe, who have gone above and beyond achieving something incredible. We know their effort and how hard they worked to accomplish their goal." She continues, "Our school fosters enthusiasm for languages and an interest in their spoken countries. Studying modern languages, not only provides a competitive career advantage that will make our students stand out in the future, but it is also about communicating in a new language with other people, which is one of the most rewarding experiences. The students build their connection with other cultures, and they gain a new, global perspective that will enable them to expand their horizons. This is our vision.".

Congratulations everyone!

 

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Date Posted: 18 March, 2022

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