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Students to test language skills on world stage

Monday, 21 March 2016

A team of four skilled linguists from secondary schools will represent the Isle of Man on the world stage this summer. 

Rosalie Kavan and Harriet Godby from Ramsey Grammar School, Seth Aycock from King William’s College and Alex Hind from Queen Elizabeth II High School will join contestants from 40 countries at the International Linguistics Olympiad in Mysore, India, from July 25-29. 

Teams of secondary-age students from around the world gather to test their minds against the world's toughest puzzles in language and linguistics. 

The Isle of Man representatives were chosen after scoring the highest marks of the 63 participants in the fourth annual Isle of Man Linguistics Olympiad, held in schools this week. 

Rob Teare, Head of the Department of Education and Children’s Manx Language Unit, organised the event. 

‘Pupils from all six secondary schools took part,’ he said. ‘The challenges were set by an international jury and marked by Professor Max Wheeler, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the University of Sussex. 

‘The Kaqchikel language of Guatemala, Estonian, Somali, the Nhanda language of Australia and the Nung language of Vietnam were all featured. 

‘To solve the challenges, students had to use code-breaking skills to spot patterns, think logically and maintain concentration over two and a half hours. 

‘This year’s scores were higher than ever and, in recording the top scores, Rosalie, Harriet, Seth and Alex all achieved maximum points in two of the problems they were set. Rosalie scored a remarkable 94.02 points out of 100.’ 

Mr Teare said: ‘It’s the third year the Island has sent a team to the International Linguistics Olympiad and although our students will be up against teams from such huge countries as the USA, China and Australia, I am sure they will fly the flag for the Isle of Man with pride.’ 

Ramsey Grammar School won the schools’ prize at the local event.

Students to test language skills on world stage

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