UK Linguistics Olympiad

Two Headington girls achieved a coveted Gold certificate in a national linguistics competition.

This year seven budding linguists from L5 to L6 have been taking part in the United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad club at Headington.

In the club, run by languages teachers Mrs Diana Bonifaci and Mrs Julie McVean, each week the girls completed a number of challenges, aimed at testing their linguistic competence. These have included puzzles in Arhuaco, Maltese, Italian, Albanian, Filipino and Chintang.

As a culmination of the year’s work, they entered a national linguistic competition in March in 2024. The competition is for school and college students and is organised by a committee of university academics and school / college teachers. It has three levels: foundation, intermediate, advanced. Some of the benefits of completing challenges in a foreign language are that students understand their mother tongue better, as well as developing analytical thinking and skills, such as pattern recognition, connections across disciplines and metacognition.

Mrs Diana Bonifaci said: “All of our pupils worked collaboratively during the challenge and were awarded certificates. Huge congratulations to Lily and Alex (both L5) who achieved Gold! They also took part in the GCHQ language competition earlier on in the year. They are incredible linguists!”