Ella Crowned Junior Language Challenge Champion In Nail-Biting Final

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Ten-year-old Ella Whittingham from Nottingham beat off competition from 32 other young language learners on 18th October to claim the first prize of a family trip to Africa and the title of EuroTalk Junior Language Challenge Champion 2013.

JLC champion Ella Whittingham

JLC champion Ella Whittingham will enjoy a family trip to Africa as her prize

Ella was determined, kept her cool and won through in the end. She was a very deserving winner.

The 33 young linguists came from across the UK to take part in the grand final of the annual Junior Language Challenge, run by educational publisher EuroTalk for children under 11. Having learnt Spanish and Greek to reach the final stage of the competition, the children faced the ultimate challenge: to learn Chichewa, the language of Malawi, in under a month.

After a nail-biting final round at Language Show Live in London, during which the lead changed hands more than once, Ella, from Abbey Road Primary School, West Bridgford, emerged as the victor. Runners-up Morgan Fry from St John’s on the Hill School, Chepstow, and Tudor Mendel-Idowu from Holme Grange School, Wokingham, were close behind but narrowly missed out on the top prize of a family holiday to Africa.

“All the finalists were fantastic, and we were amazed at how much they'd all achieved in so short a time,” says Richard Howeson, EuroTalk’s chairman and founder of the JLC. “When it came to the final round, it was very close right up to the last minute, but Ella was determined, kept her cool and won through in the end. She was a very deserving winner.”

All the finalists received a medal and certificate, presented by ten-year-old Martha Payne, who is known for her blog NeverSeconds and her incredible fundraising efforts on behalf of Mary’s Meals, a charity in Malawi providing school dinners to children.

Like Martha, the Junior Language Challenge has a special connection with Malawi. EuroTalk have been working in the country for several years, providing educational equipment and resources to schools as part of the company’s mission to reach one billion children. The £2.50 entry fees paid by each child who entered the competition will be used to continue this work, and Ella and her family will have the opportunity to see the results during their trip.

"It felt amazing to win the JLC,” says Ella. “I’m really looking forward to going to Malawi and seeing how the JLC has helped children's education there."

The Junior Language Challenge will return in March 2014.

About EuroTalk, the Junior Language Challenge and One Billion Children

The Junior Language Challenge is a national competition, which aims to show primary school aged children that languages can be fun. Using EuroTalk’s interactive software, the children study up to three new languages, competing against others from their region and ultimately from across the country in the grand final.

EuroTalk have been publishing language learning software for over 20 years, with a range of products now covering over 130 languages.

The company have a mission: to help a billion children in the world who do not have access to a basic education. EuroTalk are creating primary software, which will be available in over 200 languages. This means that children around the world, many for the first time, can learn using apps in their native language.

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Liz Dyer
EuroTalk
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