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LCC International University > News and Events > And the winner is . . . .

And the winner is . . . .


We applauded loudly as the winner of the 2024 Lithuanian National English Language Olympiad accepted his award certificate and gifts on stage. But it was not just the boy with the top score that won that day. All the 11th and 12th graders received gifts and certificates for their excellent English abilities.

Healthy competition is challenging yourself to participate. Healthy competition is doing your best, knowing that you are not perfect. Healthy competition means improvement from the last competition. Healthy competition is making friends along the way, not enemies. I love to see pupils participate in healthy competitions that promote these important life values.

I witnessed healthy competition in Palanga, Lithuania, at the National English Language Olympiad for 11th and 12th graders this spring. The pupils traveled to the west coast for two days of English contests, and a chance to interact with each other.

The English competition consisted of an essay writing task; student listened to a video news commentary and then wrote a response blog. Secondly, pupils were randomly matched with a pupil from another school for an unrehearsed paired dialogue. As they entered the room, the pair was given a news article to read; then they talked together, making sure to give their opinions and politely invite their partner to offer other suggestions. Last, pupils were given a Lithuanian proverb and asked to orally interpret the meaning of the proverb. These three tasks were rated and scored by teachers and members of LAKMA, the Lithuanian Association of English Language Teachers.

Bedsides the competition, pupils ate meals in the cafeteria together. They participated in a game which required that they explore the town of Palanga with kids they had never met before. Throughout the weekend, these young people talked, laughed, listened, and made new friends. And they were not glued to their mobile phones, which is another bonus!

Not everyone had perfect English; not everyone wrote grammatically correct blogs. But they learned, they made the effort to participate, and they experienced healthy competition.

Three cheers for the teachers and school leaders who took time to organize this event. They created a space for healthy competition. They all went home with a prize; the self-confidence created by health competition. 

Author: Robin Gingerich, Ph.D., MA TESOL Program Director at LCC International University.

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