October 28, 2015 5:39 pm
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Last week, we heard from Jackie Gliniecka, a teacher at The Hawthorns School in Surrey, about her experience of the Junior Language Challenge over the last ten years.

But how does it feel to take part in the competition? Today we’re sharing runner-up Aalaya Sanjeeva’s story, which begins three years ago…

Aalaya

I started JLC when I was in Year 3. In the first year, when I got through to my first JLC finals, I did not make it to the final 12 after the heats. However, just getting into the finals was a fantastic experience and I just had to do it again the following year. In the second year, I worked really hard and made to the final 12 but not the top 3. This year, my friend Nithya and I worked our way through to the finals and we both did really well to get into the top 18. It felt so great and seriously nerve wracking while we were playing, when I came second I could not believe it (I still can’t believe it).

I would recommend entering JLC as the whole experience is a lot of FUN and besides, learning languages is an important skill, it helps you communicate better when you go to foreign countries and also since you know where the money is going and what it is helping with (onebillion), it inspires you and makes you work even harder for it! Over the years, I have seen the videos of a school classroom built in Malawi and happy children learning to read and learn maths in their native language and progressing quite well. It makes you happy to see their smiles when they get the stars on the iPad.

I also remember Martha Payne, a girl not much older than us, who handed out the prizes during JLC 2013 – her story, ‘Martha, Meals and Malawi‘ was amazing and really inspiring and touching!

I had great fun learning all the 9 languages over the last 3 years 🙂 Thank you, team JLC for the wonderful opportunity!

Aalaya and Martha Payne at the Junior Language Challenge final 2013

Aalaya receiving her medal and certificate from Martha Payne at the JLC Final 2013

Aalaya’s parents, Sanjeeva and Priya

We have had an amazing experience learning so many languages over the last 3 years, it has instilled in Aalaya a love of languages that will stay with her for life and the steadfastness of effort that was required was also something wonderful to see in all the kids who have  done multiple rounds. Plus she has had tons of fun, going to the semi-finals and finals – looking forward to the special journey to London Olympia with her teachers Mrs Gliniecka & Mrs Guest and schoolmate Nithya, the exposure to the huge language show opening up the wonderful world of linguistics and last but not least,  those marvellous goody bags – all part of a wonderful package for a young child 🙂

Your team (Liz, Franco and others) and Richard Howeson are amazing and inspirational people – the happiness and camaraderie and the genuine passion in what you do is so evident every year! Richard, especially, with his vision for onebillion, has been so instrumental to all this and much more. The progress we saw unfolding with EuroTalk and onebillion was heart-warming, it gives a lot of hope for the future. We hope and pray that onebillion will achieve the goal for which it was founded and will try supporting it by encouraging more children to join the competition every year!

Some learning stays for life! Aalaya has been very inspired by the wonderful initiatives she has witnessed and this in turn with similar other experiences will help her grow as a responsible person.

THANK YOU again and keep up the good work!

Two ever grateful parents! 🙂

Aalaya at the JLC final 2015

Aalaya at this year’s JLC final, where she came second

If you’d like to know more about the Junior Language Challenge, or you’re thinking of entering next year, please do feel free to contact us at jlc@eurotalk.com or visit eurotalk.com/jlc, where you can sign up to join the mailing list and be first to know all the details of the 2016 competition.

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