We’re Ready… Are You?

That’s right, the uTalk Junior Language Challenge is back for the 2019/2020 academic year! We’ve got a whole new website with a brand-new look and we’re ready and waiting for your sign ups. But what is the uTalk JLC, and why should you take part?

For the last fifteen years, uTalk has been proud to host a very important annual event: the uTalk Junior Language Challenge (formerly just the Junior Language Challenge). This challenge, open to primary school-aged children across the country, had them learning up to three new languages per academic year, exposing them to languages as far apart as Zulu, Mandarin, and Arabic!

We’ve had many a national champion, with some willing to sacrifice an awful lot for the opportunity to win and we’re proud of everyone who has even thought about taking part.

But if you’ve never even heard of the uTalk JLC before, don’t worry, you’re at a pretty similar stage to those who have taken part, or had students take part, before. That’s because this year, we decided to shake things up a little to try and make this challenge the best it can be, which has meant just a few changes!

How does it work?

Firstly, teachers can register their students, or students can be registered individually, by a parent or guardian—especially important if you’re homeschooling. Registration costs £5 per child. 

Once registered, the challenge begins! Download our app onto any device the child can use, choose a language, and away they go. If you’re a teacher, you’ll choose any language (and there’s more than 150, so have fun with that!) for all of your students to learn with the exceptions of French, Swedish, and Slovak. The students will have twelve topics to learn about, including things like colours, and food, so words and phrases that should be really useful.

All they have to do in this round is score 500 points (out of a possible 3,960) by 10am on Friday 20th December 2019 to move onto Round Two. We’re hoping that a lower threshold will have as many children going through to Round Two as possible, and that’s where the real fun begins…

Round Two: French!

Once through to round two, all students across the country (with some very rare exception—contact us at challenge@utalk.com if you think that is the case) will be learning French.

Why French?

Well, it’s pretty likely most primary school children will have the option to study French when they move onto secondary school, so this seemed like the most sensible idea for everyone involved. 

This round will continue until 10am on Friday 27th March 2020, and this is where it gets a little different to previous years. This year, we aren’t holding a national final (for many reasons, but mostly because it makes our competition more accessible for all students involved); instead, there are going to be twelve regional finals: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, London, South East, and South West. 

These regional finals will feature the top 30 performers from each region, where they will compete against each other and the clock to be named uTalk JLC Champion and Runner-up for their region. The language tested in the regional finals will also be French and while we do not have exact dates and venues as of yet, we would expect these to be held during the summer term.

And that’s basically it. There are of course a few other things to go over—you can find a complete guide to the uTalk JLC here and if you have any questions, it’s best to check here first but feel free to email us, too.

So, if you’re feeling ready for it, go ahead and start the registration process! We look forward to seeing you there!

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