Burgess Hill linguist heads for China

Sixth form student to represent the UK at the International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL) 2014 in Beijing

Sixth Form student, Ellie Warner from Burgess Hill School for Girls, has been chosen to represent the UK at the International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL) 2014 in Beijing in July 2014.

Ellie qualified for Round 2 in early February 2014 by sitting a tough two-and-a-half hour paper with questions on Turkish, Kairak, Ilokano, Lontara and a musical code. With approximately 3000 students participating, only the top 16 were picked for the next round which was held at Liverpool Hope University. This was a residential course with training, talks and activities. Students also sat another paper in Swahili, Hungarian, Navajo, Yidiny and cognates in Tangholic languages.

Having now found out she is part of the foursome making up the UK team, Ellie and her teammates will be practising diligently to maximise their chances of winning medals in either the individual or team contest. Last year, the UK finished eighth in the world but the new team are aiming to do even better.

Ellie achieved an Honourable Mention last year (one below a medal and awarded only to the top 40% of participants); so this time her target is at least a bronze medal.

Mrs Aughwane, headmistress, said “We are extremely proud of Ellie and wish her every success in China this summer.  It is an amazing achievement, which underlines her natural intellect and aptitude for languages.  Ellie has an offer to read Chinese Studies at Clare, College, Cambridge.”

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