Sparkling performance from budding linguist

Thu, 12 Oct 2017

A budding linguist who spent his summer holidays learning Japanese reached the final of a prestigious national competition.

Ojas took up his place in today’s (Friday) final in London after progressing through several rounds in the Junior Language Challenge (JLC) 2017.

The 10-year-old pupil from Monmouth School Boys’ Prep was among the final 32 candidates in the country after learning French, Japanese and Zulu.

Ojas is the school’s Deputy Head Boy and was supported by Modern Languages Teacher, Madame Le Moal .

Although he wasn’t placed in the final, Ojas was presented with a bottle of champagne after the school was named the most supportive in the competition after raising £800 for charity.

In a separate event for teachers and parents, Madame Le Moal finished sixth and Ojas’ mum was fourth overall.

“The hardest language for me to learn has probably been Zulu, followed by Japanese and then French, said Ojas, also a keen cricketer.

“It was a bit tricky at first to learn the new things in Japanese but once I got it into my head it stuck and it became easier.”

The Junior Language Challenge is an annual language competition for UK primary schools and aims to inspire a love of languages and encourage children to become independent learners.

It raises money for onebillion, a global education charity with the goal of helping one billion children reach their full potential in maths, reading and English.

Around 2,000 children took part in this year’s language competition.

The JLC champion won a trip to an African country for their family as part of the top prize.

Ojas said: “My parents speak two languages and my sister is studying German and Latin and most of my family can speak more than one language.

“I like learning languages because if you go to a different country it’s nicer to speak their own language rather than speaking English.”

He added: “I was really proud to have made it to the grand final because I didn’t think I would get through the semi-finals.”