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Like Yoda they speak: Chigwell pupils use the force in unusual language competition

08:00 13 February 2013

Chigwell School students aged between 12 and 18 took part in the United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad

Chigwell School students aged between 12 and 18 took part in the United Kingdom Linguistics Olympiad

Archant

Yodaspeak might not be taught in schools but that did not stop pupils at a Chigwell school using the “language” in a national language competition.

Students from Chigwell School, in High Road, answered questions in the Star Wars dialect as well as obscure indigenous American languages and ancient Phoenician as part of the UK Linguistics Olympiad.

More than 40 pupils aged between 12 and 18 completed the first round of the competition last week in foundation, intermediate and advanced categories.

It tests logic by challenging students to solve problems in new languages by working out grammatical rules and matching vocabulary.

Head of languages Simon Coppell said: “It makes them think about languages they’ve never even heard of before and how language learning is a craft that you can apply not just to French, German or Spanish, but to thousands of other languages.”

The patron of the UK Linguistics Olympiad is Olympic athlete and gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu, who is also a UCL linguistics graduate.

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