The British English Olympics competition (BEO) is a unique event that celebrates the best of British English language skills. The competition was held in London, UK, and brought students from bilingual schools from all around the world, challenging them to demonstrate their mastery of the English language in a series of tests and competitions. From March 28 through April 13, students from a hundred and fifty schools from over twenty three countries participated in presentations, debates, and events that required creativity and improvisation.
This year, School of the Nations participated in the competition for the first time with thirteen of our Middle School students. Accompanied by their teachers, Ms. Monna Povala and Mr. Robert Maxfield, they engaged in a series of debates, presentations, and role-plays in a completely immersive environment.
The British English Olympics competition is not just about testing language skills, however. It also provides an opportunity for participants to meet and network with other English learners from across the world. They develop a healthy sense of friendly competition and engage in a multicultural exchange to learn more about one another.
The Oxford International Education Group is the leading provider of the BEO. The competition is open to students ages 12 to 16 and is a testament to the importance of English as a global language and the value of language learning in today's interconnected world.
We are pleased to announce that our students made us proud again by winning seventh place in the overall competition out of forty other teams from bilingual schools.
They also brought home the first-place trophy at the Lancing B Drama Festival, a drama competition held at BEO. The theme "The New Normal," challenged students to interpret the subject in their own way. Each team developed a scene the way they wished.
Nations students decided to portray the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on society. According to reports, they did not have costumes or scenery, so they improvised. The festival looked at skills that went beyond the performing arts. So, for example, fluency in English and tone of speech were also crucial to our students' victory.
We had the privilege of collecting testimonials from our students about their BEO experience. We share them with you below.
Mariana Coelho, Grade 8
"BEO was an amazing experience! In December 2022, we were preparing and we knew we were a little behind the other schools, so getting to the semifinals was a really cool surprise. Despite our nervousness, it all worked out."
"We received a lot of inspiration, support, and guidance from our teachers at all times. Meeting other people, experiencing other cultures, and being able to share that with my classmates was very important."
"Regarding my academic performance, the competition benefited me. I lost my fear of speaking in public and developed many other skills, such as how to argue, improvise, and work on a team. The best thing is that I know I will be able to apply these skills in the future.”
Vicente Oliveira, Grade 8
"With the activities, I was able to learn a lot and socialize. I made many friends and loved going to another country and experiencing the culture there. The skill I developed the most was socializing. This whole experience will help me achieve so much in the future!"
"In my opinion, we performed great despite our limitations. To participate in the contest for the first time and get these results is incredible! Regarding our trophy for the drama competition, our performance was exceptional. We received many tips from Mr. Bob. His guidance helped a lot."
Sophia Castrese, Grade 8
"Going to BEO was very cool! Right from the start, I knew I would lose my fear of public speaking and develop my oratory skills. Throughout the competition, we had to develop different skills; we worked a lot in groups to solve problems and adapt to each situation."
"I am proud of the results because we achieved all this our first time participating. Getting to the semifinals was a surprise. We didn't think we would make it because we were so new to the competition."
"For sure the school should invest more in these trips, because this way we, as students, can learn differently. It’s a unique experience. I have matured a lot, and now I know a little about how things are in the real world. Everything I learned has helped prepare me for when I am older."
Victor Dutra, Grade 6
"I enjoyed going to London and participating in the competition because I was able to participate in many activities. I am thrilled with our overall placement. Taking 7th place out of forty teams is amazing, and it made me proud. I was pleased with 1st place in the drama festival as well!"
"I thought it was cool that the school gave us this opportunity. I learned so much from it! These trips are great because we learn more about other countries and cultures and meet new people. The trip was perfect, especially for practicing my English."
"We participated in various activities that tested our improvisation, quick thinking, and problem-solving skills. I think applying these skills at the moment of the activity, without preparing beforehand, helped me a lot because now I am faster, less nervous when it's time to give a presentation, for example, and I can concentrate on things more easily."