The Opportunity of a Lifetime.

Almost every student dreams of winning an Olimpiada. Why? The answer is simple. Along with being a great honour it is a very practical investment for the future, as the twenty winners get free entry to all state universities. Let's take a closer look at the English Language Olimpiada, one of whose patrons and sponsors is the Copernicus Foundation in Poland, publisher of The World of English.

This year the English Language Olimpiada was organized for the twenty-fourth time. Over 22,500 young people took part in the first stage of the competition at their schools, 517 managed to get to the second round, and only fifty-five were admitted to the finals. On 1 June this year the results were publicly announced at the prize-giving ceremony held by the Olimpiada Committee in Poznań. The happy winner is a second-year student from high school, Michał Subczyński from V LO in Kraków. The remaining finalists are listed on the left.

The English Language Olimpiada has a very long history and tradition and is a class apart from other educational competitions. For twenty-four years the same "Olympic team" of professors has organized it. The Chairman of the Olimpiada Committee is Prof. dr hab. Jacek Fisiak, Director of the English Philology Institute in Poznań and Dr Henryk Krzyżanowski is the author of the tests.

One of the characteristic features of this Olimpiada's tests is that they are very, very difficult, and so even those students who have reached proficiency level have serious trouble with them. This can be well illustrated by an experiment Dr. Krzyżanowski made among students of one of Poznań's high schools.

The students were chosen from so-called bilingual classes. They had never participated in an Olimpiada but their knowledge of English was outstanding. They were given the same tests as the Olimpiada contestants, but almost none of them managed to pass the tests at a level high enough to qualify for the finals.

You might think that if the tests are so difficult why should you even bother participating in such an enterprise? One of the reasons is the above-mentioned opportunity to become a student of any state university philology department, another is the great prizes funded by the sponsors, the Ministry of National Education, Poznań University and the Copernicus Foundation in Poland.

Several language courses in England and numerous English books, albums and dictionaries await the prize-winners. This year the Copernicus Foundation granted winners Marcin Krawczuk and Marta Banaszkiewicz two-week scholarships in prestigious British language schools. Marcin will go on a language course organized at the exclusive Melton College in York and Marta will go to the Southampton Institute for a two-week course sponsored by our Foundation and the International Quest.

To encourage you to take part in next year's Olimpiada we must add that among this year's finalists were a number of students who have never been to England or the USA and still speak very good English! Subscribe to The World of English - one of the sources Dr Krzyżanowski uses when he writes the tests, take a few English novels with you on your holidays, and you too can join the finalists next spring!

Monika Jaworska

List of Winners GO >>