(Hanoi, 18 July 2015) Nguyen Khanh Huong Thao, Ho Diem Quynh Phuong and Pham Minh Hang won the Summer Speaking Challenge 2015 organised by British Council in collaboration with Kings College (United Kingdom), which is held in Hanoi on 18 July 2015. Among 130 contestants, three champions were awarded with three scholarships to study in the UK from Kings College with total value up to £75,000.
The Summer Speaking Challenge 2015 is a key activity during summer 2015 for high school students studying in British Council teaching centre. The Final round is the match between nine best contestants, who are all students at grade 10 and 11 from various high schools in Hanoi. To prepare for the final, they had practiced with their British Council teachers on presentation skills. Also, as finalists, the nine best contestants had to prepare their own presentation slides to support their speeches. The judging panel was truly excited seeing finalists proactively seeking very creative illustration ways using video clips and graphs besides funny images.
The judging panel includes the Director of Kings Education, Mr Andrew Hutchinson, Taliesin Porter and Loz Whitaker, teachers of English at the British Council Hanoi. All presentations were examined based on five criteria: grammatical accuracy, vocabulary, English fluency, pronunciation, and presentation skills.
Coming from Chu Van An High School, Nguyen Khanh Huong Thao and Ho Diem Quynh Phuong brought two presentations on “Climate Change” and “How to do well in class”. As the second contestant of the final, Huong Thao started her presentation with a funny video clip about the Earth crying because of climate change. According to Thao, not only politicians can make policies to prevent climate change, but also everyone can all contribute their best at any time to protect the Earth.
Huong Thao shared: ’I like studying English since I want to study in the UK to broaden my knowledge. For me, this contest is an opportunity to accomplish that dream. With the scholarship of such a good school, this is the chance for me to show my talent, to both assert myself and achieve my dream. Winning is not easy, I had to practice speaking in front of the mirror for a week, and to keep learning new vocabulary through English songs at the same time’.
Ho Diem Quynh Phuong chose a topic which is both strange and familiar: “How to do well in class”. According to Quynh Phuong, in order to study well in class, we should ask question when needed, make a to-do list every day, and turn off notifications on smart phones and social network while studying.
Phuong shared: ’To study well in English, in my opinion, we should watch more videos and movies, as long as they are in English. Every time I see a movie, I always note down new and interesting words. In addition, we can try to describe an item or an acquaintance just using English so that not only vocabulary but also fluency can be improved through those occasions. I participated in this contest since this is a great opportunity to challenge myself and I am so happy to receive this scholarship.’
Having the dream to study abroad, winner Pham Minh Hang, student of Vietnam – Poland High school, chose to compare and contrast advantages and disadvantages of studying abroad. Being one of the winners and receiving the scholarship from Kings College, Minh Hang was so surprised and planned to improve her English to get ready for the new opportunity. Minh Hang said: ’What I like most about British Council courses is the way teachers help me to improve my communication skills, especially my writing skills. Through this contest, beside the goal to achieve the highest position, I want to rub shoulders with my peers. In my opinion, the secret of winning is well-planned preparation.’
In order to support more of our students in their ambitions to study abroad, this August, we will be introducing a new, upgraded suite of courses for our High School students. Our courses continue to draw upon British Council’s experience and expertise in delivering the best courses for our students. The new courses will continue to focus on essential academic skills, such as understanding lectures, speaking in tutorials, and writing academic essays, and will also help students to build their knowledge of major academic subject areas, such as education, sociology, and science, and improve their understanding of academic English, learning key grammar and vocabulary used in an academic context. Additionally, students will receive direct preparation for the IELTS test in terms 2 and 3 of the academic year, allowing them to succeed in gaining the scores they need to offer an IELTS certificate in place of the High School English exam, and in their applications for University places.