English Olympiad 2016

March 17, 2016
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Charter College wrote the De Beers Olympiad 2016 on the 1 March 2016.

40 learners entered the competition! Good luck to all who wrote the exam. Results are out in August.

The De Beers English Olympiad is a national English competition that draws more than 7000 entries each year.

The competition is organized jointly by the Grahamstown Foundation and the South African Council for English Education.

The primary objectives of the De Beers English Olympiad are:

  • To enrich learners through the study of English; encouraging them to explore it beyond the scope of the school syllabus;
  • To encourage critical thinking and creative writing as learners enjoy the challenges of preparing for and writing the examination;
  • To promote the English language and stimulate the study of English amongst first and second English Language speakers,

The syllabus and examination questions offer stimulation not found within the school syllabus. They call for acute critical ability and sharp writing skills, but they also seek to draw out creative thinking and writing – aptitudes so central to our humanness.

Many learners get too little opportunity for such self-expression in the normal school routine, and are searching for a stimulus to this creativity. The syllabus and examination also cause learners to explore the relevance of literature to themselves and the world around them. Those candidates who are prepared to take a risk and answer the more challenging questions in an unusual and creative way, are usually the candidates who excel in the exam.

The value of the Olympiad extends far beyond the actual writing of the examination. The De Beers English Olympiad is distinctive in that, unlike other Olympiads it requires learners to study a prescribed text. This sets in motion a valuable learning process. Each year a new anthology and theme is compiled by SACEE, and the examination is based on this theme and anthology.

As the examination is based on an open-book system, every candidate is required to purchase a copy of the text. While this adds to the cost of entering the Olympiad, an open-book examination enables more creative answers.

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