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11-Year-Old Johor Girl Set To Represent Malaysia In Rome For English Olympiad

Isabel Lim Yu Tong will be competing in the HIPPO 1 category alongside three other Malaysian candidates.

Cover image via Unique English Classroom & Hippo English Language Olympiad (Facebook)

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11-year-old Isabel Lim Yu Tong is a young student with a great passion and skill for the English language

Brought up with a passion for reading English literature, Lim's fluency and skill in the English language have earned her a well-deserved spot in this year's International English Olympiad to be held in Rome, Italy.

The 11-year-old said that she loved to read books such as the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson novels. She also mentioned that she enjoyed watching English shows, such as the American-based series The Big Bang Theory, and observing the actors speak and converse.
 
The International English Olympiad is a world-wide competition held to promote the English language and unite children from all over the world via their interest in the world's lingua franca. 

According to The Star, Lim will be leaving for Rome today, 26 September. She will be accompanied by her parents and a teacher, who will be there with her for the duration of the competition between 28 and 30 September. 

The Sekolah Rendah Seri Presbyterian student had initially participated in the competition back in 2021 but was eliminated in the semi-final round

Although she was eliminated in last year's competition, Lim's mother Kuo Chiew Yen said that she and her husband kept encouraging her to try again this year.

"When Isabel did not make it past the semi-final stage last year, we kept motivating her and [encouraging] her not to give up," Kuo said. Both parents expressed how proud they are of their daughter for trying again and obtaining this prestigious opportunity.

Lim said that she was happy that she managed to get a second shot at the competition and was excited to have the opportunity to visit Europe for the first time. She also mentioned that she is honoured to be representing Johor and Malaysia on an international level as she did not expect to make it this far.

"I will do my best in the finals," Lim said.

Lim is one out of nine students who manage to make it to the World Finals round and is the only Malaysian student representing the state of Johor

Lim will be competing alongside:

- Sachein Mohananand (SK Taman Bukit Maluri, Kuala Lumpur)
- Leerthieka Desanan (SK Bdr Tun Hussein Onn, Selangor)
- Isabelle Joella Thomson (SK Taman Kepong, Kuala Lumpur)
- Maneesha Akshynie Selvam (SMK Sultan Badlishah, Kedah)
- Nuralesha Afreen Muhamad Sharkawi (SMK Puchong Permai)
- Tengku Aaliya Qistina Tengku Afrizal (SMK Derma, Perlis)
- Arwena Padme Parameswaran (Kolej Yayasan Saad, Melaka)
- Lim Yong Le (Kolej Matrikulasi Kedah, Kedah)

The competition is open from ages six to 19 and has had people from 50 countries participating in the event so far, with 6,000 students from Malaysia this year.

Participants will be tested on a number of aspects of the English language, such as reading, listening, writing, speaking, and the use of English.

Faces of the World Finals participants, who are slated to compete in Rome, Italy.

Image via Unique English Classroom

All the best in Rome, contestants!

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