It’s always a joy to see Malaysia producing talented individuals who shine on the global stage, and this time the honour goes to an 11-year-old Johorean, Isabel Lim who will be competing at the English Language Olympiad in Rome, Italy.
Isabel Lim Yu Tong is among the nine Malaysian finalists going to Rome to compete against students from all over the world from Sept 28 to 30 after months of sharpening her English fluency.
The other contestants are:
- Sachein Mohananand, SK Taman Bukit Maluri, KL
- Leerthieka Desanan, SK Bdr Tun Hussein Onn, Selangor
- Isabelle Joella Thomson, SK Taman Kepong, KL
- Maneesha Akshynie a/p Selvam, SMK Sultan Badlishah, Kedah
- Nuralesha Afreen binti Muhamad Sharkawi, SMK Puchong Permai
- Tengku Aaliya Qistina Binti Tengku Afrizal, SMK Derma, Perlis
- Arwena Padme Parameswaran, Kolej Yayasan Saad, Melaka
- Lim Yong Le, Kolej Matrikulasi Kedah
Grew up loving English literature
Speaking to The Star, Isabel said she spent years reading Harry Potter and Percy Jackson books.
She also said that she often watches English TV shows to improve her English fluency.
“My favourite is The Big Bang Theory. I like to observe the way the actors speak. I am also not shy about speaking to my classmates and teachers in English,”
Aside from reading and watching TV shows, Isabel has also participated in several English-speaking and art competitions.
When asked whether she was intimidated to go up against some of the best in the world, Isabel expressed confidence in her abilities.
I am not feeling any pressure, and I am actually looking forward to making new friends from all over the world.
“I am happy to go to Europe for the first time and represent Johor and Malaysia on the international stage,” she said, adding she never expected herself to make it this deep into the competition and that she will give her all in the finals.
Isabel, who the sole student from Johor, took part in the competition last year but crashed out at the semi-finals.
The Olympiad is an annual competition organised by the Global Hippo Association, a non-profit organisation founded in 2012 to promote the English language and help children from all over the world build bonds over language.
Participants will be tested across various areas such as reading, listening, writing, use of English and speaking (conversation and impromptu).
This year saw a total of 67,748 students from 45 countries taking part, with only 183 making it to the final round.
Congratulations to Isabel and all the best in the finals!