Warwick teenager wins language competition a year after starting to learning Mandarin

A Myton School pupil has triumphed in a national language competition...just a year after he first began learning Mandarin.

Luis Martin, the Myton boy who was among winners of a national language competition.
Luis Martin, the Myton boy who was among winners of a national language competition.

Luis Martin, who lives off Emscote Road, Warwick, entered the Language Live Show at London’s Olympia after submitting a video that reached the final of the Strictly 1000 Words competition.

The 15-year-old impressed the experts with the professionalism of his poetry punctuation - not to mention the actions accompanying his comical prose - to triumph in the secondary school section.

A panel of judges including actor Larry Lamb plus representatives from Oxford University Press, campaign group Speak to the Future and online tuition experts Vocab Express chose six outstanding winners for the accuracy, pronunciation and clarity of their entries.

Many of the entries were also highly amusing, including a French comedy sketch from children at a Welsh primary school.

Luis put in a solo effort and won the secondary school section alongside a team of pupils from Hurtwood House, a public school in Surrey, who between them spoke Russian, Spanish and French.

Among the prizes are books, magazine subscriptions and a two-night stay in a German city.

Luis said: “I first started learning last summer in what was originally a school club and now I am planning to do a GCSE in Mandarin.”

Bernadette Holmes, director of Speak to the Future, said: “The quality of the performances by the finalists was truly inspirational and demolishes the myth that the British cannot learn other languages.

“Yes, we can! And we’re extremely grateful to the Language Show Live for organising this competition and to the sponsors who took part in the judging.”

Justin Sycamore, managing director of Vocab Express, said: “Narrowing entries down to eight finalists was definitely not an easy task. Luis did very well and I really hope to see this contest back next year.”