Cambridge Classical Association Greek Reading Competition
Katrina Amabile
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Cambridge Classical Association Greek Reading Competition

Trumpington student wins second prize!

On 10th March, more than 40 students from schools across East Anglia convened at the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Classics to compete in the annual Latin and Greek reading competition. There were three categories: Latin prose, Greek prose and Dramatic Reading (Group). Pupils entering the competition represented the Royal Hospital School Ipswich, Landmark International School, the Perse Upper School, the Stephen Perse Foundation, St Mary’s School, the Leys School, Swavesey Village College and one pupil was home educated.

Trumpington Community College year 9 student Lila Shaw-Mitchell, who has learned Ancient Greek as an enrichment activity on Saturday mornings via the Cambridge Greek Academy won second prize in the Greek prose category. This is a tremendous achievement and is testament to Lila’s self-motivation and love of Languages. 

One of the judges, Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson from the University of Oxford said, ‘I was particularly impressed by Lila’s precise pronunciation and clarity of speech. She has learned a great deal about ancient Greek in a short period of time (online, and on Saturday mornings!) as an extra-curricular activity. Trumpington Community College should be thrilled by Lila’s success.’

We asked Lila a few questions about her achievement:

Why did you choose to do ancient Greek?

I chose to do ancient Greek because it is a great opportunity, and it helps so much in everyday life by understanding where certain words came from. You begin to discover all sorts of routes, and I’m quite interested in etymology, so I just thought it’d be fun!

Why did you enter the competition?

I entered the competition because I thought it would be a nice thing to do, and I could have a chance of winning, and just ‘why not?’

Did entering the competition help you with Greek?

It actually helped my Greek a lot by entering the competition, because before, I couldn’t read in Greek so well, and after, I can now read the alphabet fluently!! I also learnt more about the pronunciation and the accents on different letters. Also, doing music (singing) has helped me a lot, because for me, learning languages are like learning a song. You hear someone speaking, and you try and replicate those exact sounds, like you do with music, and that’s how you get the pronunciation just right.

Would you recommend joining the class?

I would definitely recommend it to other students! It’s not just learning Greek, but Lisa, the teacher tells us Greek myths and stories, and it’s just really fun. She tells them in such a nice way, and then we talk about the story. It opens lots of new doors, and you can keep studying it just for fun, or can do it for a gcse!

And you get to go to the classics faculty in the university for a Greek day every term which is really fun (with biscuits!!)

And thank you to Angela Dix for all her help for preparing for the competition!

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