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National Level English Language Competition 2018

My name is Khant Khine and I am a student studying Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) at Myanmar Institute of Information Technology (MIIT). Recently, I took part in the “National Level English Language Competition for Students from Higher Educational Institutions”, which was organised by the Ministry of Education. It was the second time I took part in the competition and it was quite an enjoyable experience for me.

About the Competition

The National Level English Language Competition (NLELC) is a competition for undergraduate and postgraduate students from universities from across Myanmar. The main objective of this competition is to promote the English language among the youth of Myanmar and also to recognise students who have skillfully mastered the language. It draws a lot of attention from the media and the competition is broadcast on many channels in Myanmar. It is held annually and students from universities from all across Myanmar participate in this competition.

Students of each university are made to go through a selection process which involves essay writing, impromptu talks, and round-table discussions. Then, three students with the highest overall scores are selected to represent the university at the next level. Undergraduate and postgraduate students have their own selection process, so there are two teams from each university.

The next stage of this competition involves selecting representatives from upper and lower Myanmar. (FYI: Mandalay and the part of Myanmar located north of it is called Upper Myanmar while Lower Myanmar consists of Yangon and all the southern parts of Myanmar.) This is called the Regional Level English Language Competition and students at this level also compete in essay writing, impromptu talks, and round-table discussions. Then, around 32 students are selected to represent Upper and Lower Myanmar.

Finally, selected contestants from Upper and Lower Myanmar meet at either Nay Pyi Taw or Yangon for the final competition: The National Level English Language Competition. Participating students as well as their guardians from their respective universities are provided lodging. Transportation is also taken care of by the organisers. The competition takes place over the course of three days and students once again take part in essay writing, impromptu talks, and round-table discussions. The essay contest is always held on the first day, followed by the drawing of lots to determine the order of the impromptu talk and group members for the round-table discussion. The next day, impromptu talks and the round-table discussions are held. On the third day of the competition, the prize-winning groups and individuals are announced. They then have to perform one more time in front of the audience. Finally, after the prize ceremony and after taking commemorative photos, the students depart for their respective cities.

A few photos from the event.

About the Essay Competition

The title of the essay is kept secret and only revealed on the day of the contest. The word limit is around 1000 words and the time limit is 1.5 hours. This year, the title of the essay was “Voluntary works that can make a difference to peoples’ lives”.

About the Impromptu Talk

The impromptu talk is an interesting part of this competition. The order in which contestants have to speak is determined by lots, which are picked after the essay competition. Then, one minute is given for the contestant to gather their thoughts. After that, the contestant has to go on stage and make an unplanned speech to the audience. Undergraduate students have to talk for 3 minutes, while postgraduates have to talk for 4 minutes.

About the Round Table Discussion

After the essay competition and the drawing of lots for the order of the impromptu talk, groups for the round table discussions are determined by lots again. There are four members in each group and they are given the codes ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, and ‘D’. These alphabets determine the order in which group members will have to walk onto the stage. Each group is given twelve minutes to prepare their talk after drawing their topic. Then, they speak on their topic for twelve minutes.

A couple of photographs from the 2017 edition of the same event.

My Experience

This year, the competition was held during July 12-13. It was quite a good experience for me. I won the 1st prize in the round table discussion. I made new friends and gained lots of knowledge from them. I also realised that this competition promotes friendship among the contestants. Although I have been to this competition twice, it never tires me as I discover lots of new knowledge and gain new experiences. All the contestants help each other and no one has any hard feelings. It is a competition worth participating in.


  • Khant Khine

    Khant Khine

    Khant Khine is a student of the B.E. (Hons.) programme in Electronics & Communication Engineering.