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English Essay Writing Competition 2013

Other Languages Apart From English


Do we truly need other languages than English? Do we really need other religions than Christianity? All right, that's a very poor comparison, but the point is that it's not only about what we NEED.

First of all, let us stop and think about the practical side of things for a second. Let's say every nation in the world somehow managed to reach a consensus on the subject of a single, universal language that would replace all others. Let's say that language was English. The sheer amount of effort it would take would be overwhelming. Millions of sign posts would need to be remade, etc. I don't think that there are many nations in the world that would have the resources for something like that, and I'm SURE that there is no nation in the world that would do something like that voluntarily.

But even more importantly, think of the thousands of years of culture that would be lost, if we allowed all languages apart from English to sink into obscurity. Not to mention that it would render any linguist who spent their entire life studying any language that isn't English rather… useless.

Whether or not English should be the ONLY language in the world was probably not what the question meant. But unless it is, or if you only want to visit English-speaking countries in your entire life, other languages are important as well. Not mandatory, perhaps, but neither is literacy or the ability to speak if all you ever want to do is live in a cave.


Wille Volanen

Mikkelin lukio

English Essay Writing Competition 2013

Results from the English Language Essay Writing Competition 2013
for lower sixth formers
The Federation of Finnish-British Societies annual English Essay Writing Competition was held for the 29th time on the 16th and 17th of January 2013. The essay titles on thesetwo dates were posted on the Helsinki Finnish-British Society Website for download onthe competition day. Teachers then sent in the best essay from each class, and in all 144 essays were received from a total of 55 schools.
The jury was composed of five judges, including representatives from the
Helsinki Finnish-British Society, the Finnish National Board of Education, and the
University of Helsinki Department of Modern Languages (English Philology) Department.
The judges gave first prize to Wille Volanen from Mikkelin lukio for his well-written, well-argued and personal essay on English as a potentially “killer language”.
The standard of essays was as usual high, and the judges would like to congratulate the winner and runners-up and thank all those who took part in the competition.
Mark Shackleton, Chair, Essay Writing Competition.
First prize (500e for a trip to the UK):
Wille Volanen
Mikkelin lukio Topic no. 2
Runner up prizes (books)
Heidi Chu - Helsingin uusi yhteiskoulu Topic no. 5
Ronja Forsström - Borgå gymnasium Topic no. 1
Ilona Hyvärinen - Tapiolan lukio Topic no. 4
Juuso Järviniemi - Tampereen lyseon lukio Topic no. 1
Santeri Karte - Valkealan lukio Topic no. 5
Elias Nietosvaara - Turun suomalaisen yhteiskoulun lukio Topic no. 1
Irene Nikkarinen - Kallion lukio Topic no. 3
Janita Nyyssönen - Turun suomalaisen yhteiskoulun lukio Topic no. 5
Okko Taalas - Tapiolan lukio Topic no. 3
Sami Toivonen - Topic no. 2
Essay Topics
Do we really need school exams? Are there other ways to assess ability?
Is it enough to speak English in today's world? Do we need other languages, too?
What sort of things are important to you as a Finn? What makes us Finnish? How is our culture different from others?
Imagine that the government is going to start off a space program. Write a letter to the
Government Space Agency explaining why you think you would make an ideal astronaut.
Write a short story starting with the words “I thought I knew myself, but now I don’t