11-Year-Old Prodigy Isabel Lim From Johor Takes Off To Italy To Compete In English Language Olympiad

Source: The Star

What were you doing at age 11? Surely not many of us can say that we’re as accomplished as Isabel Lim, our next local idol to represent Malaysia internationally!

News broke out today stating that Isabel will be heading to Italy soon, along with 8 other Malaysian pupils, to compete in an English Language Olympiad from 28 to 30 September in Rome.

Growing up indulging in the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson sagas, the young Johorean said that the Olympiad would test participants on various skills, such as reading, listening, writing, use of English and speaking, in both conversation and impromptu circumstances.

She remains cool and collected as she explains that she isn’t nervous at all, and that she’s looking forwards to making friends from all over the world.

Besides tackling the two longest book series of our time, she also enjoys watching TV shows. But this young brainiac isn’t into the likes of Spongebob or The Fairly Odd Parents, she’s got real taste.

“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,” she said.

Clearly, Isabel is more than prepared for a world-wide competition, much more than I would be if I was her age. But it might be due to the fact that this isn’t her first rodeo.

She took part in the competition last year, but was eliminated in the semi-finals.

This year, she comes back stronger and is the only representative to hail from Johor to take part in the competition.

“I am happy to go to Europe for the first time and represent Johor and Malaysia on the international stage. I will do my best in the finals,” she added.

Her and her parents, along with a teacher, depart today en route Rome.

“Never did we imagine that our daughter from a small town in Batu Pahat will be representing the country on the international stage,” said her mother Kuo Chiew Yen.

“Although we know it will be quite competitive, we have faith and confidence in her to do her best and we will be there to support her all the way.

“When Isabel did not make it past the semi-final stage last year, we kept motivating her and encouraged her not to give up.”

She extends her gratitude toward Sekolah Rendah Seri Presbyterian, where Isabel studies, for their generosity in providing extra classes in preparation for the competition.

She also received a token of appreciation from the Batu Pahat education office where its deputy education officer of school management, Mohamad Aizel Mohamad, gave her words of encouragement.

The Olympiad is organised by the Global Hippo Association, a non-profit organisation founded in 2012 with the purpose of promoting the importance of English language knowledge and bringing together children from different countries.

The annual competition saw 67,748 students from 45 countries competing in the preliminary round this year, out of which only 183 qualified for the final round.

All the best, Isabel! We’re rooting for you <3