Four students from Douglas Community School took part in the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad Final in DCU on Tuesday 20 March. The DCS team, composed of Daragh Fleming, Eoin Bourke, Stephen O’Sullivan and Brendan O’Brien, qualified for the final by scoring in the top hundred in the country in the first round.
The lads were aided by two Linguistics students from Trinity College, Dublin, who came to Cork in the week before the final to give them some coaching on strategies that they might adopt in the Olympiad. One of the tutors, Melissa Sorensen, had herself been a member of the Irish Linguistics Olympiad Team, and she was very impressed with our boys’ firm grasp of the underlying principles and approaches to linguistics.
The day itself was long but rewarding – students competed in an individual paper in the morning, from which the Irish team will be selected, and a team paper in the afternoon. The DCS students reckoned that the morning paper was reasonably straightforward, with the exception of the last question, and so felt that it might be very tight at the top when it comes to selecting the team members! The team paper was trickier, as might be expected, with the last question proving impenetrable for all students, judging by the comments afterwards.
The results of both the individual and team competitions will be announced in the next two weeks.
Ciarán Ó Conaill