We were invited to the School #22 in Perm to take part in a poetry competition among its students as judges.
We found judging the poetry competition an interesting experience, as we do not have competitions like this in the UK. We were amazed by how some students had travelled a long distance to attend the event. I was judging the 7th grade contestants. There was a wide range of abilities; some students knew their poems well and were very expressive, using hand gestures to add to their recitals, while others were incredibly nervous and forgot their poems. This made it quite easy to choose the winning contestants. All the students chose famous old poems. The language in these poems by Shakespeare, Byron, the Brontës and other poets from hundreds of years ago is challenging, so I was not surprised that some of the students struggled to remember or pronounce the words, when English students find these poems difficult to understand and learn.
The poetry competition seems to be a good opportunity for school pupils of the Perm region to delve into English literature, to practice their pronunciation and try their hand at dramatic reading. I especially enjoyed the recitals of a few 9th grade students who enthusiastically performed various Shakespeare sonnets. This is a feat for British students, let alone Russians! Well done to all who participated!
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