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UWI Olympiad

 The performance of candidates in the Caribbean Secondary Certificate Examination in English (CSEC English A) has sustained debates about language pedagogy, student ability and teacher quality in   teaching and learning English. Creole linguists propose that competence in English can only be achieved through a bilingual education programme where all subjects are learnt in Jamaican Creole (JC) and Standard Jamaican English. English Language educators while respecting and acknowledging the role the Mother Tongue plays in language learning, advocate for pedagogies and language learning experiences that build and sustain Critical Language Awareness (CLA) which allow language learners to select the language appropriate for use in various real-life situations and contexts.  Three factors  that continue to militate against  or undermine  this bilingual ability and linguistic and communicative competence in  the target  language  ( SJE)  in particular are (1)  Jamaican Creole is an English-based Creole so many speakers believe that they are speaking in English when in fact they are using Creole grammar and structures ;  (2) students are not motivated to learn English because the  Creole already satisfies their communicative needs and; (3)  most classrooms and the wider society do not foster or nurture sustainable practices in learning and using English.  While pedagogies built on contrast and correction are the predominant approaches to the teaching and learning of English in Jamaica, immersion and authentic practice and use, the most successful language acquisition methods remain the least tried.

The UWI English Olympiad on News Talk 93 FM is twined with School based interventions through teacher pedagogical development and competition.  Radio provides the real-life aThe UWI English Olympiad on News Talk 93 FM is aimed at achieving the following goals:

1.    raising  and sustaining The UWI’s  goal to promote sustained use of  English  in institutions of learning;
2.    engaging national interest in promoting Standard Jamaican English as the language  of choice for  The UWI  Olympiad  national competition;
3.    supporting Departments of English  in their efforts to implement school-based   
immersion in English programmes throughout the Olympiad five -year intervention

4.    providing a forum or platform for sustaining immersion in English through  summits, conferences   and other events  for  school, parish ,county and national involvement
5.    facilitating the pedagogical development of teachers through radio-based  Workshop on English  in Use  sustainable methods
6.    showcasing  models of immersion best practices on  News Talk FM for sustainability


a.    The UWI English Olympiad Summer Workshops for Teachers  (July-August)
b.    Creating English –in-use-environments in School  Community Settings
c.    School  Radio Documentaries
d.    School Magazine Programmes  
e.    School Departments of English Research
f.    An Occasion for Speaking  : Nurturing  Children  as Orators  (February- Black History Month )
g.    The UWI English Olympiad  Child Month  ( May) Summits
 This live programme is heard every Sunday on News Talk on the 93FM frequency at 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.   It engages the nation in discussion and reflection s on   matters ranging from language and identity, language teaching and learning approaches and methods, conversations about, writing  pedagogy , oral competence  in English and other personal , social  and apolitical matters impacting Caribbean nations and the diaspora.  The programmed can be accessed via Live Stream at


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