IATEFL video competition 2023
Since September, a group of second year students from Gimnazija Vič worked on a video project to create a suitable entry for the IATEFL competition.
The project encourages students at this level of education to demonstrate their skills and creativity with the English language by coming up with a script and making a video that fulfils certain criteria set down by the judges.
The theme of this year’s competition was “#YOLO – You Only Live Once” and students were allowed to come up with any style of format for their short video presentation.
The task was made more tricky because the script had to include a set of words selected by the judging panel. As well as getting points for their original story, technical abilities, and overall use of language, the words on this list must be used entirely correctly to avoid any penalties. To give you an idea of the challenge here, this year’s words were railing, rigmarole, demeanour, fancy, hinder, impinge, formidable, impertinent, impeccably, and frenetically.
The group started the project by meeting up with their mentors from the school’s English department, Blanka Klobučar and Tim Gallagher, who encouraged them to come up with some basic ideas as to how the theme could be used. This developed into some script ideas and finally the plan for the video they wished to create.
The script underwent several rewrites to get the storyline exactly according to what the students had in mind. They came up with the concept of a news report in which different eras of history would be covered. This added a new level to the language used as well, with various slang terms and styles of speech being added to the mix.
After some final checks with the mentors, it was time to film the scenes. This involved preparing costumes and finding suitable locations. Once everyone was happy with what was shot, it was on to editing and preparing the on-screen effects. With this being carried out by the same group of students, it added to the level and types of skills needed for this project to be done well.
We are delighted to say that, at the start of March 2023, the panel from IATEFL delivered the news that the group had been awarded a gold prize and were named in joint-first place for all of Slovenia.
Congratulations must be given to Katarina Adam, Nej Gazibara, Žiga Kovačič, and Nika Lamprecht for all their hard work and determination when it came to this project and their well-deserved success. Also to their project mentors who guided them through the different stages so they could work to their full potential.
The students wrote about the experience here:
We are Katarina, Nej, Nika, and Žiga, students from 2A at Gimnazija Vič and we are this year’s winners of the IATEFL competition for second year students.
For the competition, we had to submit a three-minute long video based on this year’s theme, #YOLO. We started working on the script in early October. The theme did not offer a lot of creative freedom for us, as we were also advised to avoid themes which were too dark. But, after a few brainstorming sessions, we settled on focusing on social media challenges. We came up with the idea of a short newsreel, reporting on a TikTok trend called #YOLO, with the special twist being that it featured characters from different times through history. Writing dialogue for this diverse group of characters was a fun task even though researching the slang from different eras was quite time-consuming. Surprisingly, this was not the most challenging part of the process. Somehow, we ended up with a script that was too long and shortening it was a task that took up a lot of our time. Later, when we ended with filming and the editing process started, we realised that it still wasn’t short enough. Putting together an edit of our film that was within the time limit ended up being one of the biggest challenges. Editing took all of the winter holidays to complete and the final product was produced mere hours before the final deadline. Filming, which was only finished the week before, was done mostly during school-time when the whole cast had time to film. Some scenes were filmed in our school and others outside in the cold January mornings.
In the end, we agree that, regardless of the challenges of writing a script with such strict limits and the stress of meeting the deadline, it was a fun, rewarding, interesting and memorable experience. Of course, winning is not a negligible part of the fun!