Powell Schauties from Berlin, Germany, a former Helen Doron English student, placed highly in the international Big Challenge competition. Although Powell is only 12 years old, he was very well-prepared due to his determination, his excellent background in English and, in his own words, “I am good in English as my mother loves the language and we have lots of English friends. My mother knows how important English is and I agree. She made sure I started learning English from a very early age.” The Big Challenge is an English language contest for students between the ages of 11 and 16. It is held every year in May in schools across France, Germany, Austria, Spain and Sweden. In 2013, over 610,000 students with 30,000 teachers from 6,000 schools participated in The Big Challenge. Powell told us that the questions were mainly about North American and British politics, as well as vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.
If accent had been taken into consideration, the young man would have tested highly, as his spoken English is precise, confident and error-free. An only child, Powell began studying English with a Helen Doron teacher at age 3, followed by several years of Helen Doron classes at the Charlottenburg – Wilmersdorf Learning Centre in Berlin until age 12. He fondly remembers his Helen Doron English teachers, Mela and Patty and what the classes gave him throughout the years. “Helen Doron English helped me, as I am not at all afraid to speak English, even when on holiday in English-speaking countries. I can speak to anyone in English! I am at the top of my class in English now, as well as #63 out of 29,681 participants in my age group in all of Germany!” The very mature and well-spoken teen continued, “Winning is not so important to me, but I know English will help me find a good job and a place in a good university. I would like to either be a reporter or a movie director in both English and German.” Like many teens his age, Powell enjoys playing soccer both on the field and also on his Xbox. He loves the band Lincoln Park, and his favourite song is Numb. Radio station? “I listen to Helen Doron radio and I really like it!”