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Six-year-old Pakistani Ayaan Khan Wins SBS National Languages Competition in Australia

PERTH: The results of the third annual SBS National Language Competition are out and brought good news for the six-year-old Ayaan Khan who managed to win the contest filled with inspiration and motivation.

Ayaan from Geelong Victoria has been learning English only for 12 months, his first and second languages being Urdu and Pashto.

The kid says he enjoys learning the language for it enables him to read the food labels at the supermarket and because he can speak English in his school.

Ayan is one among the five winners of the contest that asked students of all ages to create images and text depicting the opportunities learning new language has created for them.

Notably, SBS had received 4000 entries from across the country having representation of 82 different languages including French, Mandarin, Japanese, German, Arabic, Spanish and Greek.

The winners have been selected across five categories based on their creative approach and unique stories. These include:
• Aryaan Khan (Age 4-7, English)
• Harneep Kumar (Age 8-12, Punjabi)
• Summer Frisch (Age 13-15, Italian)
• Kelsey Booth (Age 16-18, Mandarin)
• Georgia Leyendekkers (Age 18+, Indonesian)

“We had individual entries and then we had whole [school] classes enter as well. We were overwhelmed by the number of entries,” says Mandi Wick, the Director of SBS’s Audio and Language Content.

Our winners demonstrated their dedication, commitment and love for learning languages through their inspiring entries. Many of the entries showcased how learning another language deepens cultural understanding; strengthens family ties and improves future career prospects,” she says.

Moreover, Education Minister Dan Tehan also attended the National Languages Competition awards ceremony. He said that learning of languages in Australia is essential for regional trade and relations.

“We have to understand the cultures of the countries that are our near neighbours, we also have to make sure that we can understand and engage with them, because economically they’re vital to us,” said the minister.