Meet an ACE YL Winner!

The secret to becoming a Young Learners’ Speech Contest champion

Tha Sidalin, YL 15 Student


“When I started my ACE journey, I was a young girl who was afraid of talking to new people. Over time, my confidence grew and I built up the courage to say ‘Hello!’ to those around me. I now find meeting new people a great experience, especially other ACE students. Since I was a young girl, I always dreamed of studying at a wonderful school like ACE and now that my dream has come true, my new dream is to become a professional English speaker.


ACE’s Young Learners (YL) Speech Contest is a fantastic competition which challenges students’ speaking skills. After hearing about the contest, I felt super excited and decided to participate. It gave me the chance to show off the skills I had learnt and provided the other contestants and myself with opportunities to showcase our accomplishments and expertise.

Giving speeches is always a memorable experience. On my first attempt, I was in YL 12 and I felt so nervous; I didn’t really have time to prepare because at the same time I had Khmer exam. I didn’t manage my time well and was unable to focus on the speech. Sadly, I failed in the Final Round and was upset that I couldn’t do my best to win the Championship. However, I didn't give up on what I wanted and my initial failure motivated me to start again, this time more intelligence and better time management!

Learning from my first experience of public speaking, I gave the next competition my best shot. I already knew what it was like to stand on stage with lots of people watching me, and this time I didn't repeat the same mistakes as before. I spent my free-time researching the vocabulary and grammar I would need to use, and how to construct better paragraphs for my presentation. It took me two days to memorize my script I didn't allow any distractions to prevent me from my task. I got help and feedback from my sister and parents, and committed myself to being successful this term.

In the Final Round of this YL Speech Contest, I got up on stage very confidently and gave my speech to the audience. When I finished, everyone gave me a round of applause and I felt so glad and cheerful. However, the challenge wasn’t over yet and we still had to wait for the result; I was so nervous and many different emotions flowed through me. When it was announced, and I heard my name called out as the champion, I was really happy, shocked and surprised to have won. It was the most amazing feeling I had ever felt in and the achievement motivated me to continue doing better in the future.

A little advice from me to everyone is to always be brave and never back down from a challenge. When you fall down, get back up and never give up, even if you fail. No one succeeds without failing first, and you should never be afraid of making mistakes because those mistakes will help you grow and improve. Don't judge things without trying them first even though you might think they are too hard. You need to experience things before being able to form an opinion.

Be sure to always believe in yourself and show others your abilities as best as you can, if you want to achieve your dreams. To fulfil your desires, you must use your valuable time usefully, rather than having regrets later.”



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