Students from 57 countries participated in the world record attempt
London makes ELT world record attempt

Language school association English UK London, in partnership with accommodation provider London Nest, has made a world record attempt for the largest number of nationalities in a language lesson.

The organisers believe the record has been broken after students from 57 different countries participated in the lesson, surpassing the previous official record of 50. The final verification process by the Guinness Book of World Records will take up to 12 weeks.


The attempt took place alongside English UK London's annual summer party at The Calthorpe Project, near King's Cross, with the lesson delivered on a five-a-side football pitch and structured around the use of phrasal verbs to describe free time activities.


Teacher Vikki Rowland, from St Giles London Central school, said, "It's a really exciting attempt that will show our inclusivity, energy and enthusiasm for teaching."


James Herbertson, Director of London Nest and Co-Organiser of the event explained, "The world record attempt was conceived as a celebration of London as the most diverse city in the world and the favourite place of choice in the UK to learn English.


"We have combined the alumni of the English UK London language schools and invited them to the Calthorpe Project for a language class en masse. London Nest has been involved in organising and coordinating the student recruitment." After the event, he added, "I'm elated and exhausted - in that order!"


Mark Rendell, Chair of English UK London, commented, "We are now truly able to call London the world's classroom and leave so many students with magical and unforgettable memories of the time that they came to London and helped to make history."


"This world record attempt is a great way to demonstrate that London is open to students from all over the world," said Lalage Clay, Head of Education at Study London. "International students come to London from more than 220 nations: they make a vital contribution to the city's diversity, society and economy while improving their skills and enjoying a life-changing experience."


Commenting on the diversity of the participants, James said, "We were really surprised to find students from Yemen, St Nevis and Kitts, Benin and Mongolia studying at our English UK London schools. It really shows that London is the place to come and learn English, wherever you're from."


The lesson had to adhere to strict guidelines set out by the Guinness Book of Records. The lesson plan had to be submitted before the event, all students had to stay in the lesson at all times (or risk not being counted), the lesson had to be at least 30 minutes in length, two independent witnesses had to oversee the whole process and two experienced timekeepers had to keep time.


English UK London is the regional subgroup of English UK, representing both private and public sector ELT providers in the city.



By Matthew Knott

News Editor