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Teacher’s Room

Welcome to UKLO, an annual language-analysis competition for schools which is a bridge from university linguistics to schools. We showcase the fascinating subject of linguistics which is taught at universities and applied by language enthusiasts around the world. Have a look around the website to find out more about UKLO, our committee, and our supporters.


What to do:

General Links and Teaching Resources ( Including Linguistic Club Materials, Posters, Important Links, Charts and Tables)

What to do:

  1. Decide which level to enter your students into
  2. Register
  3. Arrange a time to sit the examination
  4. Print out UKLO exam questions
  5. Sitting the examination
  6. Scan the exam answers
  7. Submit them to the UKLO Portal
  8. Wait and Download Certificates and Results (Advanced and Round 2 Only)

1. Decide which level to enter your students into

As a basic guideline, we recommend assigning levels to students based on their year group ( See UKLO Charts below for more information). There are no restrictions entering your students at a level higher or lower than their recommended guideline (e.g. students from KS3 could do Intermediate/Advanced if they show the ability to do so). To gauge the level, please see some of the presentations below showcasing some of our questions at each level, and past exams for the full list of questions.


2. Register (Click Here)

First make sure that you yourself are already registered on the portal as the contact teacher for your school or college. The entire UKLO Season builds up to the end of January and ends around August ( finishing with IOL). The registration process varies with the level. Please note: Students cannot register for UKLO by themselves, as all information regarding the students needs to be keyed in by the teacher within the teacher’s UKLO Portal account.

AdvancedDeadlines (see exam arrangements):
1) Late January: You tell us via the portal how many competitors you expect to enter this year so that we can assign a marker to you.
2) End of the exam week: By this time you should have entered the names and demographics of your competitors in the portal.
Breakthrough, Foundation, IntermediateYou mark these competitions yourself, so there’s only one deadline, in mid March (see exam arrangements). This is when you should try to finish entering all your competitor details and marks so that we can include them in calculating the national award thresholds for each competition.

3. Arrange a time to sit the examination

AdvancedExam Week for Round 1 is the second week of February (see exam arrangements). If you’re entering competitors for the Advanced competition the exam must be within this week, and you must upload your scripts by the end of the Friday evening (unless you have made alternative arrangements with the marking coordinator –
Breakthrough, Foundation, IntermediateTiming is up to you as you mark your own scripts.

Extra time: students can be granted extra time if they would qualify for extra time in school or public examinations. We rely on teachers using their discretion in this matter.

Competitors who win a Gold in the Advanced competition will be invited to take part in the Round 2 competition in March (see exam arrangements), which is also held in schools but marked by us. You will receive an email invitation to pass on to the successful pupils, and you will be asked to tell us whether they will be taking part in Round 2. Round 2 must be scheduled for a specific day chosen centrally by UKLO, and must be timed so as to include a fixed anchor point – usually 2.00.

Round 1 (Breakthrough, Foundation, Intermediate)90 – 120mins
Round 1 (Advanced)2.5 hours
Round 23.5 hours (to be confirmed)

4. Print out UKLO exam questions

Round 2The exam paper will be made available on the UKLO Portal a couple of days before the test date given in exam arrangements.
Round 1: Breakthrough, Foundation, Intermediate, AdvancedElectronic copies of the UKLO Exam Questions will be provided to you before the Exam Week on the UKLO Portal. The time they’ll be released is in exam arrangements. You will need to log in and download them, and then print them out.

5. Sitting the Examination

Advanced and Round 2Strict public examination conditions. Students work individually
Breakthrough, Foundation, IntermediateOnly requires teacher supervision, and teachers are free to make arrangements at their discretion. Students may work in teams and the competition can be spread across a number of timetabled lessons.

For more details see the UKLO Charts below.

6. Scan the exam answers

Advanced and Round 2If you are entering multiple candidates, please bundle their scripts in a small number of pdf files as this makes them more convenient for the markers to handle. This pdf will include only the answer sheets and presented as follows [Student A’s Answers][Student B’s Answers][Student’s C….]; there is no need to scan the question paper. Students should write their names on every answer sheet they give in.
Breakthrough, Foundation, and IntermediateThese are marked by teachers and require no scanning

7. Submit them to the UKLO Portal

Advanced and Round 2The pdfs must be submitted for marking via the UKLO Portal. Each school is assigned a marker who will have your email address, so that they can communicate with you.
Breakthrough, Foundation, and IntermediateYou need to submit your marks via the Portal system so that it can issue certificates for your competitors.

8. Wait and Download Certificates and Results (Advanced and Round 2 Only)

Results day for the Advanced competition in Round 1 is found in exam arrangements. This is when you can download your Advanced results and your Advanced certificates, including Gold, Silver and Bronze awards; so this is also when you learn which of your competitors has got through to Round 2. The results for Round 2 are generally announced to teachers about a fortnight after the competition.

If you have any other questions, please have a look at our FAQs, as well as older documents explaining the entire process

Links and Teaching Resources

All general information can be found below explaining the UKLO process, grade thresholds, examples, general advice on running linguistics clubs and introducing linguistics problem solving into your schools. For the current year, you will hear about current arrangements and issues in occasional email messages to all registered teachers.

How it Works Charts with Comments.pptx

Extra Information for Teachers: Gold Silver and Bronze Thresholds.docx

Running Linguistics Clubs in Schools.pdf

UKLO Coaching 101 Number Systems_Student Version.docx

UKLO Coaching 101_Number Systems Teacher Version.docx

UKLO Round 2 Preparation.pdf

Teaching Resources for Linguistics Clubs

These are resources you can use to introduce linguistics and UKLO problem solving to students

Powerpoint Presentations

UKLO Breakthrough Puzzles.ppt

UKLO Foundation Puzzles.ppt

UKLO Intermediate Puzzles.ppt

UKLO Advanced Puzzles.ppt

Breakthrough Level Resources


There is a blank at the bottom of each poster for the teacher or appropriate correspondent to write their name after printing. Special thanks to all the artists who have made these posters (posters have been edited to keep up with the times [Editor, 2022]).

(From left to right)

Poster 1 by Gary Wood (2011).pdf

Poster 2 by Catherine Sheard (2015).pdf

Poster 3 by Charles Massingham (2022).pdf

Get All Posters (Posters 1 – 3).pdf