Skip to content

Teachers’ 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.

Tour for new teachers: Please click tabs 1 – 4

Start Here

For new teachers who want to get fully setup and updated with all our changes.

1: Setup
Progress
33%
Step 1: Get students to sign up for UKLO

We wish to ease the process and provide assistance for teachers with new materials provided below:

Student List: Please download our physical copy for students to sign up, or our digital form for students to fill out.

Verbal/Written Delivery: Here are our key points that we’ve found to be attractive selling points to students and schools:

Linguistics Clubs: Setting up a linguistics club pre-season showcasing our questions

Linguistics Hour: Like a linguistics club but done once a year lasting about an hour for interested students. Here are some materials to get you started

Step 2: Assign a level for your students

This is our basic guideline (students can skip levels/ do levels above or below their recommended level)

UKLO LevelAgeYear GroupKey Stage Level
Breakthrough7 – 11 years oldYear 3 – 6KS2
Foundation11 – 14 years oldYear 7 – 9KS3
Intermediate14 – 16 years oldYear 10 – 11KS4
Advanced16 – 18 years oldYear 12 – 13KS5
Step 3: Sign up on the UKLO Portal

Once you have a list of interested students with their levels assigned, you will need to tally up the total number of students as your predicted total to submit to the UKLO Portal.

Please sign up for your school and fill in all details in the forms by clicking the picture below. In case you get stuck, please have a look at our full instructions.

Step 4: UKLO Noticeboard and Messages

The most important pages for you on this website is this page (Teacher’s Room) and the noticeboard that details all times, dates and extra information for the UKLO Season this year. Please have a look at the Noticeboard

For the latest news from the UKLO Chair, check out the UKLO Messages

Step 5: Congratulations!

You are fully set up and ready to rumble! Proceed to Stage 2 for specific information of the exams you’ll be running (including deadlines and exam procedures).

2: Exam Stage, Select your level
Progress
66%

For all times, updates and exam arrangements for all levels this season, see noticeboard.

Breakthrough/Foundation/Intermediate

Important Information:

Exam Duration90-120mins
Exam ConditionsOnly 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.
Extra TimeStudents 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.
When to schedule the examTiming is up to you as you mark your own scripts.
DeadlinesYou mark these competitions yourself, so there’s only one deadline, in mid March (see noticeboard). 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.

On the Exam Day: Portal, Print

Electronic 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 noticeboard. You will need to log in and download them, and then print them out.

Mark and Submit

Once you have finished marking, you need to submit the total number of points for each student via the Portal system.

Advanced

Important Information:

Exam Duration2.5 hours
Exam ConditionsStrict public examination conditions. Students work individually
Extra TimeStudents 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.
When to schedule the examWithin the Exam Week: Second week of February (see noticeboard).If you’re entering competitors for the Advanced competition the exam must be within this week.
DeadlinesDeadlines (see noticeboard):
1) Late January: You tell us via the portal roughly 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. You must upload your scripts by the end of the Friday evening (unless you have made alternative arrangements with the marking coordinator – marking@uklo.org).

On the Exam Day: Portal, Print, Scan, and Submit

Portal, PrintElectronic 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 noticeboard. You will need to log in and download them, and then print them out.
ScanScan your candidates’ scripts. If 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.

Please check your pdf file in case you scanned any of your student’s papers upside down. If you are scanning double-sided sheets, please see the helpdesk for assistance in how to scan them.
SubmitThe 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.
Round 2

Important Information:

You will learn which of your competitors has got through to Round 2 on Results Day for the Advanced competition.

Exam Duration3.5 hours
Exam ConditionsStrict public examination conditions. Students work individually
Extra TimeStudents 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.
When to schedule the examCompetitors who win a Gold in the Advanced competition will be invited to take part in the Round 2 competition in March (see noticeboard), 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. If this is not possible, competitors must be supervised to prevent use of phones between their exam time and the anchor time.
DeadlinesThe end of the Round 2 exam day: Submit pdfs via the UKLO Portal

On the Exam Day: Portal, Print, Scan, and Submit

Portal, PrintElectronic copies of the UKLO Exam Questions will be provided to you at least a day before the exam day on the UKLO Portal. The time they’ll be released is in noticeboard. You will need to log in and download them, and then print them out.
ScanWhen you are scanning your student’s answer sheets, please check your pdf file in case you scanned any of your student’s papers upside down. If you are scanning double-sided sheets, please see the helpdesk for assistance in how to scan them.
SubmitThe pdfs must be submitted for marking via the UKLO Portal.
3: Distribute Certificates and Awards
Progress
99%
Breakthrough,Foundation and Intermediate

Certificates are issued on demand once you submit your points via the Portal system, including Gold, Silver and Bronze awards.

Advanced

You can download your Advanced results and your Advanced certificates, including Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, from the UKLO Portal on Results Day.

Round 2

The results for Round 2 are generally announced to teachers about a fortnight after the competition. Certificates of participation are issued by email to the teacher’s registered email address, and may also include a Distinction or Merit award.

Click here for more information on certificates

4: Encore!
Progress
100%

Thank you so much for competing in UKLO this year, and we hope to see you again next year for more interesting and fun linguistics puzzles!

FAQs

Why are the total number of marks for each question different to the total number of marks in the marking rubric?

A UKLO question (for example) may say (20 marks) given on the question paper, but in the marking scheme it says 51 points for that same question. This is because UKLO distinguishes marks and points. Marks are the official scores calculated by the portal on which we base the results, and points are given by markers of the exam paper. Marks show the relative challenge, and therefore importance, of individual problems, rising from 5 for Problems 1 and 2 to 25 for Problems 9 and 10. Once markers submit their points into the UKLO Portal, they get turned into official marks by our algorithms.

Why is the final total not simply the sum of the marks for individual problems?

Because it presents the total marks as a percentage of the total available marks. For example, the total available marks for the Advanced competition is usually 15 + 20 + 20 + 25 + 25 = 105, so the total score for a competitor is the sum of the marks for all the problems x 100/105.

For any other questions, please visit our UKLO Helpdesk, as well as older documents explaining the entire process

Links and Teaching Resources

This is the general hub for teachers with 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 and on the noticeboard.

Thresholds

YearTotal Entries
BreakthroughFoundationIntermediateAdvanced
20241822
20231225122515061715
2022807127813131488
20212325933961017
202031673610061650
2019268100011161497
201822010429701650
2017279132911241545
20162445067741345
YearAward Thresholds (%)
BreakthroughFoundationIntermediateAdvanced
BSGBSGBSGBSG
202435.447.762
202337618453738457718131.74560
20225173886779.986.152.563.57744.55873
202158779254798855758543.55972
202066788372.7798646.960.77142.554.566
2019727985727886556982465466
201860769042607155708029.64052
201759.471.680.966.175.484.252.365.379.94862.372
201650.162.376.87279.686.271.57987.174.783.389.2
YearTotal EntriesAward Thresholds (%)
BreakthroughFoundationIntermediateAdvanced
BreakthroughFoundationIntermediateAdvancedBSGBSGBSGBSG
2024182235.447.762
2023122512251506171537618453738457718131.74560
20228071278131314885173886779.986.152.563.57744.55873
2021232593396101758779254798855758543.55972
20203167361006165066788372.7798646.960.77142.554.566
2019268100011161497727985727886556982465466
20182201042970165060769042607155708029.64052
201727913291124154559.471.680.966.175.484.252.365.379.94862.372
2016244506774134550.162.376.87279.686.271.57987.174.783.389.2

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

Teaching Resources

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

Running Linguistics Clubs in Schools.pdf

Powerpoint Presentations

Breakthrough Level Resources

Posters

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

Older Documents

How it Works Charts with Comments.pptx

UKLO Coaching 101 Number Systems_Student Version.docx

UKLO Coaching 101_Number Systems Teacher Version.docx

UKLO Round 2 Preparation.pdf