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London attempts language lesson world record

Fifty nationalities in one language lesson was the achievement to beat when students from across the world met on a football pitch in central London this month to attempt a new world record.

Guinness World Record, London Nest, London, English UK LondonWith 57 nationalities represented the attempt is likely to make history but must first be verified by the Guinness Book of World Records. Photo: London Nest

Students from 57 countries gathered for a half hour English language lesson that could make history

Organised by English UK London and accommodation provider London Nest, the attempt gathered students from 57 countries including Yemen, St Nevis and Kitts, Benin and Mongolia for a half hour English language lesson that could make history.

The success of the attempt must be verified by the Guinness Book of World Records, which will take up to 12 weeks, but Mark Rendell, chair of English UK London said, “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.”

“We are now truly able to call London the world’s classroom”

Beyond the nationality tally, in order to count, the attempt had to meet certain requirements.

For example, the plan of the event had to be confirmed before it began, all participants had to stay at the lesson the entire duration, the lesson had to be no less than 30 minutes and there had to be two independent spectators who would oversee the process as well as two official timekeepers.

The class was taught on a five-a-side football pitch by Vikki Rowland from St Giles London Central and three assistants. The lesson topic was ‘talking about your free time using phrasal verbs’ and included pair work, group work and involved reading, writing, listening and speaking.

The attempt was organised in conjunction with English UK London’s annual summer fete in order to celebrate the huge number of international students taking language courses in the capital.

“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,” said James Herbertson, director of London Nest who recruited most of the students at the event.

After the event was over, Herbertson remarked, “I’m elated and exhausted – in that order!”

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