Emigration is a European issue that affects adults as well as youth. This spring, the youth of the Klaipėda region expressed their views about emigration in an English essay contest hosted by the Lithuanian Association of English Language Teachers, LAKMA. Forty-nine youth entered the contest. They wrote essays and creative texts related to the topic of emigration and the search for happiness. Some texts were informative; other texts were creative; still other texts were deeply personal. Prizes were awarded for content, originality, and use of language. The place of English as the most widely used international language was evident in that almost everyone who emigrates to Europe uses English on a daily basis.

LAKMA members, Birute Buinevičienė (Vėtrunges gymnasium) and Vitalija Pliakuvienė (Ąžuolyno gymnasium), organized the contest. Their dream of hosting an English writing contest came true after much hard work. They created the contest rules, set the marking rubric, built a web site, advertised the event, found sponsors, and planned a celebration event for the participants. Buinevicienė and Pliakuvienė organized five teams of raters which included English teachers, and students from Klaipėda Universityand LCC International University.

These extracts from student essays show the variety of ideas expressed about emigration.

“Humans who emigrate become more open-minded and expand their horizons by noticing various kinds of outlooks on life…..“ 

“Many people leave one country or region to settle in another because they feel unsafe. They are scared of strikes and rebellion, which develop due to economic and social life of a certaincountry.“

“There is saying that money can’t buy your heart, so does the emigration. The only place where you feel safe is exactly that place where you wereborn.“

Winners in the first and second forms:

Best composition of 1st forms: Vaidas Mačiulskis (Klaipėda Baltijos gimnazija)

I place: Justas Taroza (Klaipėda Vydūno gimnazija); Rokas Gudavičius (Klaipėdos raj. Gargždų Vaivorykštės gimnazija)

II place: Sandra Pilelytė (Kretingos raj. Salantų gimnazija)

III place: Oskaras Valentinavičius (Klaipėda Baltijos gimnazija)

Winners in the third and fourth forms:

I place: leva Vyšniauskaitė (Kretingos raj.Salantų gimnazija)

II place: Linas Vaicekauskas (Klaipėda  Ąžuolyno  gimnazija); Gabrielė Bačkutė (Klaipėda Vydūno gimnazija)

III place: Liveta Arčiulytė (Klaipėda Vėtrungės gimnazija); Pijus Milinis (Palangos Senoji gimnazija)

The award ceremony was held at the Klaipeda Youth Center on March 27. Sponsors for the event included Klaipeda City Council, Klaipeda Youth Center, LCC International University, Klaipeda University, Oxford University Press, Pedagogical Cultural Center, American English school, and Kiškio Pyragas.

Plans are in motion to host another English essay writing contest in spring 2016.

Robin Gingerich
English Department Chair
LCC International University
36 Kretingos
Klaipeda, Lithuania 92307