Let Me Tell You a Story, Let Me Tell You in My Language

The Competition

Students tell an original story in two languages. One language must be English, the other a language other than English (ie spoken in the home and/or community). The story can be about any topic, can be true to storyteller’s life or fictitious. The story should be intercultural, ie conveying ideas and messages about the other language and its culture(s).

Stories can be presented either as:

      1. A bilingual film that has a spoken narrative in a language other than English, with written sub-titles in English. The film must not exceed 3 minutes in duration.
      2. A bilingual eBook using a narrative genre. The book must include audio files of the story told in a language other than English, and audio files of the English translation. Images such as real photographs taken by the student, drawings/paintings created by the students should be included on each page to reinforce the meaning of the story. Written words and captions in the language other than English can be included on the pages (optional). The eBook must not exceed 20 pages.

Teachers of bilingual students, background language students, English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) students such as Aboriginal language teachers, EAL/D teachers, community and mainstream language teachers should encourage their students to take part in the competition. The competition is designed to give voice to culturally and linguistically diverse students, and to provide them with opportunities to develop translating and intercultural skills. Teachers should refer to the Let Me Tell You A Story Teachers Resources for advice on how to provide support for students who want to enter the competition. When encouraging participation in the competition, teachers must ensure students read the Code of Conduct advice before undertaking filming or photographing.

Assistance from adults can be sought, however it is essential that the content ie the story, images and spoken narratives (film and eBook audio files) be the work of the student(s). Should the student(s) use any other images or photographs they must be free from any copyright, including third party, restrictions. The story must be original, not a translation of an existing story.


This competition is designed for background and first language learners of a language other than English. More than one student can create a story, however, where there are multiple creator/authors, they should all be of a similar age and qualify for the same age category.

Categories / Languages

Age categories:

Junior Primary (PP-Year 3)

Primary (Years 4-6)

Lower Secondary (Years 7-9)

Upper Secondary (Years 10-12)

The film format is recommended for secondary students, while all ages are encouraged for the eBook format.

There is no limit to the languages other than English that can be used in the bilingual storytelling.


Prizes are awarded to the best story in each age category. Some stories will have more than one creator, requiring sharing of the prize money. Winning stories of each age category will receive a monetary prize of $50 (1st place), $30 (2nd place) and $20 (3rd place). All creators of winning stories will receive a Winner’s Certificate.

Winners will be invited to attend an event during Term 4 to receive their prize and will be notified via email by 10 October 2019.

Videos of the winning film submissions may be screened at future MLTAWA events and/or posted on the MLTAWA website, MLTAWA YouTube channel and the Languages in the Mainstream Facebook page.

Judging criteria

Each story will be judged on:

      • Combination of visual and digital elements to reinforce meaning and create layers of meaning.
      • Ability to entertain, convey ideas, express emotions and explore the creativity of language.
      • Ability to capture the experience of ‘living between languages/cultures’ and/or the multicultural nature of the creator(s) personal, school and community experience.
      • Ability to convey intercultural knowledge and understanding.

Submission process

Students themselves submit their stories, however, teachers and/or parents should assist in the uploading of the submission.

The submission page is password protected. If you have not received the password, please email [email protected] to request it.

      • Film submissions must be in a .M4V, .MP4, .mov or .avi format and uploaded to the Submission Page
      • The eBook submissions must be uploaded in an ePub format and uploaded to the Submission Page.

Submissions must be accompanied by a scanned copy of a signed Declaration Form for each student appearing in the videos. The declaration forms can also be uploaded to the submission page

All competition submissions are bound by the Languages in the Mainstream competition Terms and Conditions.

Key Dates

2 April 2019                Let Me Tell You a Story (Let me Tell you in my Language)  Competition launched

25 September 2019       Let me Tell you a Story (Let me Tell you in my Language) Competition submissions due

10 October 2019             Creators of winning stories notified and invited to attend a MLTAWA event

Term 4 2019            Winners collect their prizes and certificates at an Awards’ event

Related documents and resources

Let Me Tell You a Story Competition Poster  Print out and display at your school.

Declaration Form

Code of Conduct

Terms and Conditions

LITM Film Workshop Resource created by Celena Mecham

The Art of Storytelling Khan Academy/Pixar in a Box free online course

Quick links to other LitM Competitions

Side by Side, Languages in Our Landscape