Logo Fonix

11th English Competition for Catalan Schools

THE FONIX, 2018 edition rules


The Fonix is a competition for Catalan schools aimed at strengthening the multilingual competence of students, particularly English learning. The competition presents participants with a fun challenge and an opportunity for shared discovery. It is easy to integrate in each school’s educational plan and in accord with innovative approaches emerging in the educational system.

The Fonix is also aimed at developing students’ ability to engage in critical and reflexive thinking so that they are able to solve problems in a creative way that takes full advantage of digital environments and transmedia communication.

There are two stages to the competition. The first involves class groups and takes place at participating schools. Teams selected as finalists go on to participate in the second and final stage.

The topics that the competition focuses on are related to the main objectives set in UNESCO’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, equity, solidarity and social cohesion. Participating students will have to carry out communicative tasks on topics of environmental or socio-cultural interest (for example, issues related to sustainability and equity proposed by UNESCO, the UN and the European Union). Participants will work in teams to complete tasks, which will involve carrying out interactive oral or written activities and using digital resources. The finalist teams will have to present their project results in public in the final stage of the competition.


The competition is organised by International House and Fundació Catalana de l’Esplai, with the collaboration of the Government of Catalonia’s Ministry of Education. The initiative is funded by contributions from the organisers, sponsors and other partners.

An Organising Committee, made up of representatives of the organisers, will ensure that the competition runs smoothly.


a. Schools eligible to participate and categories

The competition is open to Catalan public, private and grant-aided schools that provide instruction at the following educational stages and levels: 5th–6th year of primary education, 1st–4th year of ESO (compulsory secondary education), 1st–2nd year of Batxillerat (upper secondary education), and schools for adults.

The competition is organised into the six categories indicated below. Several teams of students from a school may participate in each category. Teams must be made up of a minimum of two and a maximum of three students.

  • a. CATEGORY 1: Students in 5th–6th year of primary education
  • b. CATEGORY 2: Students in 1st–2nd year of ESO
  • c. CATEGORY 3: Students in 3rd–4th year of ESO
  • d. CATEGORY 4: Students in 1st–2nd year of Batxillerat
  • e. CATEGORY 5: Adult Introductory English students (A1/A1 +): GES 1, English 1, English 2 and PPACFGM
  • f. CATEGORY 6: Adult Basic English students (A2/A2+): GES 2, English 3, CAM, PPCFGS and PPAU+25

Participation is free of charge for schools and students.

b. Registration

Schools that wish to participate in the competition must register at the website the-fonix.org and assign a teacher to act as the competition coordinator at the school. Ideally, the coordinator should be the English teacher responsible for one or more of the levels (categories) in which the school is participating. The coordinator will be the contact person for the school throughout the process and will be responsible for overseeing activities in the first stage of the competition. Coordinators will ensure that activities are carried out properly in the first stage, assess activities completed by students based on the instructions provided by the organisers through the competition website, and draw up a report on the results.

c. Restrictions on participation

Students who are first-degree relatives of a competition coordinator at a participating school or of a member/employee of any of the organisers will not be eligible to win a prize in the competition.

d. Authorisation to participate

Registration for the competition requires the submission of a completed personal participation form, which is available on the competition website. For students under 18, participation in the final stage requires the authorisation of a parent or legal guardian. Students who participate in the final stage must attend the event together with an adult relative and/or the competition coordinator for their school (or his/her delegated representative.

e. Penalty for language-related competitive advantages

Students who do not have English as a language of origin or family language will have their team score increased by 20% in the final stage of the competition. The scores of students who have a mother or father from an English-speaking country, who have studied at an international school where teaching is in English, or who have attended a foreign school where English is the language of instruction in the last three school years will not be increased.


The competition has two stages.


The first part the competition is an elimination stage held at participating schools. Any number of students may participate in teams made up of two or three individuals. Schools may participate in one or more categories of the competition, and multiple teams may take part in each category. However, schools must choose the best team in each category to participate in the second stage of the competition and send the projects completed by the proposed candidates to the Organising Committee. Schools must send the videos (in AVI or MP4 format) to the email address info@the-fonix.org via WeTransfer or Dropbox.


After the Organising Committee has assessed all the projects submitted by participating schools, the second stage of the competition will take place. The teams that have produced the best three projects in each category will take part in this stage. These teams will have to present their project in English at a public event. Participants will be notified of the details at the appropriate time. Based on these presentations, a jury will decide the order of the winners in each category (first, second and third place).


I. Mixed-ability teams of two or three students will be formed and produce small-scale collaborative projects in English in digital format.

II. Projects must focus on one of the topics proposed in the competition notice and specified in the guide and rubric available on the intranet for the competitiont.

III. Schools that wish to participate must register at the competition website. Registration must be completed by the competition coordinator for the school. More than one group of students may be registered in each category.

IV. After registering, schools will receive access codes so that competition coordinators can download the instructions and the rubric available on the intranet for quick assessment. Schools will keep the projects submitted so that they can respond to any queries from participants.

V. At each school, the competition coordinator will decide when and how to present materials to students and specify when and how participants should complete the exercise, in accordance with the competition notice (guide and rubric available via the intranet). Each team will present a single project, and each student may participate as a member of only one team. Students who do not complete the activity will be understood to have withdrawn from the competition.

VI. Based on the assessment guidelines and guidance provided by the competition organisers, and within the deadlines specified in the competition notice, each school will decide how to select the teams it proposes for the second stage (a maximum of one in each category).

VII. Within the specified deadlines, competition coordinators will submit the projects proposed for the second stage to the organisers and provide the names of the selected participants via the intranet. Parental authorisation to participate in the competition must also be submitted. Any students for whom such authorisation is not received will not be eligible to take part in the final stage.

VIII. Within the established deadlines, the organisers will assess the projects submitted by schools in the first stage and select three finalist teams in each category (see section 3a). Finalist teams will advance to the second stage, in which they will make a public presentation of their projects. The names of team members will be posted on the competition website.

IX. The three finalist teams in each of the six categories will be selected based on a vote by members of the public on YouTube (15% of the score) and a vote by members of the Organising Committee (85% of the score).

X. If any student selected to participate in the final stage withdraws from the competition, the school coordinator must inform the organisers before the deadline specified in the competition notice. Any student who withdraws must be replaced by a substitute. Otherwise, the entire team to which the student belongs will be excluded from the second stage of the competition. If a team is withdrawn from the competition, the Jury will select another in the same category to take its place.

XI. Members of teams that do not advance to the second stage and teacher-coordinators who participate in the competition may download a participation certificate from the competition intranet. Certificates for winners of the first stage will also be available for download.


I. The second and final stage of the competition will be held at a single location for all of Catalonia on a single day (a Saturday in the second half of May). The final ranking of the three finalist teams in each category will be determined in this stage (see section 3a).

II. The finalist teams in each category will have to present their projects to the public. Presentations will have the following features:

  • a. In their presentations, which will be made orally in English, participants must illustrate, present and defend their project in a creative way. There is no set format for presentations.
  • b. Presentations must not exceed five minutes and all team members must speak.
  • c. A screen, projector and audio equipment will be provided for the public presentations. Teams may also use props.

Subject to authorisation by the persons concerned, all presentations will be recorded.

III. Teams will be notified of the place and time for their presentation in good time. Teams must report to the Jury 30 minutes before their presentation is scheduled to take place so that they can be accredited. The rules for the competition may establish simultaneous presentation time slots or groupings of presentations. Any team that does not appear at its assigned time may be disqualified, in which case one of the prizes will become void.

IV. To participate in this stage of the competition, students must be accompanied by an adult relative and/or the competition coordinator for their school or his/her delegated representative. To be accredited, participants must present an identity document (Spanish national ID card or passport). Minors must also present the required authorisation form, completed and signed by their parent or legal guardian. Participants must arrange their own transportation to the location where the competition is held, which will be announced on the competition website in good time. Each team may be accompanied by a maximum of six people.

V. In the second stage, a jury will be formed to assess the public presentations made by the teams. The following points will be assessed: on the one hand, the communicative ability of participants, staging of the presentation, creativity, originality of the project, and media techniques used; and on the other, the quality of the participants’ use of English (fluency, accuracy, pronunciation, etc.) in relation to the team’s educational level.

VI. The total score for each team will be the sum of the score awarded for the project in the first stage of the competition and the score given for the public presentation in the second stage. The final score will be understood as an overall score that applies exclusively to the participants who take part in the second stage.

VII. Any ties between two or more teams in a category at the same educational level will be resolved by the Jury, which will choose the team that has demonstrated more effective communication skills, greater fluency and better pronunciation in the public presentation of their project. When awarding the first prize in each category, priority will also be given to students who have not won a first prize in any previous edition of the competition.

VIII. The organisers will announce the final results of the competition for each category on the same day, at the place where the public presentations are held. Prizes and diplomas will be awarded immediately after this announcement. After the award ceremony, the winners and their companions will be offered light refreshments.


Registrations will be accepted from 4 December 2017 to 30 January 2018 (both inclusive).

The first stage of the competition (at schools) will take place between December 2017 and February 2018. Projects must be submitted to the competition organisers by 31 March 2018. Submissions (AVI or MP4 files) must be sent via WeTransfer or Dropbox to info@the-fonix.org. After the projects have been received, they will be posted on a YouTube channel by the organisers.

The final stage of the competition will take place before 30 May 2018. Finalist teams will be notified of the specific date and place in good time.

Full information on the competition and the registration procedure will be available at the website the-fonix.org. The competition rules will also be published on the website.

Any questions regarding the competition or the registration procedure should be sent by email to info@the-fonix.org. Please address queries to the appropriate person according to the nature of your question:
  • a. For questions regarding pedagogical matters: Darienne Walker, pedagogical coordinator.
  • b. For questions regarding organisational matters: Miquel Puig, organisational coordinator.


Prizes for winning students – 5th year of primary education to 2nd year of Batxillerat

Teams that qualify for the final stage in each category will receive the following prizes:

  • First prize: One two-week stay at an English summer camp for members of teams from 5th year of primary education to 2nd year of ESO, and one two-week stay in an English-speaking country for members of teams from 3rd year of ESO to 2nd year of Batxillerat.
  • Second prize: From 5th year of primary education to 2nd year of Batxillerat, one weekend stay at a holiday camp for each member of the team and two companions, and one English distance-learning course for each team member.
  • Third prize: From 5th year of primary education to 2nd year of Batxillerat, one pack of school supplies and one English distance-learning course for each team member.

Prizes for winning students – Adult Introductory English (A1/A1+) and Adult Basic English (A2/A2+)

Teams that qualify for the final stage in each category will receive the following prizes:

  • First prize: One weekend stay at a holiday camp for the winner and two companions and one English distance-learning course for each team member in both categories.
  • Second prize: One pack of school supplies for each team member in both categories.
  • Third prize: One English distance-learning course for each team member in both categories.

All members of the same team will receive the same prize, regardless of the role they play on the team.

Prizes for teachers of students on teams selected to participate in the final stage:

Allcompetition coordinators at schools with students from 5th year of primary education to 2nd year of Batxillerat/GSCF and at adult schools that qualify for the final stage will receive the following prizes:

  • For those responsible for students who place first in each category, a weekend stay at a holiday camp for the coordinator and two companions.
  • For those responsible for students who place second in each category, a course on English-teaching methodology and a pack of material.
  • For those responsible for students who place third in each category, invitations to attend the Catalan Ministry of Education’s work and assessment groups on English, and a pack of material.

Prizes may not be redeemed for their cash value or exchanged for other prizes. However, if a winner of one of the top prizes in the final stage (a stay at a summer camp, a stay abroad, or a weekend stay at a holiday camp) is unable to use his/her prize due to a conflict related to dates or for a similar reason, he/she will be offered an English distance-learning course (lasting one academic year) in compensation.

In cases of force majeure, the competition organisers reserve the right to substitute prizes of equal or greater value for those described above.


The organisers will appoint the members of the Competition Jury, who will be professionals in the education, communication, social and culture sectors with proven experience and appropriate credentials.
The names of the members of the Competition Jury will be made public before the final stage in which participants present their projects to the public.

The decisions and actions of the Jury regarding pedagogical or organisational issues are not subject to appeal.  Claims of any other kind should be submitted in writing at the following address: “The Fonix English Competition”, C/ Trafalgar 14, 08010 Barcelona.


After the first stage, a list of the participants who qualify for the second stage will be posted on the competition website; and after the second stage, a list of the winners in each category will be published. The information posted will include participants’ full names, the name of their school, and their finishing position.


The “Concurs dAnglès Interescolar de Catalunya(English Competition for Catalan Schools, THE FONIX) and all related elements are the property of International House Barcelona S.L., which may authorise participating schools to use the name of the competition and related elements to promote and disseminate the event in school settings.


  1. Images (photographs, videos, etc.) of activities carried out at participating schools will be treated in a manner consistent with the rules that each school applies for its own activities. Activities carried out at the location where the final stage is held may be recorded in accordance with guidelines stipulated by the Organising Committee. Consent for such recording shall be understood to have been given by signing and submitting the authorisation form to participate in the competition. Any photographic coverage of the award ceremony will be public in nature, and resulting images will be owned by the entities that hold the corresponding intellectual property rights, which authorise collaborating schools to use the said images for such educational and dissemination purposes as they deem appropriate.
  2. As a collaborating institution, the Catalan Ministry of Education may be represented on the Competition Jury. If this is the case, the member of the Jury will be a representative of the Foreign Language Service of the Sub-Directorate General for Language and Multilingualism.
  3. The personal data of participants provided by schools will form part of an automated filing system owned by International House Barcelona, S.L., which shall be responsible for the system and shall ensure that the data of minors participating in the competition is adequately protected. The purpose of this filing system is to properly manage the participation of students in the competition and the sending of materials and prizes to winners. Pursuant to Organic Law 15/1999 of 13 December on the Protection of Personal Data, participants in the competition or their legal representatives may access this filing system at any time in order to exercise their right to access or rectify their data, require that it be erased, or object to its processing. These rights may be exercised by submitting a written request, together with a copy of the interested party’s national identity card, to International House Barcelona, S.L., which is located at Carrer Trafalgar 14, 08010 Barcelona.


Participation in the 11th English Competition for Catalan Schools (also referred to as THE FONIX 2018) implies the acceptance of these rules in their entirety.

The competition organisers reserve the right to amend these rules at any time if they deem it necessary for reasons related to the organisation, carrying out or functioning of the event. The interested parties shall be notified of any such amendments in good time.

These rules apply to the 2018 edition of THE FONIX and are supplemented by the procedures for each stage of the competition, which may be downloaded from the competition intranet after registering.

Download the competition rules [ pdf document ]