A LANGUAGE whizz who competed with 24 of the best French linguists in the country said she is "thunderstruck" having won a national competition.

Ozzadeh Tajalli Hosseini, 12, from Colchester County High School for Girls, made it to the final of the Routes into Languages National Spelling Bee.

To do so, she had to learn, and then spell 200 words in French within just one minute.

The Year 7 pupil, who speaks two languages including Chinese, had a tough choice between French and German, but sailed ahead in the language of love.

The annual competition is organised by Anglia Ruskin University and took place at its Cambridge campus.

Ozzadeh said she was surprised by her win and having spelt the most words.

She said: "I went with two of my teachers from the school, but when my parents heard the news, they were overjoyed.

"The day consisted of one semi-final and one final. After the semi-final, it was really tight, as my competitors were all extremely good.

"At the finals, after I'd finished my one minute, we watched the German and Spanish finals, and then it was the award ceremony."

She added: "Languages have always been the same for me - I've always loved them and always will.

"They are fun to learn and are a means of communicating with others."

Colchester County High School for Girls will now be awarded a free subscription to foreign languages software for the new academic year.