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The world is divided into three types of people. Those who can spell — and know it. Spelling bees are full of the first type.

National Spelling Bee 12222

They are usually clever kids who can do much more than spell. Not only can hearing impaired students spell — and spell very well, as evidenced by one of the contestants on the Great Australian Spelling Bee — but most words simply cannot be sounded out. If we ask them to think about what the word means, they will tell us it is a person who does magic.

This turns the base word magic into the person who does that word. Understanding how magician makes its meaning uncovers the logic of its spelling. English spelling is not random and chaotic but neither is it natural and innate. English spelling is a human invention that has evolved over years of invasions, explorations, innovations, exchanges and egos. It needs to be taught. When spelling is focused on meaning, and how words make their meaning, spelling improves and so does reading comprehension, writing and vocabulary across all subjects.

This helps students spell the word, but it also teaches them that perimeter means they must measure around the shape. This clearly differentiates the mathematical concept of perimeter from area — two concepts students often confuse. It also turns a long word of nine letters into two much more manageable chunks to learn to spell. Watching contestants in spelling bees can show us how good spellers spell.

In the big US spelling bees, which have been captivating that nation for decades, the contestants are allowed to ask a number of questions as they attempt to spell their words. They can ask for the meaning of the word and this helps unpack any of the meaningful parts of the word. For example, magic and ian.

They can ask to hear the word in a sentence so they know what kind of word it is, and this may help them decide how to spell some of the sounds they can hear. For example, choosing ian rather than ion. For example, choosing g rather than j , and c rather than k in a French origin word. Each of these questions gives an insight into how good spellers tackle spelling.

We learn to spell words best while they are doing their day job — communicating. If the word is not spelled correctly, then both participants return to the stage and the round is continued until one participant remains. Each participant who participates in a championship round will receive a ranking from first to third place in the Spelling Bee. The participant must repeat the word back to the pronouncer.

If the pronouncer feels the participant has not understood the word, the pronouncer may repeat the word, or ask the participant to repeat it until the pronouncer feels satisfied that the participant has understood the word. If a judge feels that the pronouncer has given an incorrect pronunciation of a word, the judges will confer to reach a decision. The judges have the authority to throw a mispronounced word out, if necessary and a new word will be used.

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The judges will request that the speller attempt to spell the word after a reasonable time has passed. Once the word has been spelled, the pronouncer will confer with the judges and inform the participant whether the spelling was correct or incorrect. If the judges do not feel they heard the spelling correctly, they may ask the participant to repeat it.

The participant may not, at this point, change his or her original spelling of the word. If the spelling was incorrect, a judge will ring the bell and the pronouncer will provide the correct spelling of the word. The main criteria for the judges will be whether or not the participant has correctly spelled the word. The judges will eliminate a participant who starts spelling a word, pauses, then starts over and changes the original spelling given. However, the participant may retrace his or her spelling by starting over without changing the original spelling given. After the primary school contest there will be an awards ceremony and then a brief closing ceremony.

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After the secondary school contest, there will be an awards ceremony and a closing ceremony for the entire event. National Spelling Bee We are pleased to inform you that the Spelling Bee registrations will be extended until the last day of January. Below are specific guidelines for school and student eligibility.

School requirements: Formally established public or private schools may participate. Given that the target audience for the spelling bee is non-native speaking students; that is, students studying English as a Foreign Language: Participating schools may NOT : Be a bilingual school. A participant must be a student in good standing at the approved school.

The student must not be a native speaker of English.

Spelling Bee contest

The student must not have any parent or legal guardian who is a native speaker of English. The student must not be a citizen of, or have dual-citizenship with any country where English is an official language. The student must not have attended school in any English-speaking country for more than six months in his or her lifetime before participating in the Spelling Bee. The student must not have attended a bilingual or English-medium school maximum number of hours of instruction in English: 10 hours weekly for more than six months in his or her lifetime prior to participating in the Spelling Bee.

The student must not be currently taking more than 10 hours of weekly instruction in English, including the EFL class.

How do we learn to spell?

If the student is later found to be ineligible, he or she will be disqualified. The primary school contest will take place from a.

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The secondary school contest will take place from — p. The end times for each contest are approximate.

Organization of Rounds Up to 50 registered participants may participate in the Spelling Bee in each of the two categories: primary and secondary school. Contest Rules: Participants are not allowed to have any writing implements or materials during the event. The participant may ask the pronouncer to provide the following information for the word: A repetition of the word, or as many repetitions as necessary.

An alternate pronunciation, if any. The first dictionary definition, including part of speech. An example sentence. This information will be part of the practice word lists provided by Merriam-Webster. School applications for both contests will begin to be received. If you do not receive an email confirming the reception of the application, please resend the application until you receive confirmation. January 31, The status of school applications up to this date will be sent to the individual schools.

January 25, Deadline for receiving school application forms. However, it is recommended that interested schools submit their applications as soon as possible.