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Affiliate News: February 2010

Affiliate News (October 2009): Spelling Bees Busy Working in Six Affiliates

by User Not Found | 11/10/2011
Spelling Bees Busy Working in Six Affiliates

Mabel Gallo, Second Vice President, ARTESOL Board of Directors

Franklin Electronic Publishers, in cooperation with TESOL, is organizing the first global spelling competition for students who are learners of English. The participating countries this year are Argentina, China, Germany, Italy, Mexico, South Korea, and Turkey.

The event consists of two stages. First, a local event, which is held in each participating country, resulted in the selection of first- and second-place winners. Argentina’s contest took place on May 9, 2009. For the second stage, in August 2009, winners from the different countries will travel to New York City, where they will participate in the final competition. The champion will be awarded a $10,000 scholarship.

The affiliates’ role was to select the schools and act as a link between the sponsors and the participating schools throughout the preparation for the local event. ARTESOL is happy to say that we managed to get together an excellent mix of public and private schools. Nine schools with a total of 47 contestants participated in the event.

One of the main challenges we faced was that our school year runs from March to November. From December through February schools are closed on summer vacation, and therefore students were not able to do much formal practice during that time.

In the last quarter of the 2008 academic year we started an intensive preparation program for schools that included the following:

  • A brief history of spelling events and their relevance in the school culture of the United States and some other English-speaking countries.
  • A PowerPoint presentation developed by ARTESOL containing
    • Brief information on parties involved, namely Franklin Electronic Publishers, TESOL, and ARTESOL
    • A rundown of the different aspects of the contest such as dates, venues, eligibility, spelling rules, and awards
    • Suggestions
    • A list of informative sites and movies
  • Each school was given a folder containing
    • The PowerPoint presentation prepared by ARTESOL mentioned earlier
    • The article “The Challenge of Spelling in English” by Eran Williams (English Teaching Forum, Vol. 46, No. 3, 2008)
    • A Spanish version of the 2009 contest rules for parents and school administrators who don’t speak English
  • As of the start of this academic year, ARTESOL
    • delivered to schools all the preparation materials Franklin sent
    • collected all the information on selected students and sent it to Franklin
    • finalized the venue and catering arrangements
    • held a mock contest attended by 35 out of the 47 selected spellers and their teachers

    At the final local event, the spellers showed themselves to be extremely well prepared. The contest ran up to 15 rounds. The two final winners who competed in New York in August were Clara Sofía Brunetto from Euskal Echea School and Ignacio Dorgan from the Champagnat School. We offer our most sincere congratulations to the spellers and their respective schools.

    It is an honor for Argentina TESOL to have been given the opportunity to cooperate in the organization of this exciting global educational event. We hope that winners from the seven participating countries have a marvelous learning experience in New York in August.

    For more information on this and other events from ARTESOL, visit our Web site.