The second Bulgarian National English Spelling Bee was launched on March 23 at Sofia's St.Kliment Ohridski high school.
More than 4500 students aged between nine and 14 from 200 schools across the country will compete in three, sequential stages for the title of Bulgarian national English spelling bee champion of 2012.
The first - school level - began on March 23 and will run until March 30. To prepare, participants learn the spelling of more than 400 English words. One winner from each school will advance to the second regional stage which will be held on April 28 in Sofia, Plovdiv, Veliko Turnovo, Varna, Vratsa, Blagoevgrad, Smolyan, Haskovo and Razgrad. Participants in the regional competitions will study an expanded list of words and only two from each region will qualify for the final. The final national level of the competition will be held on May 12 in Sofia where the 20 finalists will compete to be the 2012 Champion.
The Spelling Bee is being held in schools across the country with great interest and the number of participating schools has quadrupled from last year. "Preparations are designed to be fun and innovative and to appeal to a broad range of students all while enhancing their knowledge and igniting the students' love of English," said Iva Boneva, executive director of the centre for inclusive education. "As with many such extra-curricular activities, Spelling Bees are a great way to keep students engaged in school and to foster parental and community pride and involvement which are vital for the health of a school. Spelling Bees also teach students that learning can be engaging and fun, resulting in students becoming life-long learners," said Philip W. Rudy, director of programming and training at Peace Corps Bulgaria.
The Spelling Bee is a traditional American competition in which contestants spell an English word aloud letter by letter and are eliminated for misspelling a word. The competition was first held in the United States in 1925 and has since grown in popularity. In 2011, more than 11 million American students participated. As well as in the U.S spelling competitions are held in many other countries worldwide and have been adapted and implemented as a proven and effective English-language teaching tool.
In Bulgaria, the first competition was held in 2011 and developed by volunteers from the Peace Corps. More than 1000 students from 60 schools in 50 cities around the country participated. Alexander Alexandrov – a 13-year old student from Petar Beron school in Kostinbrod became the first Bulgarian National English Spelling Bee Champion. U.S. ambassador James Warlick presented the award to the winner on May 14 in Sofia.
The competition is organised with the support of the America for Bulgaria foundation by the centre for inclusive education and the Peace Corps and is under the patronage of the Ministry of Education and Science and the US embassy.
The development of the competition could be followed at www.spellingbee-bg.com and Facebook/ Bulgarian National English Spelling Bee.
For more information, contact Latinka Ducheva, PR and communications officer, Bulgarian National English Spelling Bee, tel.: 02 8702063, 02 9589720, 0897848561, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.spellingbee-bg.com