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What is all the buzz about? The National Spanish Spelling Bee 2013

It is not often to see a group of students to gather and actually enjoy spelling words. It’s even more amazing when these students can get excited to spell Spanish words. What is all the buzzing excitement about?

The exhilarating anticipation is the National Spanish Spelling taking place in Albuquerque, New Mexico on July 18th to 20th. At this occasion, students from schools all over the United States will compete for the best Spanish speller title.

Although this is the 4th year of the Spanish contest, the English National Spelling Bee has been providing contests since 1925. And this academic event has televised some of the competitions beginning in 1945. More amazing is the gathering of these children that love to read and learn new words, even if it is to win a prize.

But isn’t that what education is for? The reward is sometimes the best part of learning. For some educators and parents, reward systems can be one of the greatest motivators for students to learn. It is clearly seen, as students are encouraged to read during the summer months to later collect prizes.

Bees flying by flowersThe National Spanish Spelling Bee presents an outstanding opportunity for Spanish learners of the language to participate and encounter new Spanish vocabulary. In fact, the committee has set up several word lists for contestants to learn even before the competition.

It is even more wonderful to not only learn how to spell these words but to also know the meaning of each word. Even though there are more than 1,000 words, they should not be just memorized. Many of these words are excellent examples of the diversity of the Spanish language.

Many of these words are part of the Spanish literature, whether students may encounter them in short stories, classic literature or other periodicals. Words that express synonyms, antonyms and a variety of descriptions are only a glimpse of the amount of Spanish words available in the language.

Knowing these words is to know a wealth of Spanish lexicon. But more importantly, learning these words can also boost the self-esteem of so many students. And that is the feeling many Spanish immigrants, at the Latin American Youth Center in northwest Washington, experienced as they competed for the 6th Spanish spelling bee award. This is one of the few programs geared towards adult education.

The Latin American Youth Center has been helping the community has helped adults to develop confidence with the English language. Besides providing a gateway to improve in their language skills, it also helps with social services and employment in the Washington D. C. area.

How amazing it can be for a group of young students that want to learn the Spanish language and compete with other peers for the National Spanish title?

Learning Activity:

As part of learning about the Spanish language, here are few words that you may or not recognize. But I recommend you practice them. Also, see if you can define them or use them in sentences.

solidaridad

humanidad

omnivoro

vaivén

tectónico

caudal

mesoamericano

creencias

profética

glífico

himno

aferrado

eclesiología

índole

náhuatl

Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

12 Comments

  1. Kristl on at

    I just started learning Spanish on an amazing free app, but sadly I don’t know any of these words yet!



    • That’s so great Kristi. It’s always fun to learn a foreign language like Spanish on the go.



  2. rsrote on at

    humanidad= mankind

    caudal=tail

    the only two I knew…I’m a bad speller of English so I’m sure Spanish would be a challenge-but it is a great way to learn the meaning of words.



    • That’s super. But caudal also means drainage to a river. Thanks for your feedback.



  3. I haven’t learned spanish before and what I’ve heard about the language mostly comes from Dora. Great to hear that the kids are interested in the spelling bee competitions. We don’t really have them over here in Singapore.



    • Some cartoons can promote Spanish vocabulary but to really learn Spanish is also to learn the grammar that goes with it.



  4. I have Spanish descent and I know some basic Spanish words and phrases, but I would love to learn more! 🙂



    • It’s so great to know a little bit of your heritage. And it’s never too late to learn a new language.



  5. I took spanish many year ago in Junior high school. I don’t remember a whole lot but do remember some basic phases. I am glad that there is a spanish spelling bee for those who want to participate.



    • I think it’s great to see young children get excited about spelling words.



  6. Oh my goodness, I’ve already forgotten my Spanish! It’s such an embarrassing thing considering how greatly my country is influenced by the language and culture!



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