Can you spell F-U-N? To bring an added level of fun to the study of English, we are implementing the first ever National English Spelling Bee in Bulgaria. English spelling bees have been adapted and implemented throughout the world as proven and effective teaching tools that enhance the fabric of English-education programs by providing students with expanded vocabularies, more accurate word usage and pronunciation, and greater poise and communication skills.
Bulgaria’s future lies with the students of today and with the continued growth and importance of the English language on the international marketplace, and thus on the future success of Bulgarian businesses. The purpose of bringing this concept to Bulgaria is found in the desire to provide a fun and exciting competition for students and a new educational tool for teachers that will not only promote general language improvement in their use the English language, but will also increase the competitiveness of Bulgarian students who desire to one day participate and represent Bulgaria in the global workforce.
The idea for this competition is based loosely on the famous Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is held annually in the United States. The first national Spelling Bee began in Louisville, Kentucky in 1925 on a very small scale, with only nine participants. It has since grown into a renowned and coveted competition that hosts over 11 million students across the U.S. at the local level. The competition has served as an inspiration to many countries across the world to begin their own National English language spelling competitions.
In Bulgaria, contestants will range from nine to thirteen years of age and will have an opportunity to both travel and represent themselves and their local communities proudly. This competition will provide academically aspiring students a chance to meet and compete among their fellow peers in hopes of becoming the first National English Spelling Bee champion in Bulgaria.
The competition will take place at three sequential levels starting in the spring of 2011. Local competitions will be held around the country in early March. In April the top two or three participants from each of the local competitions will participate in four regional competitions. Then in May, the top five competitors from each of the regional competitions will advance to a national competition in Sofia. Here we hope to provide an over-night stay in Sofia for the national competition participants and an accompanying adult, an awards banquet and scholarships and prizes for winners, contestants and teachers.
In conjunction with this inaugural competition, the Peace Corps will celebrate its 50 years of promoting peace throughout the world, as well as its 20 years of service here in Bulgaria. To highlight this significant occasion, we intend to recruit from within the current population of Peace Corps volunteers to assist with the facilitation of these first local competitions. This provides the opportunity for volunteers to not only share a beloved American tradition with their schools, communities, students, but to also serve as a first-hand resource for teachers in their exploration of this English language teaching tool.
And though the 2011 events will be limited to Peace Corps served communities as a way to manage and monitor the project, our goal is that in future years the Bulgarian National English Spelling Bee will be expanded and be made available to all interested students and schools from across Bulgaria. To achieve this level of growth and sustainability, this project is being developed in partnership with Peace Corps Volunteers and Center for Inclusive Education and with the support of the Bulgarian Ministry of Education. Disclaimer:
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