Spelling Bee changes rules,vocabulary test added to the contest

The kids will be quizzed on what the word means in addition to spelling them.

Written by PTI | Washington | Published: April 11, 2013 11:27 am

The prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee contest,which the Indian Americans having won 10 of the last 14 times,has changed the rules of the game just two months before the finals,under which the kids will be quizzed on what the word means in addition to spelling them.

For the first time in the 86-year history of the Scripps National Spelling Bee,the evaluation of vocabulary knowledge will be formally incorporated as an element of the competition,the Scripps National Bee announced Tuesday.

“This is a significant change in the Scripps National Spelling Bee,but also a natural one,” said Paige Kimble,director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee is scheduled to take place on May 28-30. “It represents a deepening of the Bee’s commitment to its purpose: to help students improve their spelling,increase their vocabularies,learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives,” Kimble argued.

Since 2002,a written or computer spelling test has been a component of the Bee,that along with onstage spelling factored in determining which spellers advanced to the semifinals. This year,a speller’s qualification for the semifinals and championship finals will be based on a cumulative score that incorporates onstage spelling,computer-based spelling questions and computer-based vocabulary questions,the organizers said in a statement.

According to the new rules,vocabulary evaluation will count for 50 per cent of a speller’s overall score. The score determines which participant advance to the semifinals. “Spelling and vocabulary are,in essence,two sides of the same coin,” said Kimble.

“As a child studies the spelling of a word and its etymology,he will discover its meaning. As a child learns the meaning of a word,it becomes easier to spell. And all of this enhances the child’s knowledge of the English language,” Kimble argued.

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