A Spelling Bee Story
I had no idea of Spelling Bee, Spelling Bee word list and all such terminologies related to the contest when one day, I along with a few other fellows of my grade were asked to participate in a grade-level spelling contest. I partook in the competition as firstly, I had a good vocabulary and knew a lot of words already and secondly, I did not know the scope of the competition. When its results were announced, I and two other fellows of my grade had been shortlisted.
That was the first time I was introduced to Spelling Bee and was given a thick book called the Spelling Bee word list.
The other two fellows and I made a team of three for the interschool competition and together we spent entire days in the school library and discussed ways to prepare for it.
The spelling preparation was made easier by a diphthong card given to each one of us. Also, the word list consisted of words, their diphthongs, various meanings and sentences.
Our team devoured the word list, prepared through Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary and also read newspapers thoroughly as they contain words belonging to a wide range of topics.
Spelling Bee was categorized into levels i.e. interschool, regional and national.
Our team outperformed in all the schools in the pool of schools and was all set for the regional level. Our performance was remarkable at the regional level and we easily made it to the national level.
In this final level, each team was split and each person had to compete individually.
It was a great pressure as this was my first time competing solely without the help of anyone in case I forgot the spellings.
At one time during this contest, I got over-confident and spelled a word too quickly for a judge (the judges were from Oxford University Press) to hear the spellings.
While the three judges maintained that I had spelled the word correctly, the fourth one did not agree with them. The audio recording was played and replayed several times and finally, the decision was in my favour.
In this national level Spelling Bee contest, 5 people were to be shortlisted for the final round. Fortunately, I had made it to the top 6 and was so near reaching the batch of top 5.
At that point, I got overwhelmed and misspelled the next word that was given to me (replacing a mere ‘e’ with an ‘i’). But a single letter mistake goes a long way in this contest and I was waiting for the 6th contestant, whose turn was right after me, to misspell the word given to him so that we get a tie. Surely, I would have a chance to be in the top 5 this way. But that person remained composed and I got out of the competition.
Nonetheless, Spelling Bee is a great opportunity that not only improves your vocabulary but also teaches you to remain calm in tough situations. If you are participating in Spelling Bee then my advice would be to read more, practice more, learn from other contestants’ mistakes and learn how they made their way to the top.
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