Hacks To Win the Spelling Bee Challenge

The Spelling Bee is one of the most challenging events to master. With over a million words in English, the chances of winning the tournament are minimal. The odds may be stacked against you with spelling bee terms like "erysipelas" and "aiguillette" waiting to be spelled by the other participants, but that is the allure of Spelling Bee. The thrill of competing and watching the spelling bee is unmatched by any other competition. The national spelling bee competition champions practice for years to make a reputation for themselves. Winning a spell bee may be difficult, but it is not impossible.

How difficult is Spelling Bee?

Let's see how difficult it can be to crack the competition and why.

French, Spanish, and Greek Origin of English words

Have you ever pondered why English words are so difficult to spell, yet being so simple and familiar? Because of its extensive and diverse vocabulary, as well as the language's inclusion, it has become the first language in many other nations. The English language has adopted numerous terms from other languages, making it difficult to spell using the sounds they make. The majority of terms in the English language (approximately 28%) are of Latin origin. But that's not all. Words have been borrowed from Hebrew, Greek, French, Persian, Spanish, Sanskrit, and Russian, among other languages.

German Origin of some words

A number of languages have vanished because they did not adapt to reflect the world's cultural and sociopolitical changes. English will not be one of them! The Scripps National Spelling Bee began in 1925. Since then, several additional winning words have been discovered. The nerve-racking moments of those competition-ending words have also developed, from basic written words like "Knack" to never-before-heard terms like "Scherenschnitte." Both terms are of Germanic origin; "Knack" was the winning word in 1928, while "Scherenschnitte" was the winner in 2015. In recent years, German-derived terms have permeated the English-speaking world's lexicon, boosting their popularity. Who expected "Hamburger" to become so popular and become increasingly used since the 20th century?

Enhance Your Child's Verbal Abilities: Start Trial Now!

Phonics and Phonetics in Spelling Formation

Phonetics and the manner in which it assists in spelling a word cause significant irregularities, and how could they not? The language has evolved and changed significantly throughout time. It goes without saying that learning and comprehending the notion of phonics is essential for a better knowledge of the language.

If you spent any time preparing for a Spell Bee contest, you would have noticed that big words are not the most difficult to spell! I wondered why. This is because large words may be broken down into sub-words that are easier to spell. The trouble is in the short words themselves. For example, the letters 'a' in the words 'ask' and 'tall' sound different. Similarly, other words, such as "cut" and "keen," have the same sounds but different letters, making their spellings difficult to learn and retain.

Learning spellings is not impossible

Given adaptive changes, contemporary humans have gone a long way, with significant disparities in cognitive ability and verbal expressiveness compared to giant apes. It is clear from the human brain's ever-expanding capacity to learn and produce work of genius! The human brain is extremely plastic! In children, the prefrontal cortex of the brain is more developed than in adults. Now, isn't it a huge advantage? That is why youngsters learn quickly and are creative. All a youngster has to do is put it to use to see how it works! Preparing for a Spelling Bee contest may put that principle to the test!

Strategizing is not impossible

Failure may teach you more than success ever will. Many people compete in spelling bees at all levels, from local to national, but only a few win. Failures are lessons in disguise, and one may always learn from one's own and others' prior experiences. Read about the participants' gut-wrenching disappointments and how they rose back up to meet the task. Watch the spelling bee champions who lost the tournament due to a word they couldn't spell, discuss it, and understand what their techniques were and what could have been improved.

How to Prepare for the Spelling Bee?

“The competition is not with other spellers but with yourself. I don’t think that besting other people is quite as motivating for me.” - Nupur Lala, Winner of National Spelling Bee 1999.

Such a profound message! Indeed, the entire point of the competition is to struggle with one's constraints and overcome them. While there are several books and videos with tips and methods from the winners themselves, the majority of spelling bee champions stated that starting early and doubling down on preparations and practice would be beneficial. Perhaps the most important aspect of preparations is not simply the study tools used, but also the attitude toward learning and the amount of effort put in. That's the actual recipe for spelling bee success, according to the champions.

Time-Tested Strategies

Aside from the basic laws of language that one must acquire when preparing for the spelling bee, a solid understanding of root words will make a significant impact. In recent years, the inclusion of an aural help function to online dictionaries has made it easier to learn and spell difficult words. Reading the term, practicing repetitious writing, or simply listening to the pronunciation of the word may not be sufficient. Using visual and audio aides together is a tried-and-true method.

Learning Pattern of The Brain

What is your learning style? Are you laidback and enjoy constantly challenging yourself to come up with new terms when playing Scrabble? Or do you learn from reading dictionaries? There is no right or wrong approach, regardless of your perspective. Furthermore, you may have two or three distinct learning styles that are all effective for you. 

Test Out Your Strategies

Determine if you are quicker with pictures or audio. Look at a word. See if you can remember after a few hours. If that works, teach your eyes to gaze rather than see. Looking is being aware of much more than what the eyes can perceive, including curves and forms. This creates a photographic memory and helps you remember the spelling. Alternatively, if listening to a word appeals to you, then listen rather than merely hear. Discover what pushes you to work. Knowing it will also help prepare your brain. 

Book 2-Week English Trial Classes Now!

Never Stop Learning

The ultimate fail-proof strategy: never stop learning. Make this your slogan as you prepare for the spelling bee competition. Read as much as possible, and when you do, don't just read; instead, look through the words. Read as much as possible and continue to challenge yourself with complicated language. Keep a journal to record new terms you come across while studying. It doesn't hurt to make it more intriguing and welcoming by calling it "My word book" and going through it once a week. Despite the fact that it may appear to be a daunting task, you will quickly fall in love.

98thPercentile hosts the Spell Kahoot every year to check the readiness of your child for the Spelling Bee Competition. Check it out on the website now.

Book a free trial for your kids now!


Related Articles:

1. 5 Easy Ways to Turn Boring Worksheets into Engaging Activities

2. 5 Ways to Help Kids Fall in Love with Grammar

3. 6 Steps for Teaching ELL Students Vocabulary Words

4. Why is Learning Informative (Explanatory) Writing so Important?