The Spanish Spelling Bee - by Maisey Brown
I first learnt about the Spanish Spelling Bee in one of my Spanish lessons. Miss Pizzuto said that we were going to do a spelling bee, where we would have to learn 50 words in Spanish, learn the Spanish alphabet and then spell as many words as we can in 1 minute. We practised them in class and then I took the sheet home and practised a lot.
On the day of the spelling bee competition, I got the highest in my tutor group with 12 words correctly spelt. The highest 2 people from each tutor group then did another round again against the rest of Year 7. We had another 50 words to learn, so 100 in total. In this round, I spelt 13 words correctly and came highest in my year group.
Miss Pizzuto then told me that I would be going to Manchester to compete in the Regional Finals! There were only 3 of us who got through; two of us were spelling in Spanish (me and Erin Murray) and one was spelling in French (Evie Halsall). We were given a third set of 50 words to learn, so 150 in total! When we got to Manchester, we arrived, signed in and went into a big hall, where they gave us an introduction and explained how the regional final would work.
We then got split up into different groups; 2 Spanish groups, 2 French groups and 1 German group. There were about 30 students from different schools in each group. We got taken to our allocated classroom, where we waited until the judges were ready and then we got started. I was about in the middle, so I kind of knew what scores everyone was getting! After I had had my go, we waited until everyone else had finished their turn and then we had to wait for the judges to see who had got through. 4 people from my Spanish group (me included) went up against the 4 winners from the other Spanish group, and the top 4 out of 8 would be going through to the National Finals. I had my go against the other 8 Spanish students, and once everyone else had had their go, we went and had a break, where we were provided with refreshments whilst the judges decided who had won.
The judges didn’t tell you what score you got. After refreshments, we went into the hall where they announced the results. Spanish was 2nd and my name was called out first and then I had to go up in front of everyone to spell again. I came 4th and received a medal, which meant that I was through to the National Finals in Cambridge. Of course, this meant that I had yet another 50 words to learn; 200 words to know off by heart and spell!
I practised lots and lots and on the day of the spelling bee, my mum and I drove down to Cambridge where we went to the university and signed in. I did some last minute practice with my Mum before we went into the hall, where we got split up into our languages. We went to the Spanish room and, before we entered, we got a programme and I was third to last out of everyone for Spanish. I had my go and then at the end, they said that there was a tie – breaker. We had to wait until the judges had got the final results and then we went into the main hall, where the scores were read out.
I didn’t come in the top 4, but we figured that I must have just missed out, because all the words I had were long and from the new sheet, so they were difficult to remember and spell! I came about 7th out of 62,000 though, so I was pleased with that. I had a great time doing the spelling bee and I really enjoyed it!