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Tefl spelling beemanual (englishpost.org)
Tefl spelling beemanual (englishpost.org)
Tefl spelling beemanual (englishpost.org)
Tefl spelling beemanual (englishpost.org)
Tefl spelling beemanual (englishpost.org)
Tefl spelling beemanual (englishpost.org)
Tefl spelling beemanual (englishpost.org)
Tefl spelling beemanual (englishpost.org)
Tefl spelling beemanual (englishpost.org)
Tefl spelling beemanual (englishpost.org)
Tefl spelling beemanual (englishpost.org)
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Tefl spelling beemanual (englishpost.org)

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  • 1. Spelling Bee Manual 2014 Written by Peace Corps Volunteers, Costa Rica School Year 2014 This manual has all of the information necessary to have a successful institutional, circuital, regional, and inter-regional Spelling Bee in a spirit of friendly competition. Included you will find a description, rules for the bee and participation, information about word lists, and helpful teaching practices for spelling classes. Enjoy!
  • 2. 2 Description of the Spelling Bee A spelling bee is a spelling competition in which participants spell a word aloud letter by letter. If the individual spells the word correctly on their first try, they remain in the competition and move on to the next round. If an individual spells a word incorrectly, the participant is eliminated from the competition. The competition continues until there is only one winner. The Costa Rican English Spelling Bee is held in order to encourage participation in extracurricular English-related activities, to support the learning of spelling and pronunciation in English, to foster healthy competition in an academic setting, and to promote enthusiasm about learning English. We hope that you find this manual helpful in planning and implementing a spelling bee in your own schools and high schools. If you have any questions, contact information is listed at the end of the manual. Happy spelling! History of the Spelling Bee The Costa Rica English Spelling Bee was inspired by the success of the spelling bee project organized by Peace Corps volunteers in Bulgaria and is loosely adapted from the Scripps sponsored National Spelling Bee held annually in the United States. The first competition was held in Louisville, Kentucky in 1925. While there were only nine participants the first year, today over 11 million participants compete to be the Scripps sponsored National Spelling Bee Champion. In 2012, Peace Corps volunteers helped organize the first English Spelling Bee in Costa Rica. The Spelling Bee first took place at a local level in elementary and high schools. The top three participants from each competition moved on to the Regional Spelling Bee. There were four Regional Spelling Bees held two years ago in Guanacaste, Los Santos region, San Vito, and Limon. The top three participants from each competition were awarded prizes for winning the Spelling Bee in their region. Last year in 2013, we were able to have the first Inter-Regional Spelling Bee in Los Santos with enthusiastic participation from many regions and students in Costa Rica! For the 2014 Spelling Bee, there will be an Institutional, Circuital, Regional, and finally an Inter- Regional competition. Organizers and participants are responsible for holding their competitions within the allotted timeframe before the final Inter-Regional competition tentatively scheduled for November in Liberia, Guanacaste. The Circuital Competition is optional and recommended for regions that have more than six schools participating in their region. Dates To ensure that all schools are on the right time frame to be able to compete in the Inter- Regional Spelling Bee, please use the guidelines below to plan your spelling bees. These are the participation numbers for each level ( II Ciclo, III Ciclo y IV Ciclo-Diversificada). Institutional – April 21 to May 9 Three students qualify for the circuital competition
  • 3. 3 Circuital – May 19 to June 6 Three students qualify for the regional competition Regional – June 16 to August 8 One student qualifies for the inter-regional competition In order to plan the Institutional Spelling Bee, please work with your director. In order to plan the Circuital Spelling Bee, please work with your Superviser, other English teachers, and the Regional English Advisor. In order to plan the Regional Spelling Bees, please work with your Regional English Advisor. The Inter-Regional Spelling Bee is tentatively planned for a date in late November in Liberia, Guanacaste. More details on this inter-regional bee will be provided in the coming months. Age Groups and Participation Rules Any student who is registered in MEP public schools may participate in the Spelling Bee within their respective level, regardless of prior exposure to English. An English Spelling Bee is difficult for anyone, even native English speakers so we will open the Bee to any student who would like to participate. The Costa Rican English Spelling Bee is divided into three competition levels: 1. Bumble Bee Level (Elementary School): Fourth, Fifth and Sixth grades compete amongst each other. 2. Worker Bee Level (High School): Seventh, Eighth and Ninth grades compete amongst each other. 3. Queen Bee Level (High School): Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth grades compete amongst each other. The Rules and Procedure for Circuital, Regional, and Inter-Regional Spelling Bees 1. Students are ordered alphabetically based on their first name and sit in that order on the stage or allotted participant space. 2. The announcer calls the first student’s name. 3. The student steps up to the indicated competition space. 4. The pronouncer randomly chooses a word from the word list.*Review “Word Selection During the Bee” section of the handbook to understand how the pronouncer chooses a word* For the elementary competition: The pronouncer says the word in English, uses the word in a sentence in English, then repeats the word again. For high school competitions: The pronouncer says the word in English, pauses, then repeats the word in English again. The pronouncer speaks slowly and clearly, without distorting the normal pronunciation of the word. 5. The student can ask for the word to be repeated if necessary. The student can also ask for the pronouncer to read the definition of the word and/or the example sentence. Students may no longer ask for the word translated in Spanish.
  • 4. 4 6. Once the student is sure they understand the word, he or she says the word, spells the word, and states the word again. EXAMPLE: Apple, a-p-p-l-e, Apple The student must say the word and spelling loud enough for the judge to hear. 7. The judges decide if the word was spelled correctly or incorrectly. If the word is spelled correctly, the student takes their seat. If the word is spelled incorrectly, the judge gives the correct spelling of the word. The student takes their seat and waits for the round to end. At the end of the round a judge reads a list of students who incorrectly spelled their word. All students leave the stage together to a round of applause. 8. The announcer calls the next student in the alphabetical order and the pronouncer randomly chooses and says a new word for that student. 9. ** For the institutional competition, the spelling bee is complete when three students remain. All three students advance to the circuital competition. If you do not have a circuital competition, the institutional competition still ends when three students remain and all will proceed to the regional competition. 10. ** If you do have a circuital competition, three winners will move on to the regional competition. 11. ** For the regional and inter-regional competitions, the bee ends when there is only one student left. The last student should correctly spell the word that the student before him or her spelled incorrectly, and another word. ** For the Institutional Bee, teachers may opt to say the word in English, say the translation in Spanish, then again repeat the word in English if they think their students need this. ** After the institutional competition, the entire Spelling Bee will only be presented in English. Additional Guidelines Each speller has two minutes to spell the word. The time begins when the pronouncer says the word. The student must spell the word correctly on the first try. - This is not allowed: Apple, a-p-l …… a-p-p-l-e, Apple However, students are allowed to stop spelling, and begin spelling a word again, as long as the letters are the same as the first attempt. - This is allowed: Apple, a-p-p……a-p-p-l-e, Apple Students are allowed to write the word first. They should use a small whiteboard and marker to write the word. The whiteboard should be personal and not in view of the audience or the judges table. Word Selection during the Bee The word list is divided into ten levels of difficulty, with an equal number of words in each level. The first level is used for a practice round during the competition in order to calm students’ nerves and review the procedure of the bee (except in the inter-regional bee where there is no practice round).
  • 5. 5 After the first level-practice round, the pronouncer chooses words from the second level of difficulty at random and the competition begins. If there are more participants than remaining words in a given difficulty level, the pronouncer moves on to the next difficulty level. The word selection proceeds in this manner until a winner is declared. Word Lists Each word list was created in collaboration among Peace Corps Volunteers and Costa Rican English teachers. They are based off of the MEP curriculum and include words that students should be familiar with, have learned in their classes, or will learn during their classes. The word list for fourth, fifth and sixth grades include words that they learned or will learn during those three years. The word lists for the two higher levels include all of the words from the lower grades’ list, as well as high level vocabulary that they learn during high school. Each word list is divided into ten difficulty levels, with thirty words in each level, for a total of 300 words. Length of the word, familiarity of the word, and if the word is a cognate were all taken into account when dividing words into levels. Additionally, while a word may be short, vowel combinations can make a word very tricky to spell. Examples include weak, feel, mail, etc. In those cases, the word was moved to a more difficult level. While there are 300 words on the word list, the idea is to start studying with level one, continuing with level two, and upward. Study up to the level that you think the students can handle for each competition. For the regional competition, 100 new words will be added, and the first three levels of the original list will be removed. For the inter-regional competition, even more words will be added to the pre-existing list. A championship word list will also be created for the last two participants of the inter-regional bee; however this list will not be shown to any students before the competition. The championship word list will also be used if all words in the original list have been spelled but there are still more than two students remaining in the competition. In the past 2 years, students have demonstrated an incredible commitment to this project, so the number of words have been expanded. Tentative number of words Institutional/Circuital: 300 words Regional: 200 old words + 100 new words= 300 words [plus a secret championship list] Inter-Regional: 300 old words + 300 new words= 600 words [plus a secret championship list]
  • 6. 6 End of Bee Procedure If all spellers in a round misspell, all students remain in the competition and a new round begins. If only one speller in a round spells correctly, the student is given a new word to spell. - If the speller spells the word correctly, they are the winner. - If they do not spell the word correctly all spellers in the previous round (those that spelled correctly and incorrectly) begin a new round in their original order. If all of the words have been used and there are still spellers remaining, there will be a championship word list which will be secret to both the judges and every speller. Pronouncer’s Role The pronouncer pronounces the words slowly, without distorting the normal pronunciation of the word. If a word has one or more homonyms, the pronouncer indicates which word is to be spelled by providing the definition. (EXAMPLES: their, there) If a student requests for a definition and/or sentence, the pronouncer provides it. Judges’ Role One judge is responsible for keeping track of a scorecard, marking who is eliminated in each round. The same judge is responsible for writing a list of all students eliminated in each round, and reading those names at the end of each round. The judges work together to uphold the rules and determine whether or not the words are spelled correctly. Decisions of the judges are final. Because seeing lip movements may be critical in detecting misunderstandings or misspellings, the judges encourage spellers to face them when pronouncing and spelling the words. The judges participate in an exchange of information between the speller and pronouncer if they feel that clarification is needed. Judges listen carefully to the spellers’ pronunciation of the word and if they sense that the speller has misunderstood the word, the judges work with the speller and pronouncer until every reasonable attempt has been made to assist the speller in understanding the word within the two minute time limit. While judges are responsible for attempting to detect a speller’s misunderstanding, it is sometimes impossible to notice until a spelling error has been made. The judges are not responsible for the speller’s misunderstanding. (Remember: The speller can always ask for clarification) The judges will disqualify a speller who: Refuses a request to start spelling.
  • 7. 7 Does not approach the stage or designated area when it is time to receive their word. Engages in unsportsmanlike conduct. Alters the letters or sequence of letters from those first stated. While spelling, says unintelligible sounds The judges may not disqualify a speller for: Failing to pronounce the word either before or after spelling it Asking questions Speller’s Role The speller faces the judges and pronounces the word before spelling it and after spelling it. The speller says each letter distinctly and loudly so the judges can understand. The speller can ask the pronouncer to say the word again, define it, and/or use it in a sentence. The speller is responsible for any misunderstandings of the word unless: - The pronouncer never provided a correct pronunciation. - The pronouncer provided incorrect information regarding the definition. - The speller correctly spelled a homonym of the word and the pronouncer failed to offer a definition. Time Keeper’s Role The time keeper starts a stopwatch after the pronouncer states the word for each student. The time keeper has signs with “1 minute” and “30 seconds” on them. He or she holds the signs to inform the speller how much time they have left. The time keeper tells the judges when two minutes are complete. If the student still has not spelled the word correctly after the allotted two minutes, the student is eliminated from the competition. Teacher’s Role During the competition, the teacher keeps a list of their students, including the words that their students spell correctly, and the words that their students spell incorrectly and how their students misspelled. How to Practice Practicing with your students is essential to building confidence and comfortability in spelling words in English. A spelling bee is a new concept to some students and explaining the purpose of the competition, how the competition is conducted, and the rules are also extremely important to their success.
  • 8. 8 While memorizing how each word is spelled seems like a good way to teach your students, teaching the phonics of each letter and letter pairs is more effective in the long term. Students have to learn several hundred words and memorizing the spelling of each word is not practical. However, by teaching students the sounds of each letter, the student can use the pronunciation of the word to figure out how that word is spelled. Below are some easy activities to use with your students while practicing for the spelling bees. ● Turn tricky words into songs. For example, spell a word to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” or the “Happy Birthday” song. Crossword Search o Use http://www.puzzle-maker.com/CW/ to instantly create a crosswords where students have to correctly fit all the words into the chart Word Scrambles o Use http://www.armoredpenguin.com/wordscramble/ to create a word scramble where students have to correctly unscramble words Hangman o The teacher chooses a word and put lines on the board to indicate how many letters are in the word. o The students in the class guess letters one by one. If the letter guessed is in the word, the teacher writes it in the correct space. If the letter is not in the word, the teacher draws a head. o The students continue guessing and the teacher continues to add correct letters and parts of the body when incorrect letters are guessed. o When a student knows the complete word, they call it out. o If it is correct, they get to choose the next word to spell. o Have the entire class spell the word out loud. Alphabet Bingo o Create bingo cards with a letter in each box. o The teacher says a letter and the students mark off the correct letter on their bingo card. o The first person to get a bingo wins, and calls the letters for the next round. ● Fly Swatter ○ Players: Two teams of 2 to 6 ○ Supplies: Two fly swatters, each letter of the alphabet ○ 1. Tape all letters to the chalkboard, or write each letter on the board. ○ 2. Students line up in front of the chalkboard in two lines ○ 3. The first student in each line has a fly swatter ○ 3. Say one letter out loud
  • 9. 9 ○ 4. The first student in each line needs to run the to board and hit the correct letter with the fly swatter ○ 5. The team that hits the correct letter first gets a point. ○ NOTE: Once the student hits the letter you can ask them to make the sound that the letter makes, or state a word that starts with that letter. ● Step Up! ○ Players: 4 minimum ○ Supplies: masking tape, word lists ○ 1. Divide your students into 3 teams. It’s okay if teams do not have the same number of students. ○ 2. Clear a large space in which students can stand. Each team should stand in a single-file line. ○ 3. Make 4 lines on the floor with masking tape for each team. Place the lines about one foot apart. Students stand behind the last line of masking tape. ○ 4. To begin the game, call out the first word for the first player on Team 1 to spell. ○ 5. If the player spells the word correctly, s/he steps up to stand on the first line of tape, and the entire team moves forward. If s/he does not spell the word correctly, s/he moves to the back of her team, and the team does not move forward. ○ 6. Call out a word for Team 2 and continue in the same manner. ○ 7. Each time a word is spelled correctly, the entire team moves forward one line. ○ 8. The winning team is the first one to reach the last line of tape. ○ 9. Play several rounds as time allows. ● Silent Spelling ○ Players: 4 minimum ○ Supplies: Word lists, homemade whiteboards and whiteboard markers (or paper and pencil) ○ Variation 1 ■ 1. Divide your class into two teams. Have each team line up on opposite sides of the classroom. ■ 2. Give the first person in each team a dry-erase board and marker (or a clean sheet of paper and pencil). ■ 3. Announce the first word to be spelled.Note: Because there is no talking and the writing is hidden from the other team, both groups can spell the same word at the same time. ■ 4. All team members are to remain silent as the first player on each team writes the spelling word. ■ 5. The player passes the board to the second player. He is allowed to keep the word as is, or to correct it.
  • 10. 10 ■ 6. When the teacher calls time, the second person on each team reveals the spelling of the word to everyone. ■ 7. The teacher awards 1 point for every correct word. ■ 8. For the next spelling word, the player with the board passes it to the third player on the team. Play continues in the same manner. ■ 9. At the end of the time period, the winning team is the one with the most points. ○ Variation 2 ■ This time, ask the first person in each team to write only the first letter of the word on the dry-erase board. She then hands the board to the second player who adds the next letter, and so on. When a team member has added the last letter to the word, the next person on the team checks it. He may leave the word as is, or correct any or all of the letters in it. ● Group Spell ○ Players: Teams of 2 to 5 ○ Supplies: Sets of one letter on one paper (all 26 letters plus doubles or triples of common letters) ○ Variation 1 ■ Each team gets a set of letters (all 26 letters plus doubles or triples of common letters) ■ Say a word out loud two times. ■ Give them 30 seconds to spell the word. ■ Each team that spells the word correctly gets a point. ○ Variation 2 ■ 1. Each team gets a set of letters (all 26 letters plus doubles or triples of common letters) ■ 2. Say a word out loud two times and the first group to spell it correctly gets a point. ○ NOTE: Make sure to spread out the teams so they do not copy each other ● Group Correct ○ Players: Teams of 3 to 6 ○ Supplies: Chalkboard and chalk ○ Variation 1 ■ Have teams lined up at the chalkboard ■ Say a word out loud two times. ■ The first person in each line writes the word ■ Give ten seconds to allow the second person in the line to correct it if they think it is necessary. ■ If the word is spelled correctly, the team gets a point. ○ Variation 2 ■ Have teams lined up at the chalkboard ■ Say a word out loud two times. ■ The first person in line writes the first letter
  • 11. 11 ■ The second person in line writes the second letter ■ The third person in line writes the third letter ■ Continue in that manner until the word is spelled ■ Give the team ten seconds to make corrections. ■ If the word is spelled correctly, the team gets a point. ● Practice Spelling Bee ○ Go through a pretend spelling bee. It is advised to do this a few times before the actual competition in your school, district, or region, to help the students feel comfortable with the program and know what to expect during the real competition. Incorporating Spelling into English Class While all of your students may not be interested in competing in a spelling bee, learning the pronunciation of letters, the entire alphabet, and the process of spelling words is integral to learning and communicating in a new language. For daily warm-ups, teachers could spend 5 minutes reviewing the ABC song, having a word scramble or review, and choosing students at random to spell familiar words. A spelling bee is a great way to promote healthy competition and English language learning. Even if it is not possible to send students to a circuito or regional bee, the value of organizing and hosting a spelling bee in your school is not lost. Students will still have the opportunity to participate in a nation-wide movement, and they will gain a wealth of knowledge that they might not receive during daily classes. Resources and Contacts Costa Rican Spelling Bee website: crenglishspellingbee.wordpress.com - The website includes the word lists for all grades, the manual, letters to the directors and regional English advisors, permission slip and brochure for parents, time keeper signs, judge’s scorecards, and many other resources. Peace Corps Volunteer Co-Coordinators: *Abby Taylor [8522-7733; abbyt12334@yahoo.com] *Nicole Carrell [8947-7447; nicole.carrell@gmail.com] Good Luck!!

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