Breaking News
  • December 4Choral Concert- Dec 8th
  • December 4Blue and Gold Spirit Day-Dec 8th
  • December 4Voice Staff Christmas Lunch- Dec 6th
  • December 4Lessons and Carols (Dress Up Day)- Dec 6th
  • December 4Percussion Concert & Reception- Dec 5th
The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School

The Trinity Voice

Spelling Bees Spell Success


     Ever since ESPN began broadcasting the National Spelling Bee in 1994, people around the world have been able to witness this challenging competition. Competing in the spelling bee is no easy task, as words can be pulled from any of the 476,000 entries currently in Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary. 

     Have you ever heard of the word “chatoyance”? Most people would have trouble pronouncing it, let alone spelling it, but this is the type of word that National Spelling Bee competitors can spell with ease.

     According to the Academy of Accelerated Learning, competing in spelling bees can help contestants develop their public speaking skills, as well as their self-confidence when performing under pressure on the stage. It also enhances their vocabulary, as several of the words used in the competition are very advanced, even obscure. An advanced vocabulary comes with many benefits, including being more persuasive and having better communication skills. 

     For these reasons, many schools ranging from elementary to middle schools organize spelling bees. Although Trinity used to offer a spelling bee program, currently one is not offered. According to Head of Middle School Jason Dowdy, the spelling bee was discontinued because of waning student interest. Nevertheless, bringing back the spelling bee would be beneficial to students. While there was waning interest in the past, Trinity should bring it back and encourage students to participate.

     Open to sixth and eighth grade students, the spelling bee is a competition that tests the comprehension and study skills of each contestant. English teacher Erica Keckley, who helps run the spelling bee at Park Maitland, believes that loving the English language can be all it takes to be a good speller.

     “I think the ones who read a lot have a natural affinity for language and words, and they see the value of words,” Keckley said. “That certainly lends itself to wanting to know everything about words. I think that the strongest English students are going to be the strongest spellers.”

     In a world of autocorrect, some might ask why spelling skills are important. Interestingly, according to PCMag, 61% of people judge those who often misspell words. In fact, some companies will automatically discard a resume if they catch a spelling mistake on it. So for the 79% of the population who rely on autocorrect to fix their misspellings, it might be smart to brush up on spelling skills, since autocorrect is not always foolproof. 

     “I think in today’s world, we don’t value correct spelling,” Keckley said. “We rely so heavily on spell check. Sometimes, we get lazy when we rely too heavily on spell check, meaning we don’t always catch mistakes that the computer might make. I think that it does tie into phonics as well, and your ability to read words easily and sound out words that you’re not familiar with. So I feel like spelling is still an integral, necessary part of language arts.”

     Some students might be scared at the thought of putting their spelling skills to the test on a stage in front of a lot of people as it can be nerve-racking. In a high-pressure situation such as a spelling bee, just knowing the words is not always enough. An article written by Forbes reports on a student being eliminated after misspelling the word “glands” simply due to nerves. 

     On the other hand, spelling bees actually can help with public speaking skills. According to Study International, a spelling bee helps participants gain confidence to speak in public and accept mistakes by exposing students to these situations at a young age. Being up on the stage forces the participants to come up with ways to overcome stage fright, whether it be by taking deep breaths or focusing on the competition to take their mind off the crowd.

     One student who enjoyed participating in spelling bees is eighth grader Luke Kang, who won the Polk County Spelling Bee in his sixth grade year at Park Maitland. Kang believes there are many benefits to competing in the spelling bee, and he recalled the moment when he won.

     “I think it’s a fun competition,” Kang said. “When I heard my name called, it was fun, because I knew my studying paid off. You get to learn new words and it’s good to prep for it because you increase your vocabulary.”

     If you were to ask a random person on the street if they can recall their school spelling bee experience, chances are they will remember the word that eliminated them, according to an NBC News article. Although spelling bees are sometimes associated with stage fright and intimidating words, these issues can be overcome and many benefits come with competing. For these reasons, we should reconsider bringing back the spelling bee for middle students, as it would open up an opportunity for students to enrich their vocabulary while creating memories that can last a lifetime.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Sammy Lou, Staff Writer/Copy Editor
Sammy Lou is a sophomore entering his second year on staff. He writes for the Opinions department and serves as the Copy editor. He loves playing chess, learning new languages and following Shohei Ohtani. Contact at [email protected].

Comments (0)

Comments on The Trinity Voice's articles and opinion pieces are intended to encourage productive discussion. They are moderated and may be removed for offensive or profane content.
All The Trinity Voice Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *