Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register for the 2016 Paris Spelling Bee? 
To register for the Paris Spelling Bee, please come back to this page on December 1, 2015 to download your registration form, or go to our How To Register page. Then, a parent must fill out the form, sign it, enclose it in an envelope with the registration fee and mail it to the indicated address. The registration form must be postmarked on or before Wednesday, January 13, 2016. We do not accept registration by email. 

When is the deadline to register?
The registration form must be postmarked on or before Wednesday, January 13, 2016. Incomplete registration forms will not be processed. Registration is first-come, first-served.

Who is eligible to compete in the 2016 Paris Spelling Bee?
If you are an English-speaking student in CM1, CM2 or 6ème (4th, 5th, or 6th grade) you are eligible to register for the Paris Spelling Bee.

Is there a limit to the number of participants?
Yes, we can only accommodate about 90 applicants.

Do I have to be nominated or selected by my school to participate in the Paris Spelling Bee?
No, you can sign-up either through your school, if there is a teacher organizing a group sign-up, or you can register on your own. In either case, a parent must sign the registration form and mail it to us with the registration fee.

How can I sign up as a teacher, parent, student or school to receive updates from the Paris Spelling Bee? 
Please our Contact page to sign up for upcoming events and important deadlines.

Is the Paris Spelling Bee only for students in bilingual schools?
Students from private, public and semi-public schools participate in the Paris Spelling Bee. The bilingual schools do a good job of promoting the PSB. Our challenge is to reach students  and parents in public schools where news about the Bee does not reach them as easily as their peers in the bilingual schools.

How does the Paris Spelling Bee work?
The Paris Spelling Bee consists of two stages, or two rounds: First, a preliminary written round will be held for all registered participants on Saturday morning, January 30. The preliminary round will be a written spelling test. Finalists from the preliminary competition will then advance to the oral stage of the bee to be held at The American Library in Paris on Sunday morning, March 20, 2016. All finalists will also be invited to a mock/practice session on Sunday morning, February 14, where they will have a chance to make new friends, practice oral spelling under conditions similar to the final oral competition and review the contest rules. Certificates will be given to all participants of the Preliminary Written Round. Trophies and prizes will be given to first-and second-place winners of the Oral Finals of the Paris Spelling Bee, and certificates and medals will be given to all finalists.

Is there a study list for the Preliminary Written Round?
Yes, it will be available to download from our blog’s Study Guide page on December 1, and will be emailed to registered participants. Most, but not all, of the 35 words on the Preliminary Written Round test will come from this study guide. There will also be ‘surprise’ words added to the written round.

What if I need help with the words on the study list?
Click Here or go to for help with pronunciation and definition.

What can I expect on the day of the Preliminary Written Round?
Once you have mailed in your completed and signed registration form with the indicated registration fee (on or before the deadline), you will receive a confirmation by email. At the Preliminary Written Round on Saturday, January 30, 2016, you will go through check-in, receive a number and wait with other participants to take a written test during which the organizers will read out loud a list of words and you will be asked to write them down. Most of the 35 words will come from the Study Guide, which is emailed to registered students and posted on our blog.

How many finalists will be chosen from the Preliminary Written Round?
About 20 finalists will advance to the Oral Finals of the Paris Spelling Bee, which will be held Sunday, March 20.

What happens if I am one of the finalists?
The results from the Preliminary Written Round will be available by email a couple of days after the event. If you are a finalist, you will receive additional information plus a new Study Guide for the oral competition to be held on Sunday, March 20. You will also receive an invitation to the mock/practice session on Sunday, February 14.

What is the difference between the Preliminary Written Round and the Oral Finals of the Paris Spelling Bee?
At the Preliminary Written Round, you will be asked to write down the words. At the Oral Finals you will be asked to spell them out loud.

Are there upcoming activities to help me learn more about spelling bees?
Yes, there are three fun events Bee organizers will host at The American Library in Paris (ALP):

Saturday, December 5, 2015 — Language Comes to Life: Prefixes and Suffixes — 12h00-13h30, at the American Library in Paris. Ages 8-12. Come and learn all about prefixes and suffixes to help you study for the spelling bee.  . Space limited to 12 participants, please RSVP with Celeste at

Saturday, January 9,  2016 — Introduction to Spelling Bees  — 12h00-13h30, for children ages 8-12, at the ALP. Space limited to 15 participants, please RSVP with Celeste at

Saturday, January 9, 2016 — Family Movie Pizza Night — 19h15-21h30, for parents and children, at the ALP. Join us for the annual screening of the movie Akeelah and the Bee. Pizza and refreshments will be provided by the ALP. The event is free for ALP members. RSVP is mandatory. Click here to reserve your spot.  Space is limited to 80 people. Deadline is January 5, first-come, first-served.

What if I have more questions?
Email further questions to

What if my school needs more information for the students?
Your school can request a volunteer come and explain the Bee to your students. If we are available we will be happy to help.

Are there studying tips and ways to promote spelling bees for students and teachers? 
Here are a few suggestions to get you started: Read, How to study difficult words, and How to Study for a Spelling Bee. Visit, “Resources & Links” page on our blog to find spelling bee games and resources and check out tips for students and for teachers, prepared by the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the US.   ( and

Who is organizing the Paris Bee?
The Paris Spelling Bee is organized by Gifted in France, in collaboration with The American Library in Paris, with the support of AAWE. We are grateful to the ALP for its continued support of this community-wide enrichment event open to children throughout Paris. PSB is generally modeled after typical spelling bees held at the school, regional and state levels in the USA.

How can I sponsor the bee or donate prizes?
Paris Spelling Bee is a volunteer-run event. The registration fee helps pay for the trophies, venues, supplies and certificates. Institutions, companies and individuals wishing to help us offset our expenses and/or donate educational prizes to the participants are encouraged to contact Helen or Kim at

Good luck to our 2016 contestants! We are excited to be back for our 8th year!