2011 Registration is closed


Paris Spelling Bee

Registration is now closed. We wish our participants best of luck.

Cheetahs: Finalist for the 2010 Paris Spelling Bee. Top L to R: Sibylle Xatart, Casper Sanderson, Jivahn Moradian, Cody Vance, Paris Pryor, Shannon Connelly, Sasha Tsovma, Yasmeen Karkachi. Bottom L to R: Christopher Heim, Julien Dudas, Benjamin Macintyre, Mia Cabantous, William Brown
Gazelles: Finalists at the 2010 PARIS SPELLING BEE: L-R, Holly O'NEIL, Celine SON, Sooan OH, Alexia HASHEM, Julia CONNELLY, Emma NEWMAN, Tuli BENNETT-BOSE (397), Niamh HOWLEY (behind out of view), Matteo BOISSIERE (215), Mallory LEWIS, Taylor LANGDON (in the back), Sophia FUNG, Sabrina BLACK (765), Maxim BOUFFARD (in the back), Elodie FREY, Shane HOEBERICHTS (586)

Best of luck to our next round of participants!!

The Paris Spelling Bee Team

Count down…

2011 Paris Spelling Bee

Today is the LAST day to register…

All forms must be received with registration payment

on or before 18 January,

or postmarked by 18 January.

  • Registration for the 2011 Bee is now open, Click here to get your copy of the registration form.
  • Tuesday 18 January, 2011: Registration, by mail, closes on Tuesday 18 January.
  • Saturday 29 January, 2011: Written Preliminary Round, for preregistered participants, to be held at Ecole Sainte Catherine, 75005. Tentative time: 09h00-12h00.  Confirmation will be sent to preregistered participants.
  • Study List for the Preliminary Written Round is available by clicking here, or going to the ‘Study List’ page of our blog.
  • Sunday 6, March 2011: Mock/Practice session. Tentative time: 10h00-13h00:  This event is organized for finalists chosen from the Written Round.  To be held at the American University of Paris.
  • Sunday 20 March, 2011: Oral Finals of the Paris Spelling Bee.  Tentative time: 10h00-16h00: This event is for finalists and their invited guests, to be held at the American University of Paris.
  • FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about the Bee, FAQ page of our blog.

Community Events at the American Library in Paris

  • Pizza Bee Movie Night: Saturday January 15, 18h30-21h00: Open to parents and children.  Join us for the special screening of the award-winning documentary Spellbound. RSVP for this event is now FULL.

Best of luck!

2010 Paris Spelling Bee results…


Gazelles: Tuli Bennett-Bose, 1st place winner and Niamh Howley, 2nd place winner
Cheetahs: Shannon Connelly 1st place winner; Cody Vance, 2nd place winner

Twenty-nine finalists from 13 schools competed in the 3rd annual Paris Spelling Bee on Sunday May 30 at the American Library in Paris. Students were grouped into two categories: Gazelles for 3rd-5th graders (CE2-CM2) and 6th-8th graders (6ème- 4ème).

In the Gazelles group, Tuli Bennett-Bose, a 5th grader (CM2) from International School of Paris, won first prize by spelling ‘demarcate’ correctly in the 29th round. Another 5th grader, Niamh Howley from Institute de l’Assomption Lubeck, took the second place trophy for the second year in a row. Niamh also attends the Roaming Schoolhouse for English instruction. Tuli and Niamh are 10 years old.

In the Cheetahs group, 13-year-old Shannon Connelly, from Ecole Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel, won first place by correctly spelling her championship word ‘serendipity.” Twelve-year-old Cody Vance, from College International Fontainebleau, clinched second prize by spelling ‘catalpa.’  Shannon is in 8th grade (4ème) and Cody is in 7th grade (5ème). It was the third time Shannon has competed in the bee.

Both first-prize winners also received one-year family memberships from the American Library in Paris, as well as iSpy Binoculars from Office Depot. Additional prizes for all finalists were provided by the library, Hachette Livres International, Marc Labat, The Roaming Schoolhouse, and WH Smith.

The event is an annual community enrichment activity organized by Gifted in France in collaboration with the American Library in Paris. ALP’s director Charlie Trueheart and journalist Anne Swardson served as the official pronouncers.

For the Gazelles, Celine Son from the Lennen Bilingual School finished in 3rd place in the 25th round, while 5th grader Matteo Boissiere from Massillon and 4th grader Holly O’Neil from Ecole Georges Cogniot in Malakoff finished in 4th and 5th place respectively. Both Matteo and Holly are 9 years old.

Tying for 3rd place for the Cheetahs were 12-year-old Casper Sanderson from EABJM and 11-year-old Benjamin Macintyre from La Source. Finishing in 5th and 6th place were Mia Canbantous from EABJM and Sasha Tsovma from Stanislas.

Seventy-eight students from more than 30 schools participated in the preliminary written round on April 10th, and 16 finalists were chosen for both the Gazelles and Cheetahs based on their performance. This year’s spellers showed remarkable courage and unprecedented dedication to learning their words and coming to the scheduled events –the preliminary written round, practice session and the oral finals.

The Paris Spelling Bee is grateful to the American Library in Paris for hosting the bee for the third straight year. Special thanks go to the organizers who devoted countless hours over the last several months to making the event possible: Jude Smith Matisse, Cate O’Connor, Rose Burke, Melanie O’Neil, Kim Siew Ngoh, Shellie Holubek, Ashley Miller and Emine Pelin Ariner. Additional thanks go to Naida Culshaw Kendrick,  Janet Sahin, Nati Jiminez, Cathy Altman Nocquet, Janet Hoffman, Helen Stathopulos Géhin and Sophie Field.

Paris Spelling Bee is modeled after typical bees in the United States.

Spelling bees provide an opportunity for students to expand their vocabulary, learn about word origins and have a chance to improve their public speaking abilities.

A family movie night was also organized by the bee committee and ALP in March where over 80 parents and children showed up at the American Library to have pizza and watch the award-winning documentary Spellbound.

2011 Paris Spelling Bee is already looking for co-sponsors to help defray the costs and donate educational prizes. The committee is also seeking volunteers who are passionate about providing an enriching experience to young spellers, readers and those curious about words, words and words.

Schools and individuals interested in helping or participating in the 2011 bee can email Helen Sahin Connelly at parisfrancespellingbee@gmail.com.

Congratulations to all our 2010 winners and finalists!!

See You Next Year!

2010 Paris Spelling Bee

2009 Spelling Bee Finalists examine prizes before the start of the competition

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.

~Woody Allen

Thank you for your interest in the Paris Spelling Bee.  Registration for the 2010  season is now closed. Congratulations to all those who have entered the contest. You will be receiving information for the mandatory April 10 Preliminary Written Round in the next few days. All registered contestants should have received a confirmation of their registration by the end of this week.

Don’t just stand there! Try and learn the words from the Word List for your grade group (see the Word List tab) and show up on April 10th!

Study tips:

1.  How to Study for a Spelling Bee : Simple Tips and Tricks can Help any Speller: Read more at Suite101: How to Study for a Spelling Bee: Simple Tips and Tricks can Help any Speller http://middle-school-preparation.suite101.com/article.cfm/how-to-study-for-a-spelling-bee

2. How to start a Bee Study Club? http://www.canada.com/canspell/pdf/students/StudyClubs.pdf

3. Have fun with some of the spelling games listed on the links section of this blog.

Good luck!

Paris Spelling Bee Team

2010 Paris Spelling Bee registration opens..

Take part in the third annual Paris Spelling Bee! This community wide event is open to children from CE2-4eme (3rd through 8th grade) who participate in the preliminary written round on Saturday April 10th.  Finalists from the preliminaries will move on to the May 30th Finals, an oral competition. There will be  a mock /practice session on Sunday May 9th for the finalists. Registration, by mail, opens on 25 January and ends on 22 March. The Spelling Bee organizers will be at the American Library as part of their Open House on Saturday March 13th, 14h00-18h00, to answer your questions and take registration forms. You’ll need to bring the registration payment for the bee (see “upcoming events” for details) to complete the process.

The Paris Spelling Bee is modeled after bees held by schools at the local, state and national level in the United States. Last year 25 finalists from 18 different schools in the Paris region competed in the 2nd annual Paris Spelling Bee at the American Library in Paris.

During the Preliminary and Final competition, children will be grouped into two categories:
The Gazelles — CE2-CM2 (3rd grade through 5th grade);
and The Cheetahs — 6eme through 4eme (6th grade through 8th grade).

Study Word List for the April 10th preliminary written round, for registered participants, has now been posted under “Word List,” tab. There are 200 words for the Gazelles and 205 words for the Cheetahs to study from. The list was last updated on March 11th. There will be 25 words given to each group on the day of the preliminary written round.

Suggested material:
We have enjoyed and benefited from the following resources: How to Spell Like a Champ, a book that includes a 75-minute interactive audio CD following a child from a classroom bee to the finals. Spellbound: an award-winning documentary, which follows eight American spellers from their regional bees through to the conclusion of the 1999 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC; Akeelah and the Bee: a motion picture about a young girl from South Los Angeles who tries to make it to the National Spelling Bee. Other useful links your children, students and teachers might enjoy are:  Welcome to the Spelling Bee Hive!; The Times Spelling Bee/UK; Canwest Canspell/Canada (teachers); Canwest Canspell/ Canada (students); Denver Public Schools Semantics/US and word games at Merriam-Webster online and Funbrain.com’s spellcheck.

The Paris Spelling Bee is organized by Gifted in France in collaboration with the American Library in Paris.

During the first two years, children registered according to their ages. This year however, registration is according to the participant’s current academic year/or grade.

We are still searching high and low for dedicated volunteers as
well as donors who can contribute towards the purchase of trophies, rental of venue for the preliminary, prizes etc.

If you would like to help us with prizes, become our cosponsors, or extend your help with carrying out the logistics for this event, please contact parisfrancespellingbee@gmail.com .

Thank you for your interest and support!

The Bee Team

(updated March 11, 2010)



Paris, France


The 2009 Paris Spelling Bee rules are a simplified version of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. The Scripps bee, however, operates under a more complex set of rules, which contain provisions that are specific to unique conditions at its annual event.



1. Eligibility

2. Format

3. End-of-bee procedure

4. Speller’s role

5. Pronouncer’s role

6. Judges’ role

7. Time constraints

8. Source of words/ official dictionary

1. Eligibility:

A speller qualifying for the 2009 Paris Spelling Bee must meet these requirements:

The speller must have registered and paid for participation in the preliminary Paris Spelling Bee as outlined in the official blog https://parisfrancespellingbee.wordpress.com/. The speller must have registered and paid for participation in the final competition on or before May 24, 2009.

The Paris Spelling Bee is open to children 7-13 years-old. Age limit: the child must not be older than 13 before July 1, 2009.  Children who are 7-9 years-old may request to participate with the 10-13 year-olds. However, it will be up to the organizers to review and approve this request.  The Paris Spelling Bee may disqualify prior to or during competition any speller who is not in compliance with any of the above Eligibility Requirements.

2. Format:

The spellers are grouped into one of two categories: The Gazelles, for the 7-9 year-olds.

The Cheetahs, for the 10-13 year-olds. The final competition consists of rounds of oral spelling. All spellers spell one word in each round.

In a round, the pronouncer calls each speller, in the same order, to come up to the microphone. The pronouncer says a word. If the speller misspells the word, the judges ring a bell. The pronouncer will offer the correct pronunciation and then he or she takes a seat in the audience. If the speller correctly spells the word, he or she continues to sit with the contestants and proceeds to the next round. The next round starts when all spellers of the previous round have received and spelled a word.

If all spellers in a round spell incorrectly, then a new round begins with all of those spellers—all remain in the competition and spell in their original order.  All spellers eliminated in the same round are tied for the same place. See the end-of-bee procedure, Rule 3, for how the winner is determined.

3. End-of-bee procedure:

If only one speller in a round spells correctly: If only one speller spells correctly in a round, a new one-word round begins and the speller is given an opportunity to spell the next word on the list (anticipated winning word). If the speller succeeds in correctly spelling the anticipated winning word in this one-word round, the speller is declared the champion.

If a speller misspells the anticipated winning word in a one-word round: A new round begins with all the spellers who spelled (correctly and incorrectly) in the previous round. These spellers spell in their original order.

4. Speller’s role:

The speller makes an effort to face the judges and pronounce the word for the judges before spelling it and after spelling it. The speller while facing the judges makes an effort to utter each letter distinctly and with sufficient volume to be understood by the judges.

Pronunciation of the English alphabet: The speller must use the correct American/English pronunciation for the letters in the given word.  Failing to pronounce the letters correctly will result in the speller being eliminated.

For example, the speller cannot mix up “g” and “j”, and “i” and “e.”

In English:

“g” sounds like “gee” (which rhymes with “he”)

“j” sounds like “jay”

“i” sounds like “eye” or the i sound in “bye”

“e” sounds like the “e” in “me”

To practice hearing the sounds of the English letters you can visit: http://www.elearnenglishlanguage.com/anglais/prononciation/alphabet.html

Starting over: Having started to spell a word, a speller may stop and start over, retracing the spelling from the beginning, but in retracing there can be no change in letters or their sequence from those first pronounced. If letters or their sequence are changed in the respelling, the speller will be eliminated.

Gazelles may ask for the word and or the sentence to be repeated and for a definition.

Cheetahs may ask for 1) the word and or the sentence to be repeated, 2) for a definition, 3) part of speech, 4) language(s) of origin and 5) alternate pronunciations.

Misunderstandings: The speller is responsible for any misunderstanding of the word unless (1) the pronouncer never provided a correct pronunciation; (2) the pronouncer provided incorrect information regarding the definition, part of speech, or language of origin; or (3) the speller correctly spelled a homonym of the word and the pronouncer failed to either offer a definition or distinguish the homonyms.

Triple SSS suggestion:

It is suggested that as often as possible, the speller use the triple SSS rule: Say it, Spell it, Say it again. This gives the pronouncer and the judges a chance to make sure the speller understood and repeated the word correctly, it gives the speller a chance to think about the word before spelling it. The speller will not be disqualified for failing to use the triple SSS suggestion.

5. Pronouncer’s role:

The pronouncer strives to pronounce words according to American English standards.

Homonyms: If a word has one or more homonyms, the pronouncer indicates which word is to be spelled by saying the word in a sentence.

Speller’s requests: Gazelles may ask for the word and or the sentence to be repeated and for a definition. Cheetahs may ask for 1) the word and or the sentence to be repeated, 2) for a definition, 3) part of speech, 4) language(s) of origin and 5) alternate pronunciations.

The pronouncer does not entertain root word questions, requests for alternate definitions, or requests for markedly slower pronunciation.

Pronouncer’s sense of helpfulness: The pronouncer may offer word information—without the speller having requested the information—if the pronouncer senses that the information is helpful.

6. Judges’ role:

The judges uphold the rules and determine whether or not words are spelled correctly. The decisions of the judges are final.

Interaction with the speller: Because seeing lip movements may be critical in detecting misunderstandings or misspellings, the judges encourage spellers to face them when pronouncing and spelling the word.

Misunderstandings: The judges participate in the exchange of information between the speller and pronouncer if they feel that clarification is needed. Also, the judges listen carefully to the speller’s pronunciation of the word; and, if they sense that the speller has misunderstood the word, the judges work with the speller and pronouncer until they are satisfied that reasonable attempts have been made to assist the speller in understanding the word within the time constraints described in Rule 7. While the judges are responsible for attempting to detect a speller’s misunderstanding, it is sometimes impossible to detect a misunderstanding until a spelling error has been made. The judges are not responsible for the speller’s misunderstanding.

Pronouncer errors: If the judges feel that the pronouncer has mispronounced a word, they will direct pronouncer to correct the error as soon as it is detected.

Disqualifications for reasons other than clear misspelling: The judges will disqualify a speller who refuses a request to start spelling; who does not approach the microphone when it is time to receive the word; who engages in unsportsmanlike conduct; who, in the process of retracing a spelling, alters the letters or sequence of letters from those first uttered; or who, in the process of spelling, utters unintelligible or nonsense sounds.

Speller activities that do not merit disqualification: The judges may not disqualify a speller (1) for failing to pronounce the word either before or after spelling it, (2) for asking a question, or (3) for noting or failing to note the capitalization of a word.

7. Time constraints:

The speller’s time at the microphone has a limit of 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Time begins when the pronouncer first pronounces the word. At 2 minutes and 30 seconds, the speller will be asked to spell the word or step down.

8. Source of words:

The Gazelle’s words will come from the Fry’s List of 1000 sight words (source: http://candohelperpage.com/sightvocab_1.html#anchor_374 ) See: “The Hundred’s Word List (FRY) (In PDF format)”  First Hundred through Tenth Hundred.” .

The Cheetah’s words were compiled from lists that frequently appear in American local, state and national spelling bees. These lists of words have been made available to the contestants on or before April 13, 2009.  The pronouncer will t use the word lists until they have been exhausted.  However,  when it becomes necessary, the pronouncer will refer to a special list of challenge words that impartial members of the jury have prepared. These special lists will not be disclosed to the contestants ahead of time. The Paris Spelling Bee accepts American and British spellings.

2009 Paris Spelling Bee

Dear Bees,

See you at the practice session on May 24th at the American Library at 14h00-16h00.

Don’t forget to bring your list of words.

For the Gazelles, we will be using words from Dr. Fry’s 1000 Instant Words: The Most Common Words for Teaching Reading,Writing and Spelling

Click on the below categories to see the Fry’s list of words:

Dr Fry’s 1000 Words

First 100 Words Second 100 Words Third 100 Words

Fifth 100 Words Sixth 100 Words Seventh 100 Words

Eigth 100 Words Ninth 100 Words Tenth 100 Words

For the Cheetahs, your word list was sent to you by email on April 13th.

Good luck everyone!!

The Bee Team

This just in… Le Tournoi d’orthographe 2009

WATCH ON FRANCE 3 -Le Tournoi d’orthographe 2009

22 Avril — France 3, 20h35 !!!!

Dear Gazelles and Cheetahs,

Emma’s dad just informed us that the French version of the spelling bee final is airing Wednesday April 22 at 20h35 on France 3. If you click on the below site, you will also see a documentary which profiles the finalists who participated at the school and regional level.

Le Tournoi d’orthographe 2009 22 Avril — France 3, 20h35

Dédié aux élèves de 5ème et conçu en association avec le Ministère de l’éducation nationale, le tournoi d’orthographe consiste à épeler correctement les mots tirés au sort par le jury. Organisé pour la première fois dans 12 collèges de 12 académies, la première phase du tournoi a déjà révélé les noms des 12 meilleurs candidats. Après s’être qualifiés dans leur propre établissement, les élèves ont participé aux finales régionales à Bordeaux, Lyon, Paris et Strasbourg. Trois candidats venus de chaque zone géographique ont finalement été retenus pour participer à la Grande Finale nationale, devant un grand jury composé de personnalités représentatives de la culture française. Ils s’affronteront le 22 avril sur France 3, à 20h35 pour décrocher le titre de « lauréat de France d’Orthographe ». L’enjeu : remporter un voyage à Rome pour toute leur classe. –

–Enjoy! Bee Team


Preliminary Bee results from April 4, 2009


Thirty-four students, from a cross-section of schools, participated in the second annual 2009 Paris Spelling Bee written preliminary rounds on Saturday April 4th at the Irish Cultural Center in Paris. The annual event, organized by Gifted in France, is a community-wide enrichment activity open to all children who are 7-13 years-old.  Contestants were grouped according to their age and were given written tests of 15 words in each of the two rounds.  Word list for the Gazelles, (7-9 year-olds) were taken from  Fry’s List of High Frequency Words. The Cheethas (10-13 year-olds) faced a much more difficult list of words.

Following are the names of the contestants with top scores. They, along with the rest of their peers who participated at the written preliminary, will advance to the oral finals on June 7th at the American Library in Paris.  Due to space restrictions, the June event will only be open to the contestants and their families.

GAZELLES (7-9 year-olds)

Names appear in alphabetical order

Round 1 Round 2 Last name First name
Bugeaud Gabriel
Connelly Julia
Howley Niamh
Lepage Lily
Lescoat Loic
Miller Louis
Newman Emma
Niessner Adria
Quainton Ella
Souami Jack
Yoo Seungwoo Daniel

Gazelles Qualifying Round 1: use, like, see, part, much, spell, after, different, learn, school, face, black, horse, circle, nothing.  Gazelles Qualifying Round 2: three, letter, sentence, because, country, father, once, children, questions, travel, paint, third, cannot, beautiful, voice (words were taken from Fry’s 1000 words)

CHEETAHS (10-13 year-olds)

Names appear in alphabetical order

Round 1Qualifying round top scores Round 2Challenge round top scores Overall placement

both rounds

Last Name Name
Charra Julia
Connelly Shannon
Fayet Anne-Sophie
Field Lydia
Langdon Taylor
Matisse Amelie
McCafferty Natalie
Rice Caroline
Root S. James
Souami Adam
Tsovma Alexandra

Qualifying Round 1— Precision, strengthen, destitute, foliage, thorough, calibrate, decrepit,  gracious, transparent, calamity, graffiti, latitude, syringe, melancholy, altercation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Challenge Round 2— Resemblance, ventilation, infinitesimal, malingerer, fulgurant, omnivore, humongous/humungous, fermentation, deciduous, shrapnel, sedentary, omnipresent, locution, accelerate, efficacy. (Cheetahs were not given a word list in advance)

Congratulations to all the contestants who showed great courage and talent in the preliminary rounds. Just getting out of bed on a Saturday morning to attend the written bee deserves an applause! The 34 buzzing bees going to the June finals include the following: GAZELLES— Zoé Benaissa/ Gabriel Bugeaud/Julia Connelly/ Jessica Guy/Niamh Howley// Taeyon Kim/ Lily Lepage/ Loic Lescoat/  Louis Miller/ Emma Newman/ Adria Niessner/Einin O’Donnell/Sarah Perrin-Bergot /Ella Quainton/ Jack  Souami/ Gabrielle Voiriot/and  Daniel Yoo, Seungwoo. CHEETAHS : Ines Avenel/ Emily Boisson de Chazournes/ Brielle Boisson de Chazournes/ Julia Charra/ Shannon Connelly/ Anne-Sophie Fayet/Lydia Field/ Taylor Langdon/ Amèlie Matisse/  Natalie McCafferty/ Cliona O’Donnell/ Paris Pryor/ Caroline Rice/ S. James  Root/ Matthew Rousseau/ Adam Souami and Alexandra Tsovma


Sunday 24 May 2009 13h30-16h00

2009 Paris Spelling Bee MOCK competition

American Library in Paris 10, rue du Général Camou 75007 Paris

All the above mentioned contestants are invited and encouraged to participate. We will go over all the important rules of a spelling bee, techniques to use during an oral bee, and do a mock competition that would resemble an actual oral bee. Come and meet the other bees and  if there’s time we’ll play scrabble and boggle. Please RSVP 2009parisspellingbee@gmail.com to confirm your attendance.

We wish all the contestants luck at the 2009 Paris Spelling Bee finals in June.  The Cheetahs will receive an email with a list of words to study.  The Gazelles should keep working on the Fry’s list. (Source for this list: Dr. Fry’s 1000 Instant Words: The Most Common Words for Teaching, Reading, Writing and Spelling.” To see the complete list of Fry’s list, separated by the 100’s go to: http://candohelperpage.com/sightvocab_1.html#anchor_374

This page was last updated on: December 7, 2008

The Hundred’s Word List (FRY) (in PDF format) (Acrobat Reader) First Hundred Second Hundred, Third Hundred Fourth Hundred Firth Hundred Sixth Hundred Seventh Hundred Eigth Hundred Ninth Hundred Tenth Hundred

Great Job!!

The Spelling Bee Team

2009 Invitation

2009 Paris Spelling Bee Invitation


Dear Parisian Bees,

You are invited to participate in the second annual Paris Spelling Bee, which is open to all children who are 7-13 years-old.   We held our first Spelling Bee last year at the American Library in Paris and this year we are encouraging more children to join the event.

The deadline for registering is April 1, 2009.  There will be a preliminary written spelling test on Saturday April 4th, 10h00-12h00. The finalists will then go onto the oral finals on June 7 at the American Library in Paris. You can see ALP’s most recent newsletter, Ex Libris,  for the announcement, which includes the names of last year’s winners.  There will be first and second prize trophies for the winners and medals for all contestants who complete the finals in June.

Finalists will have an opportunity to attend a meeting where they will be invited to watch the documentary Spellbound, play scrabble and review spelling rules.  Finalists will also receive a list of words to guide them into the final bee. Thanks to the American Library, we will organize a mock-competition, in mid-May, to give the contestants a chance to practice their oral spelling under similar conditions as the real bee.

Last year, we had 18 children participate in the final bee, which was divided into two groups: Gazelles (7-9 year-olds) and Cheetahs (10-13 year-olds). The contestants came from a cross-section of schools in Paris.

To obtain registration forms please email:  2009parisspellingbee@gmail.com.

Below, are important details that have been distributed on the bee.

Please read carefully the following information

if your student or child is interested in the bee:

April 1, 2009 Deadline for completed and signed registration forms must be received by April 1. To receive your registration form, please email 2009parisspellingbee@gmail.com
April 4, 2009 Written Spelling Bee Test for those who’ve pre-registered, will be held at: The Irish Cultural Centre , on 5, rue des Irlandais 75005. Tentative time: 10h00-12h00. On this day, each age group (7-9 and 10-13 year-olds) will be given a list of words. Then about 24 children, in total, will be short-listed based on their performance on the written part and advance to the oral finals in June.
June 7, 2009 2009 Paris Spelling Bee, orals, to be held at the American Library for the finalists.
Cost: There will be a 5€ registration fee, per family, to pay for the April 4th venue and related expenses. If the child becomes a finalist, there will be another 5€ fee to cover the costs of trophies, certificates, medals and printed material.
Age requirements and limitations: Event is open to children 7-13 years-old. Age limit: the child must not be older than 13 years-of-age before July 1, 2009. Children who are 7-9 years-old may request to participate with the 10-13 year-olds. However, it will be up to the organizers to review and approve this request.

Benefits of Spelling Bees: “Spelling bees help to promote literacy by providing children with a positive goal to work toward, and give them a forum to display the fruits of their hard work. In addition to improving spelling, the bees also aid children in learning concepts, improving comprehension and developing study skills. The benefits of spelling bees extend beyond language: Since children are required to spell words while on stage, kids also develop self-confidence, communication and public speaking skills, and the ability to thrive under pressure,” (source: canspell)

SUGGESTED MATERIAL/LINKS: Two of our favorite tools used last year came from  this study link: First was a book: How to Spell Like a Champ, which includes a 75-minute interactive audio CD following a child from a classroom bee to the finals. The second was a documentary called: Spellbound. We also found the movie Akeelah and the Bee to be very inspirational.  In fact, it’s after seeing that movie that we decided to do a Paris Spelling Bee in the first place!! Once we passed the movie around to our friends, it became infectious.

1.  FOR OLDER KIDS:  Some of the more useful links come from Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee’s website.  Even though this site is for kids who are competing at the national level in the US, there are some very helpful tips to keep in mind. Many of them come from Carolyn’s Corner, a popular site for serious spellers — Carolyn’s Corner: http://www.spellingbee.com/glance.shtml (check out spelling bee participation tips) / http://www.spellingbee.com/glance/organized.shtml / http://www.spellingbee.com/recommendations.asp

Also useful is the introduction to some of the most commonly misspelled words, which are always  handy to master (even for us adults!) and some word origins. These are found at Merriam-Webster’s famous Spell it! To get an idea of words that have appeared frequently at the Scripps bees, you can check out  http://www.spellingbee.com/cwl.shtml Scroll down to “words appearing with moderate frequency.” If you like to spell or want to become a better speller these links can provide you with the guidance and challenge you are looking for.

2. FOR YOUNGER KIDS: We found reviewing Fry’s 1000 Most Common Words (click on each 100-word section as indicated) to be a very good guide. There are also fun games on http://www.merriam-webster.com/game/crossword.htm

A NOTE TO SCHOOLS AND HOMESCHOOLERS: For next year, 2010, we may seek to participate in Scripps National Spelling Bee events where the Paris winner would have the opportunity to compete in the annual championships in Washington, D.C.  This is pending Scripps approval and GiF finding a media outlet that would sponsor the event and pay for the winner’s expenses to Washington, D.C.  At this point we are gathering a list of schools and homeschoolers who might be interested in enrolling for this event. Please email us at your earliest convenience, Subject: 2010 Scripps Spelling Bee, so that we can assess the interest level and share it with Scripps officials.

A WORD ABOUT THE ORGANIZERS:The annual Paris Spelling Bee is a community-wide enrichment activity open to all students, who meet the age requirements. It is organized by Gifted in France.

GiF is a volunteer-based 1901 association for English-speaking families. We organize educational meetings for parents, teachers and other professionals on the social, educational and emotional needs of gifted and twice-exceptional children (gifted children with learning issues). We also host activities for children.

We  look forward to hearing from you.


Paris Spelling Bee team