Year 7 pupils test their spelling in another language

Student Learning Ambassadors and Erasmus students with Ruben Chapela (Left)Student Learning Ambassadors and Erasmus students with Ruben Chapela (Left)Student Language Ambassadors within the School of Modern Languages at Bangor University recently helped to ensure that an event for Year 7 pupils from across north Wales was fun packed and memorable. The Spelling Bee competition is organised by Routes into Languages Cymru, and put the year 7 pupils’ multi-lingual spelling skills to the test. Since September, these pupils have been learning vocabulary and the Regional Finals gave them the chance to compete against pupils from other schools for the first time.

The competition was launched on the European Day of Languages in September last year with the release of the first 50 words. Over 6,000 pupils from 59 schools across the country registered to take part, making this the largest Spelling Bee that Routes Cymru have run to date.

Working hard through class and school based competitions, the best spellers in French, German, Spanish and Welsh 2nd Language came together to compete at a Regional level.  42 pupils from 10 schools travelled to Llandudno for the north Wales competition.

The events will culminate with a prize giving of shields for the top four from each language who will also qualify for the National final in July. Furthermore, all pupils will be competing for the title of Regional Champion giving them the opportunity to take a champion cup back for their school.

Ruben Chapela, Routes into Languages Cymru Support Officer based at Bangor University said: “Bangor University’s Student Language Ambassadors and Erasmus students have been visiting schools in the Gwynedd and Anglesey area to encourage children of different ages to take up languages for their GCSE or A levels. They were actively involved with the competition; stewarding and guiding, registering the competitors and judging and timing the participants, all of which helped the competition run smoothly and was a great success.”

Ceri James, Director of CILT Cymru and Routes into Languages Cymru said “In 2011 we were astounded by the standard of rapid-fire spelling achieved by the young contestants in a range of languages. I’m sure that Spelling Bee audiences this year were just as impressed. This competition has succeeded in motivating pupils to learn languages, which will in turn help their future employment prospects. Language learning can be fun, as well as useful!”

Publication date: 25 May 2012