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Vocabulary, lightning round added to National Spelling Bee – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-04-23 02:23:20 –

The Scripps National Spelling Bee has undergone a major overhaul to help identify a single champion, adding vocabulary questions and lightning-fast tiebreakers to this year’s pandemic-changing competition.

Washington (AP) — Scripps National Spelling Bee undergoes extensive overhaul to add vocabulary questions and lightning-fast tiebreakers to this year’s pandemic-changing competition to identify a single champion I am.

The 96-year-old bee had included written exam vocabulary in the past, but one mistake was never included in the high stakes oral competition round, which eliminated Speller. The only previous tiebreaker to determine a single champion was a short additional written exam that never proved necessary.

The changes announced this week correspond to a new direction for bees under Secretary-General J. Michael Dunnil, who began work earlier this year.

However, both new elements represent a departure from the core appeal of bees for many observers. In other words, look at school children who have mastered the roots and language patterns to understand how to spell the most difficult words in a dictionary. If they have never heard of them before.

The 2020 bees were canceled due to a pandemic in which they were not on the calendar for the first time since World War II. This year’s event is almost virtual, and the July 8 face-to-face final was moved from a long-standing bee home in the Washington area to the ESPN campus in Florida.

The bees won the co-champion in 2014-16, and the 2019 bees ended in an 8-way tie after the organizers ran out of words that were difficult enough to challenge the top spellers. A proud Scripps word list.

Danil did not directly criticize the previous bee, but said that ending with one winner was a priority.

“I don’t think Speller will participate in our competition, thinking that we must share the ultimate distinction between spelling champions with someone else,” Darnil told The Associated Press. “From a competitive perspective, it’s thanks to the spelling players to identify the spelling bee champion.”

In a round of lightning, Speller can correctly spell as many words as possible within 90 seconds. The rapid fire tiebreaker is only used when the bees are nearing the end of their allotted time and cannot reach a single winner in the traditional way by eliminating the speller due to a mistake in the word. The remaining spellers get the same word in a round of lightning and are separated from each other.

Adding vocabulary, along with its educational mission, brings more scholarly rigor to bees, Darnil said.

Siyona Mishra, a 2015 and 2017 bee finalist and now coaching young spellers (children can’t compete after 8th grade), said the Scripps changes were inconsistent. ..

“At the same time, the addition of live-stage vocabulary questions to help people understand the word doesn’t really match the spelling lightning-fast addition,” Mishra wrote in an email. “Adding a round of lightning just emphasizes to Speller that memorizing and recognizing words is more important than actually learning them.”

Remembering the definition is not a central element of Speller’s training, said 14-year-old Zyra Avant Gard from Hardy, Louisiana.

“I understand the definitions a bit. They permeate me by looking at them. I don’t spend any special time studying vocabulary,” says Zaila. “Do I study it now? I’m not sure.”

Zaila emphasized that she didn’t care about adding vocabulary or lightning rounds, saying “it would be really interesting to see and even compete.”

According to Scripps, this year, bees in some regions used a live vocabulary round with multiple-choice questions about word definitions, but some spellers were surprised by this change. I was asked.

“I’m sorry that these changes were rolled out later in the process,” said Scott Remer, a former speller and spelling coach who wrote a book on how to train bees, in an email. “Many students (including my students) have been studying hard for the people for months without any conviction about the shape of the bees.”

Amberborn, who played for bees in 2010-13, said the lightning round “emphasizes speed over skills in contests where it shouldn’t be a decisive factor.”

“I’d better ask them for more difficult words, but that’s probably not that interesting on TV,” Bourne added.

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