Education: So You Think You Can Spell

¿Puedes deletrear en Español? Can you spell in Spanish? If so, you’re in luck. Spanish language spelling bees are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. According to Education Week, Spanish language spelling bees are kicking off in approximately 10 states, with the National Spanish Spelling Bee starting next week in Albuquerque, N.M. Competitors must know how to spell 2,300 Spanish words, along with the accent marks. The rising popularity of spanish language spelling bees is a result of new studies that show how bilingualism leads to higher creativity and better problem-solving, according to the Review of Educational Research. Bilingualism also helps students develop knowledge and appreciation for other cultures. “We try to say ‘[the Spanish language spelling bee] is a celebration of language,’” said José Reyes, a bilingual instructional specialist. Finally, bilingualism has proven to be a useful skill in the workplace. According to a 2013 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, translators are among the top five fastest growing occupations, in addition to having a projected growth of 49 percent by 2022. Moral of the story? Spanish language spelling bees provide students with a more globalized perspective. As world languages instructor Annie Azarloza said, “When we embrace a language other than our own, we’re teaching our kids to be tolerant.”

Contributor: Esmé Ablaza

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