HOUSTON – May 3, 2016 – More than a dozen students from schools across Spring ISD recently gathered to compete in the first Spring ISD Spanish Language Spelling Bee.
The competition was the first of its kind for Spring ISD students from all backgrounds, and offered all well-prepared third- through twelfth-grade students – native and non‑native speakers – a chance to give it their best during the Spanish language competition.
According to Zasil Perez, Bilingual/ESL program coordinator, the rules for the competition are very closely aligned to those of the Scripps National Spelling Bee with a few exceptions, which include using the Spanish alphabet and commonly used accents.
“All the words used for the Spanish Language Spelling Bee came from the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language better known as the Real Academia de la Lengua Española,” said Perez. “This makes the spelling of words more rich and complex in Spanish, which adds even more pressure to articulate the linguistic and phonetic components of words the students need to spell.”
Students who participated in the Spanish Language Spelling Bee had to include any letters with accents, umlauts– a mark used over a vowel, as in pingüino, to indicate a different vowel quality– and tildes– the grapheme used in superscriptions as in niño –in order to clearly spell the word being called.
“Different rules apply for spelling in Spanish just like they do for any other language, and just like they do in English spelling,” said Claudia Lara, foreign language team leader at Carl Wunsche Sr. High School. “So when it came down to the contest, student spellers had to practice intensely in order to get the spelling precisely right. When it came to the competition they were confident, prepared and ultimately victorious.”
The winners in each category were awarded first place trophies and certificates, as well as a chance to compete in the state bee this month and national bee later this summer.
Following are campus-level winners: Elementary – Crystal Vazquez, Thompson Elementary School; Middle School – Kevin Bonilla, Roberson Middle School; and High School – Juan Angel Guerra, Carl Wunsche Sr. High School.