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Kiwis inside and outside US Spelling Bee

Kiwis inside and outside US Spelling Bee

Three Kiwis will be active at the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals in Washington, DC, from May 31 to June 2 – two on stage, one on the footpath/sidewalk.

Charlotte Roose, from Hillcrest High School, Hamilton, will be the New Zealand representative in the competition. Another New Zealand-born competitor, Sam Lawson, will represent the Florida county where he now lives. There are 273 finalists from about 10 million entrants.

Outside the hotel that is hosting the event, Allan Campbell from Christchurch, convener of Spell 4 Literacy, will be one of about a dozen spelling-change advocates picketing the event.

"We are not against spelling competence", he says, "but we are opposed to the spelling that fosters incompetence.

"We are using the event to highlight the fact that our outdated spelling breeds illiteracy. While some children with great memories can master the spelling of difficult words, there are millions who can’t and who, as a result, find learning to read and write unnecessarily difficult."

This is the third time the American Literacy Council and the Simplified Spelling Society (of which Spell 4 Literacy is part) have staged the protest.


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