Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Spelling Bee kids will have to know definitions

FILE - In this May 29, 2012 file photo, contestants in the National Spelling Bee take the written exam on computers in Oxon Hill, Md., before the oral competition began. Ever wonder if those spelling bee kids know the meanings of some of those big words? Now they’ll have to prove that they do. Organizers of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Tuesday announced a major change to the format, adding multiple-choice vocabulary tests to the annual competition that crowns the English language’s spelling champ. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) WX103

Associated Press (2012)

FILE - In this May 29, 2012 file photo, contestants in the National Spelling Bee take the written exam on computers in Oxon Hill, Md., before the oral competition began. Ever wonder if those spelling bee kids know the meanings of some of those big words? Now they’ll have to prove that they do. Organizers of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Tuesday announced a major change to the format, adding multiple-choice vocabulary tests to the annual competition that crowns the English language’s spelling champ. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) WX103

WASHINGTON — What does it all mean?

That's the question facing spelling whizzes across the country, who learned Tuesday that they will have to know the definitions of some of the those tough words they've been memorizing in the dictionary. For the first time, multiple-choice vocabulary tests will be added to the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.

"Changes are not a surprise, but these changes are massive," said Mirle Shivashankar, whose daughter, 11-year-old Vanya, is among the favorites after finishing tied for 10th last year. "It came as a shocker. . . . We're going to have to change the way we prepare a little bit."

The changes will make it easier to nail down the nine to 12 competitors who make it to the final round, which will look the same as it has for years to prime-time TV viewers, with spellers taking turns until only the champion has avoided the familiar doomsday bell. The changes do add a wrinkle to the televised semifinals, however, as even the best onstage spellers could find themselves eliminated from the finals if they perform poorly on the multiple-choice test.

"I'm on an email group and we talk about spelling, and a lot of the returning spellers were really, like, shocked, and they were surprised about the change that's happened," Vanya Shivashankar said. "But it's going to be really cool and fun to see how the bee will be because it will be spelling and vocabulary."

Executive director Paige Kimble said the changes were driven by the desire to reinforce the competition's purpose — to encourage students to improve their spelling and broaden their knowledge of the language.

Sample questions

1. What is the purpose of defibrillation?

a) removing fibrous matter from vegetables

b) removing bodily hair

c) restoring the rhythm of the heart

d) reducing a fever using medication

2. Which of these is an example of

onomatopoeia?

a) chrome

b) novella

c) haiku

d) buzz

3. When would a prognosis be given?

a) after a disease diagnosis

b) during an operatic performance

c) after a horse race

d) during a guided meditation

ANSWERS: 1. C; 2. D; 3. A

Spelling Bee kids will have to know definitions 04/09/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 10:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gov. Rick Scott could soon be the all-time king of line-item veto

    Blogs

    2016: $256,144,027

    2015: $461,387,164

    2014: $68,850,121

    2013: $367,950,394

    2012: $142,752,177

    2011: $615,347,550

    Only once has Scott used the line-item veto sparingly. That was in 2014, the year he ran for re-election, when he removed a paltry $69 million from the budget.

    Gov. Rick Scott waves a veto pen at The Villages in 2011.
  2. Rays morning after: An up-and down day for Jose De Leon

    Blogs

    Rays RHP Jose De Leon had a busy Monday - getting called up to join the Rays for the first time and making his way from Pawtucket, R.I., to Boston and the flying to Texas, working 2 2/3 eventful innings to get the W in the 10-8 victory over the Rangers, and then getting optioned back to Triple-A.

    Jose De Leon follows through in the sixth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on May 29, 2017.
  3. Resignation of communications director Dubke could signal more changes within White House staff

    National

    WASHINGTON — Mike Dubke has resigned as White House communications director, a senior administration official confirmed Tuesday, in the first of what could be a series of changes to President Trump's senior staff amid the growing Russia scandal.

    President Donald Trump speaks at the Memorial Amphitheater in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Monday, May 29, 2017, during a Memorial Day ceremony. [Associated Press]
  4. Trump pays somber tribute to fallen troops on Memorial Day

    National

    ARLINGTON, Va. — President Donald Trump expressed the nation's "boundless" gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice paid by Americans defending the United States, dedicating his first Memorial Day address as commander in chief to a top Cabinet secretary and two other families who lost loved ones.

    Brittany Jacobs, left, watches as her 6-year-old son Christian Jacobs meets President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, Monday, May 29, 2017, in Arlington, Va. Jacobs father, Marine Sgt. Christopher Jacobs, was killed in 2011. [Associated Press]
  5. Florida education news: Budgets, discipline, charter schools and more

    Blogs

    BUDGETING: Florida school district officials keep a close eye on their spending plans as they await word on the Legislature's budget. Gov. Rick Scott