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Eighth Grader Wins National Spelling Bee
AP via Yahoo! ^ | Thursday, May 29, 2003 | By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press Writer

Posted on 05/29/2003 4:14:01 PM PDT by Momaw Nadon

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To: Forgiven_Sinner
Don't tell the NEA and the ACLU!
61 posted on 05/30/2003 12:40:48 PM PDT by Thane_Banquo
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Comment #62 Removed by Moderator

Comment #63 Removed by Moderator

To: keri
The student's family are devotees of Sai Baba.
Hence the name.
64 posted on 06/02/2003 2:24:27 PM PDT by Allan
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To: Forgiven_Sinner
How rude! I go to a public school with a great civics program!!!!!!!!!! i was in that spelling bee! just for the sake of anonymity, i won't tell my name, but i was in the top 35. you really should be careful before you offend someone else.
65 posted on 04/12/2004 6:32:48 AM PDT by origami0203
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To: babble-on
in my opinion, spelling bee success isn't a very good guide, because some people in the regionals didn't go to the greatest schools, but did a great job there. Some just had a knack for knowing and memorizing words.
66 posted on 04/12/2004 6:38:05 AM PDT by origami0203
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To: Momaw Nadon
I was in the National Spelling Bee in eighth grade. I tied for 100th place, but I'm not saying what word I missed; it's too easy. The worst part was that my whole class was studying a certain chapter in biology that week while I was gone, and when they asked what I missed, everybody said "Man, that's a piece of cake, loser."
67 posted on 04/12/2004 6:43:25 AM PDT by Flightdeck (Death is only a horizon)
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To: Capt.YankeeMike
I watched one National Spelling Bee where the winner was a girl who was home-schooled by her parents; both neurologists. She was absolutely, 100% CRAZY. Out of her mind. Bananas. She could spell, though.
68 posted on 04/12/2004 6:46:47 AM PDT by Flightdeck (Death is only a horizon)
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To: aristeides
"I know what "pococurante" means from Italian, but I've never seen the word used in English."

That's MY question. It seems as though an English Spelling Bee should feature words that are used in English discussion. If the object is to merely trip up a speller, one could easily substitute a compound Turkish or German word, but neither such examples would be used in English conversation. Unless, as noted, they had come into such wide use in English-speaking circles that they would be included in the current dictionary. The winner says he "studied" pococurante, so perhaps it has come into wide enough usage to be in the dictionary.

The Spelling Bee, as she is constituted, does exhibit an aptitude bias which keeps SOME excellent spellers out of the staged competition. To win (or do well), the spellers must be able to ORALLY spell a word without being able to SEE what it looks like. Many excellent spellers and grammarians don't have the aptitude that allows them to do this - they need to write out the spelling. I know. I'm one of them. I can spell correctly just about anything, but I rely on the visual image of the word to verify its correctness. People like me make excellent judges, but not competitors, in this type of competition.

I'm not complaining, mind you. We all have different aptitude sets. But the ability to spell, per se, is not what is being tested in a Spelling Bee. What IS being tested is the ability to spell a word without being able to write it. Unless some rule I've never heard of allows contestants to write the word out on paper and then read the spelling to the judges.

Michael

69 posted on 04/12/2004 7:09:21 AM PDT by Wright is right! (It's amazing how fun times when you're having flies.)
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To: origami0203
"in my opinion, spelling bee success isn't a very good guide, because some people in the regionals didn't go to the greatest schools, but did a great job there. Some just had a knack for knowing and memorizing words."

See my post about aptitude bias. Not all excellent spellers can do well in a spelling bee. Not only do you have to spell well, but you don't get the advantage of the visual cues that come with spelling the words IN WRITING. You have to either have the aptitude that allows you to visualize the word in your head, or the aptitude that allows you to memorize huge lists of word without the visual-conversion aptitude. In other wirds, spelling bees are not so much tests of the ability to spell as much as they are visualization-aptitude tests.

Dr. Johnson O'Connor was one of the modern pioneers in the development of Aptitude Testing, having been hired by GE in Boston many decades ago to find out why so many workers GE hired left the jobs they had. O'Connor was one of the first to exposit the idea that many seemingly unrelated aptitudes can predispose one to success in differing areas of pursuit. For instance, the aptitude of Pitch Discrimination had obvious benefit to musicians and singers. But O'Connor also found that those who scored very high in Pitch Discrimination also excelled at doing all kinds of close-tolerance work, such as jewelers, high-end machinists, and artists. To O'Connor, Pitch Discrimination is simply the MANNER in which one measures a person's ability to pursue very finely detail work.

Dr. O'Connor was also the first to isolate and test for Structural Visualization - in fact, he wrote more than one book on the aptitude. SV is the aptitude that allows a person to visualize, say, the design of a building or a room before one nail has ever been driven. Engineers and architects obviously have the aptitude, but so do those who are excellent at organization.They "visualize" in their heads how things are supposed to be laid out. Top military strategists also are strong in this aptitude.

Those lacking in Structural Visualization are conversly high in Abstract Visualization, which would be helpful to those, for example, in a Spelling Bee. In the general population, about 70% of people are high in Abstract Visualization, leaving only 30% high in Structural. Which is why the general population seems genuinely baffled by someone who can come into a situation and instantly visualize a solution to whatever problemos he sees. The guy who can do this is high in Structural Visualization.

Just a few notes for those of you who were craving a bit of aptitude exposition with your morning coffee.

Michael

70 posted on 04/12/2004 7:30:51 AM PDT by Wright is right! (It's amazing how fun times when you're having flies.)
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To: babble-on
do you ever wonder if maybe spelling bee success might not be the best guide to the quality of someone's education?

It was a fairly accurate predictor of mine.
71 posted on 04/12/2004 7:34:43 AM PDT by Xenalyte (I may not agree with your bumper sticker, but I shall defend to the death your right to stick it)
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To: origami0203; hellinahandcart
How rude! I go to a public school with a great civics program!!!!!!!!!! i was in that spelling bee! just for the sake of anonymity, i won't tell my name, but i was in the top 35. you really should be careful before you offend someone else.

Might it be a live one?
72 posted on 04/12/2004 7:35:44 AM PDT by Xenalyte (I may not agree with your bumper sticker, but I shall defend to the death your right to stick it)
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To: origami0203; Eaker; Judith Anne; netmilsmom; Devil_Anse; T Minus Four; ~Kim4VRWC's~; retrokitten; ..
How rude! I go to a public school with a great civics program!!!!!!!!!! i was in that spelling bee! just for the sake of anonymity, i won't tell my name, but i was in the top 35. you really should be careful before you offend someone else.

Your school must be really proud today.

So, when are they going to get around to teaching you about capitalization?

73 posted on 04/12/2004 9:01:39 AM PDT by hellinahandcart
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To: hellinahandcart; Xenalyte
ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!
74 posted on 04/12/2004 9:20:54 AM PDT by Gabz (Stress out Streisand.............................DONATE MONTHLY)
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To: Momaw Nadon
I don't understand the status folks give these spelling bees; it's just rote memorization. Sure, it's important to have a good vocabulary but dictionaries exist so that you don't have memorize every single word in the English language. I would rather see creative essay writing or applied science competitions have the same level of public interest.
75 posted on 04/12/2004 9:32:40 AM PDT by Truthsayer20
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To: Xenalyte
The ability to spell correctly is closely associated with a large vocabulary - and Dr. Johnson O'Connor (see above post re: aptitudes) has found that there is an absolute correlation between vocabulary and career earnings.

However, as I've noted, there is a difference between the ability to spell well and to perform well at spelling bees. To perform well at spelling bees requires an aptitude not related to spelling at all, but related to mental vision.

Michael

76 posted on 04/12/2004 9:51:06 AM PDT by Wright is right! (It's amazing how fun times when you're having flies.)
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To: Truthsayer20
"I don't understand the status folks give these spelling bees; it's just rote memorization."

Not totally. A lot of it is the ability to reason-out a word's spelling based upon the basic rules of spelling - handy if you don't happen to know the word. It also helps to know English etymology.

Michael

77 posted on 04/12/2004 9:53:51 AM PDT by Wright is right! (It's amazing how fun times when you're having flies.)
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To: CyberCowboy777
That is it right there. They not only do not teach students to learn or think, they prohibit it. And there is always the argument about socialization. The only socialization I see in public schools is the need for everyone to be the same and not "rock the boat." God forbid if you should.

I am so proud of my homeschooled children's ability to want to learn, seek out learning, and knowing how to use resources available to them.
78 posted on 04/12/2004 10:01:08 AM PDT by ican'tbelieveit
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To: Xenalyte
Hey, thanks for responding to my post after a pause of only 347 days. I've been waiting here without food or water for someone to ping me back on that.

I think basically there are good spellers and bad spellers. I have always been a good speller, but it was never something that was taught to me. Once I've seen a word once, like Radisson, for example, I always spell it right after that. But its not a function of the quality of school that I went to, nor is the fact that my father can't spell at all a function of his overall intelligence or the quality of his schools.

To me, its more about having - or not having - an aptitude or knack in very specific, but not all that important, realm.
79 posted on 04/12/2004 10:37:20 AM PDT by babble-on (I'm not a monthly donor, but I play one on T.V.)
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To: hellinahandcart; origami0203; Owl_Eagle
What a coincidence! I think Owl_Eagle was in that spelling bee too.
80 posted on 04/12/2004 10:54:07 AM PDT by Thinkin' Gal
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