The Spelling Bee project aims to strengthen the English language skills of Bulgarian students and teachers. The competition takes place at three levels: local, regional and national. The school winners participate in one of the ten regional bees. The best students from each regional competition advance to the national final. The 30 national qualifiers and their teachers attend a week long English language Spelling Bee summer camp. This year more than 6500 students from 297 schools took part.
The Bulgarian education system seems not fully prepared to respond to the needs of interested students with additional opportunities to improve their language skills. Extracurricular activities have proved to be excellent teaching tools that ensure a motivating learning environment. English language teachers, especially those from underdeveloped communities, have limited access to teaching resources and workshops. They rarely have the opportunity to engage with native speakers.
The competition is a successful educational tool that promotes general language improvement, expanded vocabulary, accurate word usage and pronunciation and strengthens students' poise and communication skills. Additionally, the teachers reported that the use of Spelling Bee resources in their regular English classes increased students' interest and motivation. The organization of the school competitions helped them gain valuable experience which they will use in managing of other school events.
The Spelling Bee project aims to promote the improvement in the use of the English language. Firstly, students will get excited about the study of English and expand their knowledge through fun and innovative activities. They will also improve their confidence to present to an audience, as well as their ability to compete. Secondly, the teachers will increase the effectiveness of the English language instruction and will improve the quality of their work by using interactive teaching techniques.