America’s annual national Spelling Bee competition had audiences across the U.S. and around the globe holding their breath, watching the world’s best young spellers agonize over the world’s most obscure English words.

This year’s winner is a 13-year-old-girl from Kansas, Kavya Shivashankar, who brought home the trophy after spelling the word Laodicean… 
The word means being indifferent or lukewarm in religion or politics.

Hello, I’m Charlotte Bellis and you’re watching Newsy.com.
We’re bringing you worldwide perspectives on the Spelling Bee and looking at why the global media are so interested.

First, NPR tries to explain on its blog why the contest is so addictive…


“The Bee is deeply strange in some ways... There’s just something so compelling about the effort...the worry, the sweat, the opportunity to be famous for knowing things.”


Looking from a different culture, a blogger from Television New Zealand scratches his head and tries to understand why the competition is broadcast on ESPN.

“W... H... Y... Why? … To be brutally honest I have no idea why. How the heck is this on an international SPORTS network, let alone television at all?”


A Detroit News columnist tells us about the significance of the competition for children’s spelling skills, particularly nowadays.

“… spelling bees underscore the notion that word-specific knowledge is important. And research suggests that early writing helps children with their reading. … Particularly, in our age of the Internet where spelling takes on a bizarre world of its (such as where "later" becomes "l8er," "aight" means "all right" and "G'nite" stands for "good night)…"


The Times of India looks beyond Shivshankar’s individual triumph and bring us this analysis about children of Indian ethnic origin.


“Why Indian-American kids have begun to dominate Spelling Bee … isn’t a mystery anymore. Parental and peer pressure and inspiration have resulted in almost every Indian household pushing their kids into nationwide competitions in every sphere of school life, not just spelling competitions.”

Finally, ABC News takes a look back at the previous Bee champions and sees how far they’ve come.

“… And the ones we found have grown up to be young adults--smart, young adults. George Thampy was a 2000 champ. ‘I would describe that moment as dizzying euphoria’ Six years later and he’s off to somewhere else—Harvard. ‘It really helped give me a lot of self-confidence.’”



About the Buzzing Bee

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May 29, 2009

About the Buzzing Bee

America’s annual national Spelling Bee competition had audiences across the U.S. and around the globe holding their breath, watching the world’s best young spellers agonize over the world’s most obscure English words.

This year’s winner is a 13-year-old-girl from Kansas, Kavya Shivashankar, who brought home the trophy after spelling the word Laodicean… 
The word means being indifferent or lukewarm in religion or politics.

Hello, I’m Charlotte Bellis and you’re watching Newsy.com.
We’re bringing you worldwide perspectives on the Spelling Bee and looking at why the global media are so interested.

First, NPR tries to explain on its blog why the contest is so addictive…


“The Bee is deeply strange in some ways... There’s just something so compelling about the effort...the worry, the sweat, the opportunity to be famous for knowing things.”


Looking from a different culture, a blogger from Television New Zealand scratches his head and tries to understand why the competition is broadcast on ESPN.

“W... H... Y... Why? … To be brutally honest I have no idea why. How the heck is this on an international SPORTS network, let alone television at all?”


A Detroit News columnist tells us about the significance of the competition for children’s spelling skills, particularly nowadays.

“… spelling bees underscore the notion that word-specific knowledge is important. And research suggests that early writing helps children with their reading. … Particularly, in our age of the Internet where spelling takes on a bizarre world of its (such as where "later" becomes "l8er," "aight" means "all right" and "G'nite" stands for "good night)…"


The Times of India looks beyond Shivshankar’s individual triumph and bring us this analysis about children of Indian ethnic origin.


“Why Indian-American kids have begun to dominate Spelling Bee … isn’t a mystery anymore. Parental and peer pressure and inspiration have resulted in almost every Indian household pushing their kids into nationwide competitions in every sphere of school life, not just spelling competitions.”

Finally, ABC News takes a look back at the previous Bee champions and sees how far they’ve come.

“… And the ones we found have grown up to be young adults--smart, young adults. George Thampy was a 2000 champ. ‘I would describe that moment as dizzying euphoria’ Six years later and he’s off to somewhere else—Harvard. ‘It really helped give me a lot of self-confidence.’”


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