Ms. Marta Araya, Head of the English Department at Colegio Santa María de Maipú, came to visit me at my home today (Saturday). Although she has a very demanding schedule, she took the time to visit briefly with me.
Since we are colleagues, with both of us being Head of the English Department at our respective schools, it was a mutually interesting visit for us. Marta told me she had no trouble finding my home, since my map was very well drawn up and she knew the area fairly well also.
We chatted briefly about the upcoming SpellEvent. She and her students are very enthusiastic about participating and have already begun to prepare, using the Practice Word List that is available for download from the SpellEvent homepage.
One of the obstacles her students have to overcome is the fact that her school curriculum offers only 3 hours per week of English. As a result, she has to be very judicious in how she uses that time. She feels that the SpellEvent is a wise investment for her students because it promotes an active engagement with learning vocabulary that extends beyond the SpellEvent itself.
I was interested in asking her how she was able to accomplish the registration of her students so fast. Marta said, “I have been teaching at my school for 11 years now. As Department Head, I know what students have had the best performance in English over the past years, and participation in the Franklin Electronic Publishers Global SpellEvent, representing our school, is a great way to reward them for their efforts.”
I was curious about something. So I asked, “But what about getting the parents’ signatures? Wasn’t that difficult?”
Marta: “Our parents are very motivated. I informed them to come to the school to sign their children’s participation forms, and they immediately came. In one day I had all of the signatures necessary.”
This will be the second consecutive year that Colegio Santa María has participated in the Franklin Electronic Publishers SpellEvent – in collaboration with TESOL Inc., at the national level in Chile. I wish Marta and her students the best of luck, and as we discussed, there are only Winners in this event.
To commemorate her visit, we took a picture together. Standing literally in the shadows of the Statue of Liberty, I presented Marta with a new Merriam-Webster’s Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary and the electronic Franklin Intermediate Dictionary with Spell Correction. Both items will be used to help prepare her 6 students for the SpellEvent.
Finally, let me encourage you, all Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in Chile, to register your students and your school to participate. The first 8 schools to register will participate.
We now have one school, and we need seven more. There will be a total of 8 schools, each school will register 6 students, and that means there will be 48 excellent spellers vying for the trip to New York and a chance to win the Grand Prize of Ten Thousand US Dollars for their university education.
So please hurry, don’t procrastinate, or it will be too late!
Follow Marta’s example, and register your students ASAP! Remember, it will be great for you and your school and your students to participate. I can’t wait to meet you!
See you at the Bee!