The Spelling Bee, originally devised by Jane Driver, a teacher at Comberton Village College, Cambridge was launched on the European Day of Languages in September 2010. This year over 33 000 pupils participated in class, school and regional competitions in order to try and make it through to the national finals to be crowned the best spellers in England or Wales.
In Cambridge and Cardiff the talented Year 7s impressed the audience and judges with their pronunciation, memory and recall. Despite the tense atmosphere, particularly during the sudden-death spell-offs, the pupils obviously enjoyed the competition and showed few signs of nerves.
Amidst reports that poor spelling is costing the UK millions of pounds in lost revenue for Internet businesses and that firms are ignoring the foreign language Internet at their peril, the skills learnt from taking part in the competition should be valuable preparation for the students' futures.
The competition was organised by Routes into Languages, a consortium of universities working together with schools and colleges to encourage young people to study languages, and supported by the European Commission Representation in the UK.
Alice Pawluk for French, from Cardinal Wiseman school in West London
Isabel Moss for Spanish, from Landau Forte College in Derby
Emily Pote for German, from Wilmslow High School in Cheshire (not in photo)
Lewis Waters for French, from Bassaleg School
Grace Eickmann for German, from Ysgol David Hughes
Dan Mallett for Spanish, from The Cathedral School
Taylor Hinchly for Welsh, from Barry Comprehensive