Information for Bilingual Spelling Bee for 2012-2013 School Year

Hi Everyone here is information directly from the the national spelling bee organization on the bilingual spelling bee. Please share it with your schools:

Spelling Bee Goes Bilingual
David Briseño
(505) 238 6812

Albuquerque to Host Second Annual Santillana National Spanish Spelling Bee

ALBUQUERQUE, 7/17/2012:

The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, will host the Second Annual Santillana National Spanish Spelling Bee on July 21, 2012.

The Second Annual National Spanish Spelling Bee is again being organized by the New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education (NMABE) and the Alliance for Multilingual Multicultural Education (AMME). The Bee is modeled after NMABE’s annual state Spanish Spelling Bee, which has been held in New Mexico since 1994. David Briseño, executive director of NMABE, is leading the effort with the assistance of a local planning group.

The event offers the opportunity for all Spanish-speaking kids across the nation, be they mother-tongue speakers or children who are learning the language, to showcase their command of Spanish spelling.

This year’s event will bring together 19 students from 7 states to compete for the honor of being the Santillana National Spanish Bee champion. “We have grown a little from last year’s event,” stated Briseño. “We have either more students participating this year from 7 states. That is up from the four states represented last year.” The 19 students will come from the states of California, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Oregon.

Although Spanish is considered a “morphophonemic” language in which it is relatively easy to spell, the Spanish Bee challenges native and non-native speakers alike to excel in important academic arenas within the language arts. Beyond the act of actually spelling, Spanish diacritical marks are also a challenge for students. It is much more than just memorizing spellings.

As contestants prepare for the National Bee, they accrue valuable skills for academic learning. For example, they develop dictionary skills as they look up definitions, building greater understanding of the language. Word origins are also analyzed, and since thousands of Spanish words come from Greek, Latin and Arabic, the contestants increase their lexical repertoire which helps in many areas of study, such as math, science, literature, etc. Finally, Spelling Bees not only validate and give equity to the Spanish language, but also contribute greatly to the development of a positive self-image for the contestants.

For more information contact David Briseño at or visit

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Claudia Rinaldi View All →

Professor Claudia Rinaldi is the Chair of the Education Program at Lasell University. Her areas of research are the implementation of the Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) framework in urban settings with English learners, teacher education in bilingual special education, and diversifying the teacher pipeline. Claudia has authored peer-reviewed publications and a book for educators called Practical Ways to Engage All Struggling Readers. She lead and developed a graduate certificate program in Teaching Bilingual Students with Disabilities for general, ESL and special education teachers geared towards applying research-informed practices to the questions and processes of identifying whether it is a language difference or a learning disability. Claudia developed a college mentoring program called Pathways to Teacher Diversity for districts and teacher education programs to partner in identifying and supporting underrepresented high school students interested in teaching careers to successfully access and persist in college. She serves in various boards including the National Center for Learning Disabilities and serves as an expert for and the National Center for Intensive Interventions.

Professor Claudia Rinaldi believes that it is critical to prepare teacher leaders who may serve as advocates and allies and who will respond to the belief that all students can learn and succeed beyond barriers like culture, language, disability poverty, and marginalization in our country and globally.

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