National Spelling Bee Competition

Through this competition the ESU aims to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabulary, learn concepts and develop the use of English to a high standard and encourage them to raise their expectations in the pursuit of their choice of a career.

To-date this competition has been limited to students of Forms 1, II, III and IV but has been very successful, the number of participants growing steadily.

Heats are organised yearly in Mauritius within four geographical zones during the month of May.

A separate competition is run for Rodrigues in the month of June. All the five secondary schools from Rodrigues took part in the competition.

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Rules of the Competition


The purpose is to help students to improve their spelling, to increase their vocabulary, to learn concepts, and to develop correct English usage for a lifetime.


The Spelling Bee Competition is open to full-time secondary school students of Forms I, II, III & IV or equivalent, as certified by the Head of School.


The Spelling Bee Competition may be conducted orally or in writing or in a manner that is a
combination of the two.

The English-Speaking Union (ESU) will be responsible for selecting the word lists that will be used. These lists will include only words that appear in the Oxford Dictionary.

3. The pronouncer will make every effort to pronounce the words according to the Oxford Dictionary.

4. The Oxford Dictionary shall serve as the final authority for the spelling of words. If more than one spelling is listed for a word, any of these spellings will be accepted as correct if the word either matches the pronunciation and definition provided by the pronouncer or it is clearly identified as being a standard variant of the word that the speller has been asked to spell.

5. In competition, after the pronouncer gives the speller a word, the speller may be encouraged to pronounce the word both before and after spelling it, but the judges shall not disqualify a speller for failing to pronounce the word correctly.

6. The speller may ask the pronouncer to repeat the word, define the word or give a sentence including the word. The pronouncer shall accede to these requests unless the judges agree that the word has been made reasonably clear to the speller, in which case the judges will request the speller to start spelling.

7. If a word has one or more homonyms, the pronouncer will indicate which word is to be spelled. If the listed word is not properly identified, either by defining it or distinguishing the homonyms, any correct spelling of any homonym of the word will be accepted.

8. A maximum of two minutes will be allowed for requests in accordance with rule 6 . A maximum of two minutes will be allowed for spelling each word. The time begins when the pronouncer has pronounced the word or has replied to a request and ends when the speller has spelt the word.

9. (i) The role of the pronouncer is (1) to correctly pronounce the word and (2) to repeat a word, define it or use it in a sentence if the speller so requests.
(ii) The role of the judges is to determine whether the speller has spelled the word correctly.
(iii) The role of the speller is (1) to gather as much information as possible in order to spell the word correctly and (2) to spell the word correctly.
The judges may not disqualify a speller for asking a question.

10. A speller, having started to spell a word, may stop and start again by retracing the spelling from the beginning. In retracing, however, there can be no change of letters or sequence as first pronounced. If letters or their sequence are changed in the respelling, the speller will be eliminated. Once a speller has started to spell a word, he / she cannot ask the pronouncer to repeat the word, define the word or give a sentence including the word.

11. The speller shall not be disqualified for failing to note that a word is capitalized.

12. (a) A competition will be conducted in as many rounds as may be necessary to produce the required number of qualifiers for the final or the winner of the final.
(b) In each round, each speller will be required, in turn, to spell one word.
(c) In a round, a speller is eliminated if he misspells a word and the next word on the pronouncer’s list is given to the next speller, except as otherwise provided in Rule 13 .
(d) In any round, the judges may require all the participants to spell the same word in writing.

13. (a) Notwithstanding Rule 12, if all the spellers in a round fail to spell a word correctly, they will all remain in competition and a fresh round shall take place.
(b) The process of elimination is determined as hereunder by the ESU.

14. The judges’ decision shall be final on all issues.

Process of Elimination

(i) A competition will be conducted in as many rounds as may be necessary to produce either the required number of qualifiers for the final or a winner at the final.
(ii) In each round, each speller will be required, in turn, to spell one word.
(iii) If none of the spellers remaining in the Spelling Bee at the start of a round spells a word correctly during that round, all will remain in competition.
(iv) All spellers eliminated in the same round will be tied for the same place.
(v) If in any round where there are three or more spellers still in competition, only one of them remains in competition after having spelled a word correctly, a new round shall begin and that remaining speller shall be given the opportunity to spell the next word on the list. If the speller succeeds in correctly spelling the new word, the speller will be declared the winner. Otherwise, all the spellers remaining in competition at the start of the previous round will remain in the competition. A new round will begin, with these spellers spelling in the original order.
(vi) If, at the end of a round, only two spellers remain in competition, the winner will be determined in the following manner:
(a) the pronouncer will give the first speller a word and, if the word is correctly spelled, the pronouncer will give the second speller a word and, so on;
(b) where a speller misspells a word, the other speller will be given the chance to correct the error; but if that word is misspelled again, the pronouncer will give another word to the first speller and so on;
(c) if a speller is able to correct an error, he will at once be given another word and, if he spells that second word correctly, he will be declared the winner.

Past Winners

Wednesday 30th May 2012 – Municipal Council of Curepipe

TheEnglish-Speaking Union is pleased to announce the names of the four winners (Form I, II, III & IV) of the 2012 National Spelling Bee Competition:

  Name of Winner School
Form 1 Abdullah Ali Jaabir Ibné Zaaki AUMEERUDDY Doha Secondary SchoolBoys
Form II Kcenia NARAINA POULLE Le Bocage InternationalSchool
Form III Nabil KHODABACCUS Royal College Curepipe
Form IV Preetima MOTEEA Forest Side SSS (Girls)

In 2010, a total of 494 participants from 128 schools took part in the 9th National Spelling Bee Competition, as opposed to 437 participants from 117 schools last year”.

The finals were held at the Town Hall of Curepipe on Thursday 2nd June 2010.  Winners this year were:

Name of Winner School
Form 1 Louis Harel Northfields International High School
Form II Carlyn Sin Le Bocage International School
Form III Fatima Zohra Bibi Codabaccus Queen Elizabeth College
Form IV Poovineshwaree Sadien Forest Side State Secondary School (Girls)

In Rodrigues, a total of 60 participants from all five secondary schools took part in the 6th edition of the NSBC held at Rodrigues College on Thursday 17th June 2010.  The winners for Rodrigues were:

Name of Winner School
Form 1 Sarah Bint Yassin ALBERT Rodrigues College
Form II M.K. Fedora PERRINE Le Chou College
Form III Anne Gaelle F. AUGUSTIN Rodrigues College
Form IV Loyd Krishna THAKOOREE Rodrigues College

In 2009, a total of 437 participants from 117 schools, took part in the 8th National Spelling Bee Competition.

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