After writing the previous article this thought on spelling and phonological awareness came to my mind and led me to this article.
A spelling bee is a competition where contestants, usually children, are asked to spell English words. The concept is thought to have originated in the United States. Today, National Spelling Bee competitions for English are held in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Indonesia and India among others. Similar institutions are also found in numerous other countries such as France's "La dictée" and Poland's "Dyktando". They are rare to non-existent in countries whose national language follows more phonetic spelling rules, as compared to the largely historical spelling of the English and French languages. The first winner of an official spelling bee occurred in 1925 which saw Andrew Smith being the victor. (Wikipedia)
A majority of the students in a class tested to take part in spelling bees will be knocked out in the first round. Are these children to be considered as having a deficit in phonological awareness? If not then why is it that they cannot spell to even stay in the second round?
Why don’t we have spelling bee in Malay, Romanized Mandarin and Finnish languages?
I have copied some of the words asked in spelling bee from The Herald. You may read the whole list of words from here: http://www2.sharonherald.com/herald/nie/spellb/spelllist3.html
This list is only a list of some of the difficult words from the alphabet ‘A’ list.
My question is – What has phonological awareness got to do with spelling these words. If you cannot spell say 50 % of these words can I say you have a deficit in phonological awareness. Should you be considered a dyslexic?
Abattoir is a slaughterhouse.
Abeyant means temporarily suspended.
Acquiesce means to comply or submit.
Aerogramme is a pre-stamped, lightweight paper that folds into its own envelope.
Afrikaans is an official language of South Africa.
Amethyst is a purple quartz, used as a gem.
Anathematize means to denounce or to curse.
Androgynous means being both male and female.
Ankh is an Egyptian cross used as a symbol of enduring life.
Anopheles is a malaria-causing mosquito.
Apartheid a rigid policy of segregation in South Africa.
Appaloosa is a hardy breed of riding horse.
Aqueous is of or pertaining to water, watery.
Armoire is a large wardrobe or movable cupboard.
Arrhythmia is any interruption in the heartbeat.
Ascetic is a person who practices self-denial for religious reasons.
Aurochs is a black European wild ox, extinct since 1627.
Autocephalous is a bishop subordinate to no superior authority.
Avuncular pertains to an uncle.
Azimuth is the angle of horizontal deviation of a bearing from a standard direction.