The first Spanish spelling bee was held in San Jose, California this past week. There were a total of 26 competitors and 12 rounds. The winner, Jonathan Cortes, won by spelling cartografía.
Cortes is a student at Adelante Dual Language Academy and has been studying for the competition during his spare time.
“He’s a very good student,” his aunt, Rocío Longoria, said in a Mercury News article.
Parents of the dual-immersion Spanish-English language school hoped that the competition would inspire a passion for Spanish.
“They needed something to motivate them,” said Franklin Collazo, bee organizer and a parent of a seventh- and fifth-grader, in the article by Mercury News. “They need to value Spanish.”
The competition was inspired by a past Spanish spelling bee in New Mexico.
“The goals are to elevate the status of the language and provide our students with the opportunity to compete,” commented David Briseño, coordinator of the National Spanish Spelling Bee.
Even members of the international community attended the event.
“Being bilingual is very important,” Viridiana Sánchez Cuevas, a member of the Mexican consulate, remarked in the competition. “Being able to write Spanish is even more important.”
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