Havering students buzz into the final of spelling bee competition

PUBLISHED: 12:26 30 June 2016 | UPDATED: 12:33 30 June 2016

Spelling Bee's Arbi Bytyqi and Matthew Harris with teacher Nicole Machin

Spelling Bee's Arbi Bytyqi and Matthew Harris with teacher Nicole Machin


Winning a national foreign language spelling bee won’t be as easy as ABC for three students.

Arbi Bytyqi and Matthew Harris, both 12, have been working hard in the hope of being crowned national Spanish spelling bee champion.

The students from Hall Mead School, Marlborough Gardens, Upminster, will compete in the final at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, tomorrow.

They must successfully translate and spell as many Spanish words as they can in a minute, from a list of 200.

Year 7 student Amy Sullivan, from Frances Bardsley Academy for Girls, Brentwood Road, Romford, will also be at the competition, hoping to become the national German spelling bee champion.

Year 7 pupil Arbi said he was feeling very relaxed ahead of the competition.

He said: “I’m feeling really good!

“I have been practising every day with my sister who will say a word and I have to spell it.”

Arbi, who only started learning Spanish in September, said he expected to get to the final.

He said: “I did, because I have practised a lot.

“I’m very excited to go to the final, I can’t wait.”

Fellow competitor Matthew also in Year 7, said his mum had been revising with him.

He said: “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and I’ve really enjoyed learning Spanish so far.

“I would say that I’m quite excited.

“I don’t really get nervous most of the time, it’s all about having fun.”

Head of Spanish at Hall Mead, Nicole Machin said she felt like a “proud parent” ahead of the competition final.

She said: “There has been a lot of practise!

“Lots of lunchtime spent revising and I know they’ve been doing extra work at home.

“It’s our first year teaching Spanish in Year 7.

“It’s fantastic to get the recognition and it’s quite an intense competition.

“They only have a minute to spell as many Spanish words as possible and they have to make sure they speak as clearly as possible to make sure the judges understand.

“We wish them both the best of luck.”

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