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Guadalajara hosts first international English spelling bee contest

By Magdalena Loredo

Teaching a second language is not an easy or overnight task. It requires a lot of knowledge to have the appropriate methods and tools. Over 97 percent of students in Mexico are graduating from all levels of education with very limited English skills. So some organizations are starting to implement projects to help students master English. For example, AMCO, one of the main providers of educational materials for learning English in Mexico and other countries, came up with a novel idea.

On Saturday, May 30, over 800 children, ages 7 to 15, from approximately 100 schools in Spain, Chile, Guatemala and other countries participated in the first international spelling bee contest in Guadalajara, Mexico. The objective of the competition was to stimulate learning English, which begins in elementary school.

Guillermo de Leon, director of AMCO, explained that to successfully teach English, teachers must not only have a good command of English but should be required to use learning methods — and spelling is one of these tools —  to correctly teach English vocabulary.

AMCO works with more than one thousand schools in Mexico, Spain, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Chile. The company is supplying kindergarten, elementary and middle school teachers the necessary teaching tools to improve the teaching of English as a second language. 

Manuel Portero, educational consultant for Spain AMCO, shared how it is a historic moment in history where children of the 21st Century are being taught by teachers of the 20th Century using 19th Century methods.


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