Spelling Bee creates a buzz

25 August 2019 | Education

Linea Kapofi won N$5 000 in Sanlam and Unam’s third tertiary Spelling Bee, ahead of Rossy Tjiriange (N$2 500) and Helena Ilovu (N$1 500) recently.

The Spelling Bee was initiated with the aim of providing a platform for students to practice and expand their English vocabulary and use by exposing them to “difficult” words.

This year 44 students from the University of Namibia (Unam) and the International University of Management (IUM) participated. It was a tough battle, but after multiple rounds and a knock out stage, the top prize went to Kapofi along with a floating trophy, an English Dictionary, participation medal and a stationery pack.

Speaking at the opening, Sanlam’s Hilaria Graig said that while English is not the first language of most Namibians, it is the official language in the country. She stressed that students thus need to be exposed to English and use the language properly especially when it comes to academic writing. Graig added that she was pleased with the turnout, which indicates that the Spelling Bee is a worthwhile and much sought after initiative.

According to Unam Language Centre Director Jill Izaks, “The establishment of the Sanlam Unam Spelling Bee in 2017 by the Language Centre, was primarily to raise awareness of the importance of the word itself”.

She added that students’ incorrect spelling and use of vocabulary in academic writing has become a great concern. “Research shows that students have inadequate receptive and productive vocabulary knowledge to cope with the academic demands of tertiary education. The spelling bee is therefore an excellent platform to raise awareness of the importance of vocabulary knowledge.”