Students from four high schools and a local youth center will Saturday compete in Morocco’s first Spelling Bee competition at Dar Chabab Al-Hay Mouqawama in Douar Smpsh.
The event, which will run from 4 to 6 p.m., is sponsored by U.S. Peace Corps and the Ouarzazate-Zagora branch of the Moroccan Association of English Teachers.
The competitors are from Dar Chabab Hay Al-Mouqawama, Ibn Haitam Technical High School, Moulay Rachid, Mohammed VI, Sid Douad High schools. Students will compete as individuals and teams.
Three of the top students from the solo Bee and the top three Team Bees will advance to the regional competition, said Mimi Duoug, the Peace Corps volunteer coordinating the Ouarzazate Spelling Bee.
Students from Zagora, Tinghir and Kelaat Mgouna are also participating in the competition.
Jim Dana, a Peace Corps health volunteer working in Azlag, a village near Kelaat Mgouna, approached MATE and officials at the local delegation of youth and sports about replicating the American contest in which competitors are eliminated as they fail to spell a given word correctly.
The program, which began in America in 1925, is now popular in many countries around the world. Some Moroccan students and teachers are familiar with the program because they have seen the famous movie, “Akeela and the Bee,’’ starring Larry Fisburne.
Ouarzazate and MATE officials embraced the idea because it’s a creative way to teach English.
By Abdelmoula Mdiouani