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Student outlasts 20,000 competitors to claim victory in NJ Spelling Bee

Nov 12. 2017
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By THE NATION

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FROM 20,000 contenders nationwide, narrowed down to 100 finalists from the country’s four regions, Suankularb Wittayalai School student Pittayuth Yoosiri has emerged as the winner of the 20th national NJ Spelling Bee 2017.

“It was really unexpected because I thought one of the competitors would perform better than I would,” Pittayuth said after winning the final round at Pathum Thani’s Rangsit University on Saturday. 

“I would like to thank my adviser for all the support and my friends for encouraging me to push myself harder,” Pittayuth said.

As the new champion, Pittayuth will be granted a royal audience and receive his trophy from HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. 

The 20th national NJ Spelling Bee 2017 winner, Suankularb Wittayalai School student Pittayuth Yoosiri, centre, poses for the camera along with runners-up during the event’s final round at Pathum Thani’s Rangsit University on Saturday.

He will also receive a scholarship to study English in the United States and a cash prize worth Bt15,000, while his adviser will receive Bt20,000. 

The runners-up will also receive trophies and a cash prizes of Bt10,000. The first runner-up is Kritin Eakthunyasakul from Triam Udom Suksa School, while Tanyapat Chaiseri from Patumwan Demonstration School at Srinakharinwirot University came in second. Kwanlada Srijomkwan from Mahidol Wittayanusorn School and Arisa Sittichokkananon from Patumwan Demonstration School tied for third.

The NJ Spelling Bee 2017 started in June with more than 20,000 students from across the country participating in online rounds. 

One hundred students were then selected to compete in regional rounds before the final battle on Saturday at Rangsit University’s Arthit Ourairat Building.

The 100 regional contenders were screened through four rounds starting with “Multiple Mind Benders”, which required contestants to choose the correct word after listening to their options and sample sentences spoken by the presenters. 

The 50 competitors with the highest scores participated in the second round “Write It Right” in which competitors wrote words on paper, with misspellings ending in disqualification. 

The third step including just 10 competitors called “Guess What?”, in which they formed teams of pairs competing to guess the correct word based on clues offered by the presenters. For each pair, five words had to be guessed based on three clues each. 

In the final battle “Last Minute”, the competitors orally spelled words chosen by the presenters. The competitor who spelled the most words correctly in 60 seconds was named the winner.

The NJ Spelling Bee, which has been organised for two decades now, has grown in popularity as demonstrated by the increasing number of participants each year.

“We’re very proud to be a part in helping Thai students improve their English skills. As our world becomes a world without borders, English has become a part of everyone’s life and no matter whether you like it or not, everyone needs to use the English language,” Pimpimol Kongkreingkrai, editor of NJ Digital, said yesterday.

Nation Multimedia Group in collaboration with NJ Digital, the Embassy of the United States and F&N Magnolia Plus Ginkgo jointly organises the NJ Spelling Bee to encourage young people to learn English vocabulary.

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