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Vocabulary 'Bee'


Three cheers for the video game producer, GSN, and the Princeton Review for launching the National Vocabulary Championship this fall. It will feature new twists on the time-tested model of the national spelling and geography bees, and an emphasis on the crucial advantages of reading comprehension and communication precision afforded by having a good vocabulary.


The National Vocabulary Championship will have a nationally-televised finale for 50 contestants in February. Students can enter the contest by scoring high on an online national qualifying exam or competing in eight live citywide competitions in selected cities. Each finalist will receive a free trip to New York City. The ultimate winner will receive $40,000 deposited in a higher education "529" savings plan. In total, GSN will award over $100,000 to top-performing students and their schools this year through the program.


According to the sponsor, national reading scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress have dropped across all demographic lines in recent years, especially from 1999 to 2004. The National Commission on Writing for America's Families, Schools, and Colleges reports that more than 50 percent of college freshman cannot write papers without language errors, analyze arguments, or synthesize information. The contest is intended to help reverse these problems by focusing on the basic skills of vocabulary building.


Registration information and study materials are available on  



By Susan Darst Williams Grammar Granny 039 2006


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