Top spellers from the WC
24 October 2019
In the national finals of the 2019 Sanlam WOW Spelling Festival held on 19 October at Stellenbosch University, the overall winners in Grades 2, 5, 6 and 7 were all from the Western Cape.
A total of 376 learners from 187 schools across South Africa took part in the national finals. Learners flexed their spelling muscles in Afrikaans Home language (Grade 1-10) and English First Additional Language (Grade 6-9).
In order to reach the finals, learners had to compete in a series of local and provincial rounds held across the country during the year.
WOW supports multilingualism and this year 84 learners from the Northern, Eastern and Western Cape took part in the Sanlam WOW Spelling Festival for English First Additional Language. Since 2017, WOW has offered a spelling festival for isiXhosa learners in Grades 6 and 7 in four districts in the Western Cape. This year, a pilot spelling festival for grade 3 was launched in one of the Western Cape districts.
In the section for English Additional Language for learners from Grades 6 to 9, the Western Cape shone. Five of the top twelve learners were from the Western Cape and four from the Eastern Cape.
”Every year I think that the standard is very high, and then the learners outdo themselves,” said Fiona van Kerwel, project manager of the WOW programme.
Saartjie Botha, director of the Toyota SU Woordfees and the WOW project, concurred: “The standard was even higher this year. Learners had to compete in up to 80 rounds in order to have competitors fall out. The competition has also grown. More than 700 schools took part this year in the Sanlam Woordfees Spelling Festival. This means that more than 100 schools throughout the country are participating in this remarkable festival.”
The WOW National Spelling Festival is now in its eighth year. WOW, an acronym for Words Open Worlds, works to encourage a love of words and reading in young learners.