Sanako UK Ltd

Sanako UK teams up with Routes into Languages to help students prepare for the national spelling bee competition!


The National Spelling Bee Competition is a fantastic way to make learning vocabulary fun and competitive!

If you’re new to the Spelling Bee, the Y7 version has four stages with between 50-100 words to learn at each stage (300 altogether). Students are to learn, for example 50 words at stage 1, and they are given a minute to spell out as many words as possible.

For example, they are given the English word and must say and spell it out using the French (or German or Spanish) alphabet the word. It’s a fun,
motivating way of getting your Year 7 students to learn some of the key vocabulary they need to know. Often all students in Y7 will do the competition in the autumn term, then there will be class competitions and the best 2-4 students from each class go through to a school final. This time they are at stage 2, and need to learn more words (another 100 in addition to the original 50).

This usually takes place during the first part of the spring term and will end in a school competition in February. Then the best 2-4 students in each school go through to the regional final. These are held in universities across each region, such as the University of Hull in the Yorkshire and Humber region, from March – May. Students who compete at this level are at stage 3 and must learn another 50 words, so 200 in all.


Students can now practise their spelling and pronunciation of individual words and sentences for the primary and secondary spelling bee and translation bee competitions, using the Sanako Connect
software. This has been provided for free by Sanako UK, who is sponsoring the competition, and will
give students fantastic independent support, where they receive feedback directly from the online
software to see if their spelling and pronunciation are correct. No need for a teacher or parent to
provide the support, which is a fantastic to support equality of opportunity in learning in languages,
as it does not depend on students having support at home.


The Spelling Bee words have been reviewed in line with changes to the GCSE examinations (to be examined for the first time in 2026) and have been updated the list to reflect vocabulary choices made by all three awarding organisations. All words on the Spelling Bee word lists also appear on all three GCSE wordlists.

This year for the first time, students can use the online Sanako Connect software ‘flashcard’ tool and ‘Pronounce’ tool to help them to memorise the vocabulary and pronounce it correctly. When they say the words, the software gives them feedback from zero to five stars.

We’re delighted to be able to support this fantastic competition. You can find out more and register for the Y7 Spelling Bee, the Primary Spelling Bee and the Y8/9 Translation Bee here