The country's first English spelling competition, "The Daily Star Spelling Bee", kicked off yesterday.
The contest, taking place on the web at www.champs21.com, aims at students from class six to ten of both Bangla and English medium schools.
Spelling Bee is an internationally acclaimed competition that has been introduced in around 50 other countries so far.
In Bangladesh, it has been introduced by Champs21.com with The Daily Star. It is sponsored by Horlicks.
Participants will have to register themselves online or through their mobile phones by sending SMS.
For SMS registration, a student should type SB and send it to 16252.
The first round of the contest will continue till March 10, 2012. Students may play the game as many times as they wish. Only the best score will be considered.
Top spellers from the first round will be selected and moved to a division level round.
From the division level round, all over the nation, the top 72 spellers will move to a TV based round.
Students may get word clues and help from The Daily Star. It will have a special section for Spelling Bee from where the daily words for the game will come.
Interested students who do not have access to PCs may access the competition by going online through their mobile phones, as the website has a convenient mobile application.
A Spelling Bee team has been preparing the ground for the contest from January 16 by visiting 450 top schools in Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Sylhet and Khulna.
While holding meetings with English teachers, head teachers, and principals the team explained the competition format, modalities and training of students for the competition.
Teachers overwhelmingly appreciated the concept and thanked the initiators for introducing the programme.
A card based word game called "Spellato" has also been introduced to guide the students with types of words that might come up in the competition. The card game is available in book stores for purchase.