WASHINGTON – It'll take more than spelling to win this year's National Spelling Bee. The youngsters will have to know some definitions as well.
For the first time, vocabulary will be a part of the Scripps National Spelling Bee when the competition is held next month near the nation's capital.
The spellers will still take part in the traditional on-stage spelling rounds with the familiar bell, but they'll also take multiple-choice vocabulary tests to help determine the semifinalists and the finalists.
The final rounds will look the same, with spellers eliminated until there's a champion.
Bee Executive Director Paige Kimble says the changes help reinforce the purpose of the bee — which is to encourage students to broaden their knowledge of the English language.
This year's bee takes place May 28-30.