The US embassy in Cairo supports the first-ever Al-Azhar National Spelling Bee Competition, in partnership with Al-Azhar Institution.
Hundreds of kindergarten, primary, middle, and secondary school students from all governorates of Egypt will participate in this competition at the local, district, governorate, and regional levels. The final competition will be held on 1 February 2023 in Cairo to determine one winner from each grade.
US English language specialist and Merriam-Webster editor Peter Sokolowski provided training to Al-Azhar Institution teachers on developing and implementing the Spelling Bee. During the final competition, Sokolowski and several American officers from the US embassy in Cairo will serve as official pronouncers for the competition.
In a video announcing the launch of the spelling bee, Ambassador Daniel Rubinstein, Chargé d’Affaires of the US embassy in Cairo, highlighted the importance of English language skills, stating “English language is an important tool that can help students have greater access to academic and economic opportunities. It is one of the primary languages of science, technology, engineering, and math. And learning English can help people interact with different cultures and people.”
The US embassy in Cairo’s cooperation with Al-Azhar in developing and implementing the Spelling Bee is only the latest step in the US embassy’s continued support of English language teaching and learning in Egypt. Since 2007, the Regional English Language Office (RELO) of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo has partnered with Al-Azhar through the English Language Resource Center to support Al-Azhar University faculty. Since 2021, RELO has trained over 600 English teachers at Al-Azhar institutes, who have shared these skills and knowledge with nearly 6,000 teachers, benefitting the hundreds of thousands of students they teach in every governorate in Egypt.