Christal Schermeister

Spelling Coach

2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee championship finalist, 2012 semi-finalist, regional spelling pronouncer and longtime spelling enthusiast.

Call Rates

Duration Price
30 minutes $110.00
60 minutes $200.00

Tags

pronouncer coach spellingbee orthography scripps finalist

Biography

Since she was very young, Christal Schermeister has been passionate about the English language and spelling in particular, participating in every bee she could find, as a speller, judge, or pronouncer!

In 2012 and 2013 she spelled her way through the highly competitive Broward County region in Florida, qualifying for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. (Broward County is the sixth largest school system in the nation, with over 260,000 students and 310 schools.) In 2012 she finished 22nd, and in 2013 was a championship finalist, placing 10th.

 No longer eligible to compete in the national bee, Christal turned her attention to making a contribution to the spelling community that meant so much to her. She’s been very active in South Florida spelling since then, serving as judge and pronouncer at the local and regional levels, pronouncing in 13 bees for over 1,380 students. She also mentored younger spellers, sharing what she wishes she had known when she was where they were.

Christal’s expertise is augmented by her father, Mark. He served as her coach during her tenure as a speller, and is also active in the South Florida spelling community. They can answer any question a speller or parent might have about coaching, motivation, inspiration, what to study, when to study it, and the order to study it in.

So - if you’re thinking, “I want to spell- I just don’t know where to start,” or “Help! I won the regional bee and am going to D.C.!  What do I do?” Christal can help you rise to the next level.

If you’re interested in running a bee and don’t know where to begin, or are a pronouncer trying to decipher those diacritical markings in Merriam-Webster’s, Christal and Mark will walk you through the process, explaining the sometimes confusing world of etymologies, pronunciations, definitions, and languages of origin.

Due to their involvement with local and regional bees, Christal and Mark are not available for consultation between the first week of March and the first week of April each year.

 

 

 

 

2/11/2017 9:34:29 AM,
Christal Schermeister replied:

Hi,

That’s a really good question, almost every speller wrestles with it sooner or later. Although there’s no set formula for an order of study, a good place to start is by looking at the odds of getting a particular language at the national spelling bee. According to Scott Remer in his book “Words of Wisdom,” (which I recommend highly), here are the languages of origin ranked according to percentage of words in the Scripps National Spelling Bee:

Language

%

Latin

27

Greek

21

French

16

Middle English

10

German

5

Italian

4

Spanish

3

Russian

2

Persian/Hindi/Urdu

2

Japanese

2

Arabic

1.69

Portuguese

1

Dutch

1

Afrikaans

1

Sanskrit

1

Yiddish

0.5

Hebrew

0.5

Turkish

0.4

Hungarian

0.26

Chinese

0.26

Malay

0.26

Samoan/Tahitian

0.26

Norwegian

0.13

Swedish

0.13

Gaelic

0.13

Welsh

0.13

Polish

0.13

Finnish

0.13

Tagalog

0.13

Hawaiian

0.13

Egyptian

0.13

Note that the first four make up the majority of words; I would suggest starting there, and then allocating appropriate study hours to the remaining languages.

Another thing to consider is studying roots: take a look at Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Prefixes, Suffixes, and Combining Forms: I would rate that as important as any of the languages listed above.

Hope this helps!

 -Christal Schermeister

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