Hi all. I have been having this question in my mind for quite sometime. Not sure where to ask or if this is the right place. But since I've become a member, let me begin my first post here with this question.

What's the point of spelling competition?

Last year I saw a programme on BBC1 where British kids took part to find out the national best speller. The contestants had to stand up on the stage and spell out loud in the air in front of studio audience. Recently I saw similar thing happened on the Aussie soap opera Neighbours.

I really don't get it. What's the point of spelling like that? I know spelling competition can be useful but what I am talking about here is the way they have to spell it. Not the way they have to stand up on the stage. Not the way they have to do it in front of studio audience. But the way they have to spell out loud in the air. Why? Does that ever come useful in real life? What purpose does it serve?

I think in real life you never ever do a thing like that. In real life you read, write, listen, speak, and in this digital age, you also type.

When you speak or listen, there is no spelling involved at all. You don't need to know how to spell the words correctly in order to speak. You don't need to know if words being said are spelled correctly when you listen.

The only time in real life when you could ever need to spell correctly or to tell if words are spelled correctly is when you write, type or read.

Please, anyone from English-speaking countries, enlighten me. Especially Britons or Australians as I am not sure whether the Americans do the same. Why spell like that in spelling competition? What's the point of it? How can it benefit the spellers or anyone in real life? Why not spell on paper or on computer like what people really do in real life?

Others from non-English-speaking countries, do you spell like that in spelling competition in your country? We certainly don't from where I come from.

My ideal spelling competition would be either:

a) by giving the contestants a list of words to choose from (on each contestant's screen or on central screen). This way you can have all the contestants doing it at the same time. They can write the correct choice on paper on enter it into the computer. It would save time and it would be fair for everyone because they would spell the same set of words.

b) if that's too easy then give them each a piece of paper to write down their spellings. Again this would save time and be fair for everyone.

c) if that isn't modern enough then give them each a keyboard to spell into the computer! Fast and fair!

Thanks in advance.