Why I’m amazed/curious about Netflix’s ‘Spelling the Dream’

Why do certain groups of children ace the US Spelling Bee competitions, year after year? What can we learn from their success?

So I just finished watching ‘Spelling the Dream’ on Netflix and I was amazed at how Indian American children were consistently winning these spelling competitions, year after year. I mean, English isn’t even these children’s parents’ first language! Here’s what I nailed it down to:

1. Indian families are (on the whole) multi-lingual. Children are very comfortable with the study of languages plus English is an official national language in India so this makes sense.

2. English is seen as cool. Last time I went to India, groups of young Hindi kids were speaking English and everyone in the group was Hindi. That wouldn’t happen in most countries right? On top of that, speaking English is considered a necessity, an absolute minimum to get ahead in your studies.

3. It’s become the Olympics for Indians in the US. They’re inspired by others who’ve won the competition and their vision is tangible. It all comes down to role models.

4. They’re super driven and curious. Their routines are structured and it’s a collective family activity, everyone gets involved! They genuinely enjoy learning and taking it all in.

Watch my thoughts in the video here and add this one to your list!

Netflix's Spelling the Dream documentary

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