Word Wizard

Can parents come to the semi-final?

Unfortunately parents cannot come to the semi-finals due to capacity of the venues. Pupils competing in the final may be able to bring a parent as a guest. 

Back to top

How are pupils chosen for the final?

The highest scoring pupils in each language and level from across all semi-finals will make it to the competition final.  

Back to top

What are the prizes for the winners?

All pupils taking part at any stage of Word Wizard receive a certificate for their participation. At the final the 1st-3rd place pupils in each language and level receive a shield and 1st place receives a trophy for their school. 

Back to top

Can I enter pupils into Word Wizard in other languages e.g. Italian/Polish/Urdu?

At the moment the competition is only running in French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin and Spanish and we are focussing on developing the competition for the languages we already have established. We may add more languages in the future but this would require external support to create the relevant materials and we would need to be sure there is enough interest across the country to run the competition. 

Back to top

Will the competition be expanded to primary schools/senior phase pupils?

The purpose of Word Wizard is to provide teachers and pupils with an exciting and motivating challenge during the secondary element of Broad General Education, however we may look at expanding the competition in the future. If you work in a different sector and would like to view the word lists we can send them to you for your own use. 

Back to top
How can I receive the word lists and information pack?

You can register for the competition via the ‘Register’ tab above, at which point you will receive the word lists for the languages you enter and the information pack.

Back to top

What level should I enter my pupils into?

You can view the level guide on the ‘Levels’ tab at the top of this page.

Back to top

I have S2/S3 pupils learning a new language for the first time this year, can they enter the beginner competition?

Unfortunately not, only S1 pupils can enter the beginner competition. If S2 or S3 pupils learning a new language would like the challenge of entering the intermediate competition they can do so. We can also send schools the beginner lists to work on in class. 

Back to top

How should I help pupils practise?

We have uploaded the word lists onto the online practice tool Quizlet which pupils can access in school or at home. Pupils can use flashcards, play games and hear the words spoken and spelled out by a native speaker. Links to the Quizlet tools will be sent out with the word lists. As the competition progresses pupils can work in teams, with language assistants or receive support from older pupils. 

Back to top

How many passes are pupils allowed when spelling?

Pupils can pass as many times as they like during their minute of spelling, however in the case of a tie the number of passes will be taken into consideration. If pupils appear to be passing strategically they, or their school, may be penalised. 

Back to top

How many pupils can I enter into the semi-final?

We will contact schools in early 2018 to let you know how many pupils you can enter into the semi-final. This will depend on the total number of pupils entering the competition overall and is usually between 1-4 pupils per language and level.

Back to top

How should I decide which pupils to take to the semi-final?

You should run competitions in class to select which pupils to bring to the semi-final, using the rules outlined in the information pack. If you have a large number of pupils starting at Stage 1 you may need to run more than one class competition. 

Back to top
I have been told I can bring x number of pupils to the semi-final but I have more pupils who would like to take part. Can I enter them as well?

We advise schools in early 2018 how many pupils they can bring to the semi-final. This is based on the total number of pupils entering and is affected by venue capacity and the logistics of running the day. Many schools would like to bring more pupils but we can only fit in as many places as there are available. In previous years we have been able to offer more places closer to the event, but we will only do this if we can offer the same opportunity to all schools. We will contact schools directly if any extra places become available.

Back to top


Word Wizard is a multilingual spelling competition open to S1-S3 pupils learning French, Gaelic, German, Mandarin or Spanish. 

The competition provides a perfect opportunity for language teachers to address The Attainment Challenge by allowing pupils of all levels the chance to excel in language learning. Word Wizard develops skills in acquisition of vocabulary, pronunciation, spelling, recall and public speaking; not to mention the many literacy outcomes it addresses. This hugely motivating competition encourages links with other curricular areas and with health and wellbeing, culminating in a high profile celebration of language learning.

Word Wizard is organised by SCILT, Scotland's National Centre for Languages and CISS, the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools, with support from the University Council for Modern Languages Scotland and the Universities of Strathclyde, St Andrews, Aberdeen and Dundee. Word Wizard is adapted from the Spelling Bee competition, organised by Routes into Languages and devised by Jane Driver of the Voyager Academy.

  • Word Wizard 2018
  • Finals
  • Videos
  • Testimonials


Latest News

View all news

Chinese Arts and Culture Festival, Edinburgh 3-5 August 2018 More...

SCEN Digital Map More...

‘Inequity for students’ as secondary subject options narrow More...

SCILT Digital Internship More...