Eight-year-old Amarbir Dhaliwal, a student at Uplands Montessori, is representing British Columbia at Canada’s 34th annual Spelling Bee Championship on Oct. 3, 2021. (Shinder Dhaliwal/Special to Langley Advance Times)

8-year-old Langley student to represent B.C. at national Spelling Bee Championship

Canada-wide competition to be held Oct. 3

  • Sep. 21, 2021 12:00 a.m.


It was the word eight-year-old Amarbir Dhaliwal’s opponent spelled incorrectly during the regional British Columbia spelling bee championship. It was now Amarbir’s chance to earn the title of provincial champion, cementing his place in the national competition.


He did it. Amarbir spelled the word correctly.

Now, there was just one more word standing between Amarbir and the provincial spelling bee title.



No hesitation; he did it. Amarbir was heading to the Canada-wide competition.

“Very happy,” is what the Grade 3 student at Uplands Montessori recalled feeling immediately after learning he had won.

“This is one of my talents and I want to be the best at it,” Amarbir told the Langley Advance Times.

He will be representing the province at the 2021 Spelling Bee of Canada Championship on Sunday, Oct. 3.

Mom Shinder Dhaliwal said Amarbir has been assessed at a Grade 10 level for mathematics and English language skills. The idea to enter the spelling competition came after the family and school district were brainstorming how to continue to challenge Amarbir and continue his learning.

“We were always looking for ways to keep him busy, getting more and more material to do… [the] school was already running out of material for him to keep him busy,” said Shinder.

The mom of two called Amarbir’s interest in learning a “blessing” but that she also needs to remind herself of his age, despite that he’s already learning material years ahead of his age group.

“It’s very challenging to understand a child who’s not his age, and who’s way beyond his age,” she reflected.

“Then at the same time, you have to keep… reminding yourself all the time that, don’t expect a 14-year-old thing from him even though he does behave like a 14-year-old all the time,” she laughed.

Shinder quit her job last her to better nurture Amarbir’s abilities.

“When a kid already knows, way more things than you, then you gotta keep up with that,” she said.

For now Amarbir is keeping busy with preparing for the national competition. He plans to study the 399 words suggested by Spelling Bee of Canada to prepare for the event next month.

“I’ll try my best,” he said about studying the entirety of the list.

To cheer on Amarbir at the national Spelling Bee of Canada competition, tune into CBC Sports on Oct. 3 9 a.m PST.

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Langley Advance Times