‘Akeelah and The Bee’ revolves around the story of Akeelah, an 11 year-old girl from South Los
Angeles tries to make her way to National Spelling Bee competition in Washington DC. Her life is not easy, her father died when she was 4 year old, her mother ignores her and her brother is involved with local troublemakers. She is a smart girl, but harshly underprivileged. Her life however changed when she met Dr. Larabee, a former champion of National Spelling Bee. He agreed to train her, much to her delight. Together, they train and overcome all obstacles that came their way. In this essay, I am going to discuss and relate the lessons learnt in the class with this movie.
Akeelah is a girl born with high linguistic intelligence. She can understand, acquire and memorize words and language with ease. This is proven when she easily scored an A+ in her spelling test despite not studying for the test at all. She also excels in Scrabbles and eventually, spelling bee. Apart from that, Akeelah also possesses a high interpersonal intelligence. She understands perfectly Dr. Larabee’s intention when he decided not to train Akeelah anymore, since Akeelah reminds him of his late daughter, Denise. She also understands why her best friend, Georgia is no longer wanted to hang out with her. She utilized her intelligences, both interpersonal and he linguistic intelligence to help her overcome challenges that came her way.
Now, if we further analyze her personality, we found out that she has a low self-esteem. She had doubt on her own ability, and afraid of what people might say about her. She was afraid to be called ‘freak’ and ‘smarty pants’ by other people. It was her friend, Georgia who encouraged her to try for the spelling bee contest. She actually failed to spell a word during the district spelling bee contest because she was too nervous. Luckily, due to her hard works, encouragement from people around her and Dr. Larabee’s technique, she managed to overcome her fear and won National Spelling Bee.
We also can detect mnemonic devices used in this film. Mnemonic devices are words, sentences or poems that help you memorize easily. In order to concentrate, she skipped while spelling. She also taps her hand whenever she wants to spell or memorize a word. We also can observe that she use a lot of flashcards in order to help her memorize words. These mnemonic devices help her in achieving her dream to win the National Spelling Bee competition.