The National Spelling Bee is not a new experience for Jordan Hoffman.

The National Spelling Bee is not a new experience for Jordan Hoffman.

As a sixth grader in 2010, she traveled to Washington, D.C., and spelled both words correctly in the second and third rounds. However, when combined with the score from the written test, it was not enough to move Jordan on to further rounds.

“I am really excited and thankful that I get to return,” said Hoffman, now a seventh grader at Pleasant Lea Middle School in Lee’s Summit. “My whole family has helped me study. I am just excited to get to go again.”

Jordan was named the 2011 Jackson County Spelling Bee Champion in March, spelling the word “accolade” to win her second title. The 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee begins Tuesday with the written test. Spellers must spell 25 words. Each word will be recited with pronunciations, part of speech, origin and definition. It will also be used in a sentence. The word and information will be repeated with a slight pause before the next word. Each word is worth one point and all spellings count toward the preliminary score.

The preliminary rounds begin Wednesday with the second and third oral rounds. For each correct word, points are earned that count toward the speller’s overall score. The preliminary rounds will be aired on

The semifinalists are announced Wednesday following the oral rounds. No more than 50 spellers will advance, and all semifinal rounds are aired live on ESPN beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday. The finals are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, aired live on ABC, Comcast Cable channel 12.

Jordan said she is concentrating on studying patterns and roots of words this year to help prepare. She said she is also working on learning different languages to help identify unknown words in the bee.

“Words are derived from different languages,” she said. “If you have never seen the word, then knowing its language of origin can help you guess the correct spelling.”

Jordan said she believes that she spends on average four to six hours on Saturday and Sunday and as much time that is available during the week studying words and taking practice tests.

“I really enjoy spelling words, so for me, practicing is a lot of fun,” said Jordan, who also plays the piano and sings in the Lee’s Summit Youth Chorale. “My goal is to do my best and have fun. That is what is important.”

Jordan said one of her fondest memories of last year’s National Spelling Bee was meeting the other spellers, many of whom she has kept in touch with during the last year.

“I feel like I have a slight advantage because I know what to expect from the competition,” she said. “But what I like most is meeting all of the spellers and the staff. I like making new friends, and it is neat to meet all of the contestants. I am ready.”