Amarbir Dhaliwal is not your average nine year old.
He learned to read and write at the age of two, and parents, Shinder and Gurpreet Dhaliwal, took notice.
“He spelled the word “constitution” perfectly when he was two-and-a-half-years-old, which made me realize that he is no ordinary child,” said his mom, Shinder.
Amarbir’s aptitude for spelling has grown, and recently landed him the opportunity to represent B.C. at the national spelling bee championship in October 2021.
Now, the Grade 3 Uplands Montessori student is heading to Toronto this month for the Spelling Bee of Canada’s 35th national championship.
Shinder describes her son as a “sweet kid” who loves to read books and has always had a passion for the language arts and mathematics.
“He likes to watch documentaries on history and like every other kid, he loves to play video games,” she elaborated.
Amarbir is preparing for the upcoming competition by studying the official word list provided by the Spelling Bee of Canada, and reading the dictionary for further preparation.
Shinder said her son seems “pretty confident” about the competition.
“I cannot describe the feeling,” she said. “It is amazing to see the smile on his face when he wins a competition or does well in an exam.”
Shinder went on to explain that because Amarbir is advanced in his studies, these competitions are just a means to keep him occupied.
“He has already completed all the curriculum work up to Grade 5 mathematics in school,” she said.
At the end of the day, Shinder said her son is still a child and fondly recalls a time when he couldn’t pronounce one word, in particular, correctly.
“He never pronounced a word wrong as a baby,” Mom said. “So when he wasn’t able to pronounce the word ‘Nanaimo’ on a display sign correctly, we couldn’t stop laughing.”
Shinder said they are “very excited” to travel to Toronto to see their son spell on stage.
“This will be his first time on stage competing in front of the public,” she said.
Amarbir will be representing the primary division for B.C. at the competition on Sunday, June 12.