One of the most outstanding events carried out in the region of Alajuela is the English Festival. It started in 2014 as the Spelling Bee and the next year it turned into a festival to promote, in the students and the school community, positive attitudes towards the learning of English.

The main objectives of the festival are

  • to provide students with a space where they can interact and use the language, in meaningful and communicative situations, in order to motivate students to improve their linguistic skills.
  • to promote some peacefully intercultural space for students to engage, through a fruitful and dynamic participation, in the institutional, circuital, regional and national stages of the festival.
  • to involve the different actors of the school community: students, teachers, parents, to support the teaching and learning process of the foreign language.      


The festival consists of three categories: spelling Bee, Impromptu Speech and Impromptu Conversation.


The Costa Rica English Spelling Bee is held in order to encourage participation in extracurricular English-related activities, to support the learning of spelling and pronunciation in English, to foster healthy competition in an academic setting, and to promote enthusiasm about learning English.

A spelling bee is a spelling competition in which participants spell a word aloud letter by letter.  If the individual spells the word correctly on their first try, they remain in the competition and move on to the next round.  If an individual spells a word incorrectly, the participant is eliminated from the competition. The competition continues until there is only one winner.



Participants give a speech about a specific topic related to a communicative function in a short period. In first cycle, it is called impromptu speech with pictures.

Its purpose is to give the students the opportunity to develop the oral skill base on topics from the syllabus. This part of the festival should correspond to a similar daily classroom practice.




Impromptu Conversations are one-on-one conversations between a student and a trained Interlocutor. Audiences will watch as conversations are judged based on adherence to the topic, appropriate exchanging of information, listening indicators, transitions, feedback, grammar and vocabulary.

Impromptu Conversations are an option for advanced speakers who can meet the expectations and proficiencies no matter the type of school they attend (academic, night, technicalor bilingual). Participants may include those who have English-speaking parents or primary caregivers, have lived in an English-speaking country, or have attended a private school or institution.

The competition is open to all students who consider themselves proficient in English.

For more information see the resourse section.