Han Ai Lin, an 11-year-old fifth-grader from Harbin, China won the 2017 SPBCN National Spelling Bee on April 4, 2017, correctly spelling the word fidgety.

“I am really happy and I never expected this. Probably my love for reading English books helped me in winning the competition,” said Ai Lin who attends the Harbin Normal University Elementary School. “I shall be reading more books and learning more about the English language.”

This young girl discovered her love for reading when she was in second grade. “I was an exchange student in America back then, when I had my first language test. It showed that my English level was equivalent to preschool.”

Ai Lin got very disappointed at the result. She wanted to improve herself, so she became a frequent library visitor. She loved reading books about science, and after seven months her library card showed that she had borrowed nearly one thousand books. Her teachers were very surprised when they gave her a final test. Her Lexile level soared up to 817, which is equivalent to the reading level of a fifth-grade American student.

Competing in the Spelling Bee of China helped her to improve her knowledge of English vocabulary and learn more difficult words. She said, “Only those who love spelling can win this competition.” She also adds. “If you want to win, don’t give up! Spell until the end!”