New to English, but 11-year-old 'information sponge' is nailing school spelling bee

CBNews Newfoundland Marios Al Bazi came to Newfoundland with mom and brother 2 years ago as refugees.
An 11-year-old boy who came to Canada as a refugee only two years ago with very little knowledge of English is now competitive in class spelling bees.
Marios Al Bazi, and his family, originally from Iraq, were brought to St. John's by a group that raised money to sponsor their immigration from Lebanon — where they had lived for the last several years.
It's been a productive two years for Marios, who's gone from barely being able to speak a word of English to placing fourth in his Grade 6 class spelling bee earlier this week.
"I got 28 out of 35 right and I had fun doing it. I enjoyed doing it," he told the St. John's Morning Show on Wednesday.
Spelling words like fluorescent, paralysis, despondency and instantaneous might be a challenge for any native English speaker. But thanks to his drive to learn, and help from mentor Peter Jackson, Marios has quickly wrapped his head around words just like those.
"He's like a little information sponge. He learns everything as much as he can," Jackson said. "We practice at home and I've also got him into reading the newspaper every once in a while."
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