Monday, December 14, 2015

National Spelling Bee for the Deaf

This past Thursday was the culmination of a 4 month project Nathanael worked on. It was the National Spelling Bee for the Deaf of Belize. It was one of the first projects he was given the opportunity to help with for the Ministry of Education in Belize

Nathanael was given two lists of words with about 300 words each. He then had to choose a sign or signs for each word. He had the opportunity to work closely with Andre Craig Macool, Deaf Belizean man. Mr. Macool helped to make sure that the signs chosen fit the Belizean regional ASL signs.

After the 600 words were confirmed, and signs were agreed upon; Nathanael aided in making a video of all of the signs with their spellings.  This was sent around the country.  The Deaf and hard of hearing students studied their words by watching Nathanael ;).

You can imagine Nathanael's confusion when we visited the Cayo Deaf school a month ago.  The students pointed at him.  They signed "movie".  Finally Nathanael realized that they recognized him from the study video!  What a fun thing for people all over the country to recognize who you are.

Nathanael really appreciated being able to work on the spelling bee for several reasons.The Spelling Bee is a valuable tool. It introduces the Deaf students to vocabulary.  The exposure happens in ASL as well as English. The students also improve their spelling skills  immensely . Some of the students walked away with prizes; but all of them have walked away with knowledge. This means that they are all winners.

Nathanael had a lot of fun and hopes to participate again he following year.


  1. How wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

  2. What a great creative way to connect with the community! Blessings.