Manel Baragaoui, Professional Fellows Program (PFP) 2017

As an English Language teacher, Manel is the first Tunisian who teaches English through sign language to deaf Tunisians. Her experience as a Professional Fellows Program (PFP) alumna inspired her to create the first English teaching book that uses sign language – entitled “Let’s handspeak English”- as a follow-up project. “Being the first and only teacher of English who teaches English through Tunisian Sign Language was not enough, especially that teaching materials are unavailable. My project was to create an English book designed for the Tunisian deaf and hard of hearing community and start using it in class”, says Manel about her book.

Manel points out the role her exchange experience played in enhancing both her skills and career goals, saying that “being in a direct contact with the American deaf community was very enriching and enabled me to gain a thorough understanding of the deaf culture in the USA. It was very interesting to be part of not only the American people but also of the deaf community.” PFP allowed Manel to learn from experts and professionals in the field, and it gave her the chance to have a first-hand experience with the deaf community in the U.S.