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  1. #1
    Carlhya's Avatar
    Carlhya is offline Newbie
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    Exclamation ESL Teaching to Blind People...

    Hi! The other day I entered to a classroom and I saw a perso who cannot see. I was shocked at the beginning because I don't know how a teacher can deal with that if she/he is teaching a language. I need some help in trying to help this person learn English if his native language is Spanish! I know it is a good oportunity to learn something new and helping at the same time.
    Do you have any idea?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: ESL Teaching to Blind People...

    I had a blind student in a Cambridge PET class several years ago. There were some Braille ESL materials available, though very few. The only book available then of about the right level, was the exercise/homework book that went with a coursebook- only the exercise book was available because it had no pictures, etc- it was an old book. The other students were very co-operative and agreed to use this book in class to help him and we mixed this with other regular materials.

    The college had excellent support systems and he had a helper in class, whose job was to read aloud and explain regular worksheets, etc. One thing I did have to teach the helper was not to stress the correct answer- she was unconsciously stressing things in a way that was supportive, but littered with clues, but that was quickly sorted, and she was extremely useful. If your school doesn't have such support systems, you will have to find time to deal with him or her individually while the others are doing a task.

    I found that group and pairwork went very well, as people were very willing to help and the partner(s) could benefit from having to explain things and deal with genuine comprehension needs. It was a little worrying at first as I had no experience of this, but after a couple of weeks, it became perfectly normal. Be prepared to improvise, to try anything and to muddle through- there are answers to everything if you, the student and the rest of the class look, and do use the class as a resource. It'll become easy after a while if you write something on the board, then zip over to explain to him, or let a student sitting next to him do it while you monitor, etc.

    There are some exams available- Cambridge has versions of them- my student got an A. They require extra setting-up and it has to be taken separately because of the extra use of recording. I presume it will be the same now.

    It's also good to sort out terms- my student referred to himself as blind as he could nothing at all and felt that vision impaired did not fit him.

  3. #3
    Carlhya's Avatar
    Carlhya is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: ESL Teaching to Blind People...

    Thank you very much for your time! and thanks for the advices......

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