Teaching English to blind sts

<b>Forum for teachers working with deaf students </b>

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Teaching English to blind sts

Post by Paddy » Mon Mar 17, 2003 10:57 am

I realise this is about teaching deaf sts, so excuse me. But you may be able to help me here. I'm about to begin a 1-to-1 class with a blind elemantary level student. I have absolutely no experience with blind sts so could anyone give me any advice or suggestions for successfully teaching blind sts?
Thank you,
Paddy Greenleaf

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Location: Arkansas

Blind students

Post by nomibird » Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:13 pm

I have just been confronted with this new dilemma as well. Have you learned anything since your posting? I have found almost no information on this.

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Post by futureaslinterpreter » Thu Jan 13, 2005 6:02 am

I have not worked with blind children, but I have done a little bit of studying of the deaf-blind. The first question is, can the child hear? If so then communicating is slightly easier.

Either way I reccomend researching Helen Keller. Watching the movie "The Miracle Worker" is a good place to start.

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Teaching a blind student

Post by CeciliaM » Tue May 15, 2007 4:59 pm

I've started teaching a 13 year old blind boy. I've been teaching for 20 years but this is s real challenge!

The first thing I did was to learn Braille, reading the dots is not that difficult, so, when he writes exercises I can correct them myself.

He has his own printer and brings it to classes. That helps a lot.
I 've found some theoretical background in a magazine http://www.shareeducation.com.ar/ issues 114 onwards, but I think we need more related to how to teach them.

Any sugestions?

More pages to visit:


Hope this helps a bit.

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Location: Ontario

Teaching deaf/blind

Post by AmieandTraceyCNIB » Tue Aug 07, 2007 4:27 pm

Hey there,

This response might be a little too late--I'm currently working for a Canadian organization called the "CNIB" (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) needless to say, I'm familiar with working with the blind and visually impaired. :D My first suggestion is to find out the exact eye condition/range of hearing. If you student has some vision you might be able to use lighting, contrasting colours or large print in order to teach. If your student has no vision at all--try making tactile diagrams or use more hands-on teaching methods. Someone else already suggested learning braille (great idea by the way!). Braillebug is an amazing site. Or you could check out the Hadley School for the blind. Hope this helps! Good luck.

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Teachin the blind

Post by creativemark » Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:44 pm

That is a good point to determine the level of impairment.
My grandmother has immacular degeneration so she can still see through the sides of her eyes but not through the centre.

If you are teaching a deaf student, they can most definitely learn to read.

If you are teaching a blind student, the oral language would be central, but brail seems like a system that could be used to incorporate reading and the sence of touch.

I hope to volunteer teach some blind students when I go to Ecuador, so I am trying to think about how I will teach them.

Maybe I can start with the translations of songs they know and introduce new English ones.


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Post by fluffyhamster » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:39 pm

It was interesting working as a JET in Japan - I sometimes visited a school for the blind and/or deaf, and got to see how they used braille there. Later, IIRC in Unger's Ideogram, I read about how it is apparently easier (in so-and-so's opinion) to read Japanese in braille than it is in kanji.

Heh, sorry for the "adviceless" little anecdote!

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Post by creativemark » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:56 am

Thanks for the insight. I think it is useful to see how different cultures have dealt with disabilities and learning their language.

I think that you can convert a sound system into a writing system. The system of brail is pretty straight forward I think. An arrangement of a big dot and a few smaller dots.

It is amazing that this system is easier to read than the scriptive chinese writing. Maybe dots are easier to read than lines.

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Post by aprillove20 » Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:47 am

Brilliant ideas converting a sound system into a writing system.

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Post by danielrobert55 » Fri May 24, 2013 11:07 am

Try to use writing trick to teach english to a deaf student.

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Post by jooooooey » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:22 pm

I just started a university EFL class with a blind student. But there is only one blind student in the class, the rest are regular hearing students. It´s interesting to me, but learning braille and specializing the course for her are not so useful. I assume she gets a lot of outside help and works hard to keep up.

But I have to, for example, make special oral exams for her because there aren´t any faculties for disabilities here. So I don´t know how to test writing skills.

Or also, in the class. I tried doing tactile things, where they put shapes in certain orders to practice prepositions of place, but she wasn´t so keen on participating. She doesn´t have a machine to take notes, or anything like that.

I also feel like I´m trying to signal her out when I ask if she needs extra help.

But it´s interesting, I just don´t know how to go about it in a whole class.

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