Vietnam National University, Hanoi University of languages and international studies

Faculty of English language teacher education

Research paper
Difficulties met by English teachers and blind students at Nguyen Dinh chieu secondary school in organizing and involving in speaking activites and solutions

Supervisor: Ms. Vu Tuong Vi, M.A Students: Group 4 – 06.1.E1 Pham Thi Hoa Le Thanh Huong Tran Quynh Huong Mai Nhu Quynh

Ha Noi, 2008 Acknowledgement

Firstly, we would like to send our warmest thanks to our supervisor, Ms. Vu Tuong Vi for her valuable comments and encouragement throughout our researching process. Secondly, we are grateful to Mr. Pham Huu Quy, Principal of Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school – Hanoi and three teachers of English at the studied school for their effective co-operation in the study. Thirdly, we also would like to thank the students of all eight classes at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school, especially eight interviewed students for providing us with helpful and detailed information related to the research. Last but not least, we would like to send our special thanks to our families and friends for their considerable encouragement during the research. Hanoi, November 29th 2009 Researchers


Abstract Lacking the visual sense, blind and visually impaired people can use only the oral language to communicate with other fully sighted ones in their daily lives. Therefore, with the aim of helping the blind students socialize with foreigners and putting their English in reality, English speaking skill started to receive some attention from the authority and teachers in Nguyen Dinh Chieu school, a special school for blind students. As one of the first attempts to explore the difficulties of both teachers and students in speaking activities, this paper shed its light on both teachers and students’ perception of these problems. In addition, some suggested solutions to these challenges from the teachers and students are fully exploited in this study. Based on these hindrance and solutions, the paper also justifiably offer some pedagogical suggestions and contribution for further study on teaching speaking for blind students in the future. For the accomplishment of the paper, all of the 3 English teachers as well as 8 randomly chosen blind or visually impaired students are supposed to take part in two different sets of interview and all the classes are observed by the researcher for further information. In the stage of analysis, the researchers realize that not only the lack of motivation but also the poor facility quality including lack of the transcription for every word challenges the speaking activities process. As a result, to help blind students more involved in speaking activities in class, more effort of motivating students from the teachers as well as investment from the charity and authority should be made in the future.


Table of contents
Table of contents Acknowledgements Abstract 3 Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1. Statement of the problem 8
1.2. Theoretical background and the rationale for the research 9


1.3. Aims and objectives 1.4. Significance of the study 1.5. Scope of the study 1.6. Methodology 1.7. Organization 12 13

10 11 11

Chapter 2: Literature review 2.1. Key concepts 2.1.2. Tutorials 15 15 17 16 17 18

2.1.1 Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school 2.1.2. Blind and visually impaired students Visual acuity Vision loss Blind and visually impaired students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school 2.1.3. Speaking activities Practical situation Guessing games Jigsaw activity Discussion Role play 23 23 23 24 24 20 21 21 21 22 19 Information gathering activity An opinion sharing activity Reasoning gap activity Prepared talks 2.1.4. Difficulties 2.2. Related Studies 25 28

Chapter 3: methodology 3.1. Participants 3.1.1. Teachers 3.1.2. Blind students 3.2. Instruments 3.2.2. Interviews 3.3. Data collection procedures 35 35 37 38 39 3.2.1. Observation scheme 34 34 35

3.4. Data analysis methods and procedures Chapter 4: results and discussion


4.1. What are the difficulties that teachers of English at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school encounter when organizing speaking activities for blind students, as perceived by the teachers? 4.1.1. Characteristics of the class 4.1.2. Facilities 4.1.3. Tutorials 43 44 45 41 41

4.1.4. Students’ awareness

4.2. What are the solutions to teachers' difficulties when organizing speaking activities for blind students, as suggested by teachers? 4.3. What are the difficulties that blind students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu encounter when participating in speaking activities in class, as perceived by the students? 4..3.1. Subjective difficulties from the students 4.3.2. Objective difficulties Teachers Tutors Friends Facilities 51 53 53 55 51 49 49 45

4.4. What are the solutions to students' difficulties when participating in speaking activities in class, as suggested by blind students? 56


Chapter 5: conclusion 5.1. Major findings of the study 5.2. Pedagogical suggestions 5.3. Limitations of the current study 5.4. Contribution of the research 5.4. Suggestions for further research References Appendices 65 68 68 71 73 60 61 62 63 63

Appendix 1: Interview set for teachers Appendix 2: Interview set for students Appendix 3: Observation Scheme


Chapter 1: Introduction

This initial chapter elucidates the research problems and justifies the rationales for the study. Afterwards, four research questions, the aims, scope as well as the methods of the study are presented. Finally, the chapter provides an overview of the rest of the paper to orientate the readers throughout the study. 1.1. Statement of the problem In this modern world, English is considered an international language in almost every field such as business, tourism, politics, etc. Therefore, many people are being stimulated to study English for a better life, which takes no exception to the blind people. However, their visual limitations challenge the studying and teaching English process. As Anna Maria Aiazzi states in her project that “eighty percent of learning is through sight”, it could be implied that teaching English for the blind is confronted with quite a few problems. For example, in a class with blind students, teachers can not use many teaching techniques such as “writing on the board, gesturing, miming and showing objects to pupils” (Aiazzi, 2007, p.1). Following the international trend, Vietnamese ways of teaching English have become more of CLT (communicative language teaching), which leads students to focus more on communicative functions rather than structures of language. However, according to Mr Nguyen Quoc Binh, the headmaster of Viet Duc high school, due to the limitation of teaching methodology, lack of


teaching materials, and students’ shyness in communicating, etc., four English skills, especially speaking English is just integrated as some extra activities in English classes in general and in blind students’ classes in particular. Therefore, investigating in speaking English lessons seems to be out of reach especially in Vietnamese current situation. (Nguyen, 2009, p.1) In addition, not much research on teaching English to the blind has been carried out until now, which is a considerable disadvantage to people with visual limitations. With the aim of helping these miserable people, the researchers have decided to conduct a study on “difficulties met by teachers and blind students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school in organizing and involving in English speaking activities and solutions”.
1.2. Theoretical background and the rationale for the research:

Investigating into “teaching English to the blind people” helps the researchers realize that this area has received little attention from the specialists. There is not much research carried out on this problem except “Teaching English as a New Language to Visually Impaired and Blind ESL Students: Problems and Possibilities” by Sylvie Kashdan and Robby Barnes (1998). However, the participants of this research are “immigrants and refugees who are visually impaired or blind”, which seems to be too general with few particular features and differences in age and educational levels. Moreover, this study does not focus on teaching English in class but investigate into the challenges of organizing a program to teach the people with visual limitations.


The second worth reading study is an article “Teaching English to Blind and Visually Impaired Pupils” by Anna Maria Aiazzi (2007). This study lists out many challenges of teaching the blind students from the objective difficulties such as expensive books of Braille which are difficult to be found to the subjective ones coming from the visual limitations of the students “teachers cannot use images, drawings or pictures to teach English, or anything implying the visual code, such as blackboards”. Nevertheless, this study seems to be more of personal experiences rather than a research with indepth investigation. In short, this research is worth doing because of the two following reasons: Firstly, this study covers a new area of research not only in Vietnam but also in the world. Secondly, the research papers which have been done just focus on blind people in general without much particularity while our surveying population is only pupils at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school, Hanoi. 1.3. Aims and objectives First and foremost, the study aims to explore the difficulties in organizing and participating in English speaking activities of teachers and blind students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school. Subsequently, the paper is purporting to address practical solutions which would possibly be applied to raise the effectiveness of developing learners’ speaking proficiency. In short, the research is seeking answers to the following questions:

1. What are the difficulties that teachers of English at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school encounter when organizing speaking activities for blind students, as perceived by the teachers? 2. What are the solutions to teachers' difficulties when organizing speaking activities for blind students, as suggested by teachers? 3. What are the difficulties that blind students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu encounter when participating in speaking activities in class, as perceived by the students? 4. What are the solutions to students' difficulties when participating in speaking activities in class, as suggested by blind students? 1.4. Significance of the study The completion of this paper would provide useful information to construct an effective speaking teaching program which may greatly benefits blind English learners as well as their teachers. In brief, the relevance of this study can be stated as follows: 1. It raises more attentions towards the teaching and learning activities in speaking classes for blind students in secondary schools. 2. It invests current problems happening in teaching and learning Speaking English in Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school. 3. It suggests practical teaching methods which would possibly be applied in teaching speaking English to blind students. Additionally, this study also serves as an inspiration based on which related study on teaching English to care children would be carried out.

1.5. Scope of the study Within the scope of an undergraduate research under a limited time and a lack of resources as well as the nature of an English lesson for secondary students, this paper will only focus on main difficulties that teachers and blind students encounter when organizing/ involving in speaking activities and solutions. Supporting the reliability and feasibility of the paper, the size of samples will be put in strict consideration. The total of 3 English teachers and 8 blind students will be invited to take part in semi-structures interviews. 1.6. Methodology

With a view to find the answers to the research questions, in-class observations and interviews would be the main research tools. First, classroom observations would be used in order to find more objective data about teachers’ problems in organizing and blind students’ difficulties in participating in English speaking activities. These classroom observations would be carried out in all of the 8 classes of Nguyen Dinh Chieu Secondary School. Particularly, the 8 classes would be 6A, 6B, 7A, 7B, 8A, 8B, 9A and 9B. Besides, a set of criteria, a.k.a a checklist is formed prior to these classroom observations to make the evaluations more convenient and theorybased. In addition, some notes could be added if necessary.


In addition to in-class observations, several interviews would be employed to clarify and confirm some data found in the observations, as well as to add more information if necessary. These interviews would be conducted among 3 English teachers and 8 randomly-picked students of each grade (2 students per grade). The language of the interview would be in Vietnamese for students (as they are not supposed to be competent in English) and either simple English or Vietnamese for teachers. Technical terms (if any) would be carefully clarified for participants to easily understand the interview questions, and to make sure that no misunderstandings may occur among them. After that, the data collected would be analyzed and then demonstrated to for comparison and interpretation. 1.7. Organization: The rest of the paper comprises five chapters as follows: Chapter 2 (Literature Review) lays the theoretical foundations for the whole study, including the definitions of key terms, as well as the concise review of related studies worldwide. Chapter 3 (Methodology) elaborates on the research methods, participants, instruments, data collection procedure and data analysis methods. Chapter 4 (Discussion) presents the results of the research and gives interpretations and analysis of the data. Besides, the discussion referring back


to the literature review in the research area was also included to show the similarities and differences in the findings. Chapter 5 (Conclusion) summarizes the major findings and puts forwards some pedagogical implications and recommendations. Subsequently, the limitations of the research was also pointed out before some suggestions for further studies are made. Following this chapter are the references and Appendices

Summary By highlighting the significance of the study and the lack of related studies, the researcher has stated the rationale behind this study. Besides, the significance, scope and organization of the whole paper were provided in this very first chapter. In brief, this chapter acts as a general guideline for the development of the later chapters of the research.


Chapter 2: Literature


The chapter, as its name suggests, sheds light on the literature related to this study, thereby helping to lay the concrete foundations for the development of the succeeding parts of the paper. Initially, the related key terms would be defined. Following the definitions of key terms will be a comprehensive review of related studies to disclose the research gap which will be filled to a certain extent by the present study. 2.1. Key concepts: 2.1.1 Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school was founded in 1982. Since then, it has been virtually the only place for students with blindness or serious visual impairment in Hanoi to receive formal education. This school provides education for both normal students and the blind ones with the appreciable attempts to integrate blind children into an ordinary school of normal peers. From grade 6 to 9, there are 9 classes, each class consists of over 40 students, in which 3 to 5 are blind. The facility of the school meets the standards for basic Vietnamese secondary classrooms with one blackboard, 20 to 25 student tables, one teacher table, two fans and lights. There are no projectors, computers or any high technology teaching aids. Microphone sometimes can be provided by teachers to raise the effective level for their lessons. The

classroom setting follows the type “rows of tablet-arm chairs” when in pair, students sit into four rows, facing the blackboard and the teacher table. The blind do not have special or fixed spots in every class, they seat with their normal classmates. Although the school was acknowledged by the Vietnamese government for its achievements in teaching blind students, it has been coping with a lot of obstacles in teaching these special children. (Hanoimoi daily news, 2007) 2.1.2. Tutorials A number of tutorials or extra classes have been recently conducted in Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school with the aim of supporting the Blind and visually impaired students in learning English. Based on their different organizers as well as timetables, these tutorials are divided into three main types: Noon, afternoon and evening tutorials. Noon tutorials After finishing their lunch at school canteen, almost all blind and visually impaired students come to join in tutorials conducted by foreign volunteers from SJ organization at about 12: 30 three times a week. In these extra classes, students are often involved in fun and useful activities to enhance their background knowledge and to foster their English competences. For example, students are told some stories in English, learn new words and join in discussions about some topics raised by the volunteers. Afternoon tutorials The afternoon tutorials, known as the extra classes for blind and visually impaired students, are in a program set up by the Nguyen Dinh Chieu school

staffs, purporting to help these students catch up with their peers in normal official classes which often take place in the morning. Regarding the English tutorials, there are two classes each week, the duration of each class is around 45 minutes. There are no assigned rooms for the tutorials, class location is changed continuously, depending on the teachers, the students and other surrounding factors. The number of students for each class is also unfixed as their demand in learning is different in time. At Nguyen Dinh Chieu school, there are three English teachers and they all take part in the program. Their students in the extra classes are also their official students in the morning classes. The content of the lessons are flexible in accordance with the student needs. Usually, teachers tend to help students revise what have been taught in the morning classes so that they will not stay behind their classmates. Sometimes, new lessons can be carried beforehand to make it more convenient for the blind to follow the lessons in their next classes. Evening tutorials In the evenings, blind and visually impaired students at this school also receive tutorials by students from Hanoi University of Technology. During the time working with these undergraduates, the blind and visually impaired students can raise any questions related to all the subjects they learn, not restricted to only English. 2.1.3. Blind and visually impaired students Visual acuity According to the Visual standards report prepared for the International Council of Ophthalmology at the 29th International Congress of Ophthalmology (2002, p.2), whether a person has problems with their


sight power and whether he/she has got serious problems with their eyes can be determined by examining their visual acuity. Therefore, it is necessary to understand what “visual acuity” means before turning to other terms in this research. However, regarding “visual acuity”, it is unfortunate there are not many definitions available, especially ones from specialists. The Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2005) defines acuity as “the ability to think, see or hear clearly”. Accordingly, visual acuity could be understood as the ability to see clearly. Similarly, Cline D., Hofstetter H.W., & Griffin J.R. in the Dictionary of Visual Science (1997) also believes that “Visual acuity (VA) is acuteness or clearness of vision, especially form vision, which is dependent on the sharpness of the retinal focus within the eye and the sensitivity of the interpretative faculty of the brain.” Despite some differences, both the two aforementioned definitions share one same point, that is the term “visual acuity” refers to the clearness of vision i.e. the ability to see things clearly. Vision loss In turning to the definition of blind and visually impaired students, it is important to have a look at a more general term, “vision loss”. In the Visual standards report prepared for the International Council of Ophthalmology at the 29th International Congress of Ophthalmology (2002), specialists defines “vision loss” as a general term that refers to both total loss (Blindness) and partial loss (Low Vision). This definition,


though does provide the researchers with an overall understanding of the concept, seems to be too broad and general. Therefore, this research will adopt a more detailed definition from Wikipedia the free encyclopedia:“Vision loss or visual loss is the absence of vision where it existed before, which can happen either acutely (i.e. abruptly) or chronically (i.e. over a long period of time). Various scales have been developed to describe the extent of vision loss based on visual acuity” As the definition by Wikipedia mentions, different scales of vision loss have been developed in accordance with the level of visual acuity. One was also presented in the Visual standards report prepared for the International Council of Ophthalmology at the 29th International Congress of Ophthalmology (2002): Types of vision 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 loss Normal vision Mild vision loss Moderate vision loss Severe vision loss Profound vision loss Near-total vision loss Total vision loss (blind) Vision acuity >=0.8 <0.8 and >= 0.3 <0.3 and >= 0.125 <0.125 and >= 0.05 <0.05 and >=0.02 <0.02 and >= NLP No light perception


Another scale was also developed in the International Classification of Diseases(1977) by the World Health Organization, in which vision loss is categorized into three types: normal vision, low vision and blindness. For the sake of clarity and consistence, the researchers would like to adopt the range by the Visual standards report prepared for the International Council of Ophthalmology at the 29th International Congress of Ophthalmology (2002). Blind and visually impaired students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school There are about 30-40 blind and visually impaired students studying at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school-Hanoi every school year. According to the school’s principal and teachers, all of the students are in the state of “near-total vision loss” and “total vision loss” (number 6 &7 in the aforementioned Range of Vision Loss). These students are integrated into eight classes (grade 6  grade 9) of fully sighted students. They are equipped with course books in Braille of the same contents with their classmates. Most of the blind students live in the dormitory in Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school, where they often receive extra lectures by teachers/volunteers for further understandings of the lessons they learn in class. 2.1.4. Speaking activities Speaking is the act of using your speech organs to make sounds in response to certain situations (Oxford advanced learners dictionary). According to Levelt (1989), it is also “one of our most complex cognitive, linguistic, and motor

skills” (p.32). Especially, because of its importance, the role of speaking needs to be highly concerned when developing E language proficiency for Vnese secondary Ss. Nevertheless, due to the fixed schedule for the secondary English program, it is impossible to carry out full-time English speaking lessons for our high school students. This means that speaking activities have to be integrated into English lessons as a whole to support students’ proficiency. In short, teachers need to look for short but effective speaking activities to be held in class. For instance, simple personal questions may produce more opportunities for students to practice dealing with daily conversations, reading out loud a passage would promotes pronunciation revision, or creating a conversation based on a given text can help students be more familiar with communicative situations (Unit 1, English 8 course book), etc. Below are some common types of in-class speaking activities: Practical situation According to Ms Huong in ELT Methodology II (2009), in this kind of speaking activity, “students can practice requesting and providing information in PRACTICAL situations such as asking for directions in a city and ordering meals in a restaurant” (p.177) English 7 English 8 - Unit 8 (p.80): Practice the dialogue with a partner T: Excuse me. Is there a souvenir shop near here? Unit 6: Look at the phrases in the boxes. Then practice the dialogues with a partner. (Asking for favors) (p.55) Guessing games


One student volunteers to come to the board and see one object, one famous person, or one picture, etc. Other students work in groups and pairs to make yes/no questions. The volunteering student will answer only “yes or no” until the correct answer is found. English 6 (p74): work in pairs. Look at the pictures. Choose one of the houses. Don’t tell your partner which house. Ask questions to find which house your partner chooses. Information gathering activity Ms Huong describes this activity ELT Methodology II (2009) as involving “conducting surveys, interviews and searches in which students are required to use their language to collect information. Students can practice a set of structures and language repeatedly but in a meaningful way” English 6 (p70): ask and answer questions about the picture in exercise C3 Eg: Where is the ….? It is opposite the ….. English 7 It is between the….. and the….. Page 34: Practice with a partner, talk about your family, Where does your father/mother/brother/sister work?What English 8 does he/she do? Page 40: Work with a partner; Look at the picture, talk about the way things used to be and the way they are now. Jigsaw activity “In a jigsaw activity, each partner has one or a few pieces of the “puzzle” and the partners must cooperate to fit all the pieces into a whole picture” (Huong et al., 2009)The picture can be not only a picture but also a narrative story or even a photo, etc.
22 Discussion Small discussions can be held before reading a passage or listening to a recording as a lead-in activity. Discussion can be raised whenever there is an appropriate topic as to practice grammatical structures and language forms. There must be a link between the discussions with other tasks of the lesson so that this activity is supportive to other requirements of a usual English class in secondary schools. We can find discussion activities in some units from English Secondary Course Books: English 7 English 8 - Unit 6: Read and dicuss (p.65) - Unit 15: Work with a partner. Make a list of how computers can help us. (p138) Role play
In role plays, students are assigned roles and put into situations that they may eventually encounter outside the classroom. Because role plays imitate life, the range of language functions that may be used expands considerably. Also, the role relationships among the students as they play their parts call for them to practice and develop their sociolinguistic competence. They have to use language that is appropriate to the situation and to the characters. (Trask, 1982:32) An opinion sharing activity “This activity involves identifying and articulating a personal preference, feeling, or attitude. It may require using facial information, formulating arguments, and justifying one’ opinions.” (Huong et al., 2009)


English 7

In a group of four, ask your friends what they like doing in their free time. Make a list of your group’s favourite leisure activities (p.65) - Unit 10: Word with a partner. Think of ways we can reduce the amount of garbage we produce. The words in the box may help you. (p.89)

English 8 Reasoning gap activity
“Involves deriving some new information from given information through the process of inference or deduction and the perception of relationships or patterns. The activities necessarily involve comprehending, and conveying information” (Huong et al., 2009) Prepared talks “This is a popular kind of activity in which students make a presentation on a topic of their own choice with or without agreement with teacher. It is more “writing-like” (Huong et al., 2009)

To save time, it is advisable that teacher combine it with a listening or reading exercise in the text book. Well preparation for communicative output activities role plays and discussions may promote students’ motivation in learning speaking by creating friendly atmosphere which can save them from the fear of making mistake and embarrassment. However, since engaging Role


Plays into a Vietnamese English classroom is untraditional and may be timeconsuming, it is not widely applied by Vietnamese secondary teachers. 2.1.5. Difficulties Definition of Difficulties In turning to the concept of difficulties in learning English, it is necessary to demonstrate what is meant by the term “difficulty” itself. Among many definitions of “difficult”, the briefest one belongs to Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary “difficult means not easy or full of problems; causing a lot of trouble”. This definition can be applied in various situations even including learning English. In fact, although no detailed definitions of difficulty in learning English are stated in any research, each researcher creates their own concept through their criteria of classifying difficulties. Based on the content of English syllabus, Edwin (2009) divides his own difficulties in learning English into speaking, reading, writing, listening, pronunciation and grammar. Meanwhile, one study “Teaching English as a New Language to Visually Impaired and Blind ESL Students: Problems and Possibilities.” by Kashdan, S., & Barnes, R., (1998) stated difficulties in teaching English in separate aspects including “challenges with Mainstream programs and responses”, “challenges with tutor recruitment and training and responses”, etc. However, the problems can be also categorized in another way, in which there are two main categories: subjective and objective features. Regarding the subjective ones, they are their complex about different situations or suspicion of the program’s benefit, etc.; on the other hand, objective features include lack of information about the program, specialized help, or racial discrimination from the citizens... Similarly, the researchers

decided to follow that classifying criterion which divides difficulties of learning English into objective and subjective difficulties through out the research. Classification of difficulties Subjective difficulties Firstly, in order to categorize the results of the present research in the later chapters, it is necessary to make clear about the concept of “subjective difficulty”. The term “subjective” is defined by the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary as “existing in somebody’s mind rather than in the real world”. In a similar vein, the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2000) also provides a definition of “subjective”, in which this adjective means “belonging to, proceeding from, or relating to the mind of the thinking subject and not the nature of the object being considered”. Although there are certain differences between the two mentioned definitions in terms of wording, it is observed that the two agree in considering “subjective” as relating to the mind of the thinking subject, not the real world. Therefore, combining with the definition of “difficulty” provided previously, the term “subjective difficulty” can be understood as the problems related to the mind of a thinking subject, a specific person/group of persons, and not the ones caused by the real world. Accordingly, the border between “subjective difficulty” and “objective difficulty” is heavily dependent on who the thinking subject, or in other words, who the specific person/group of persons is. Specifically, in the case of visually impaired students’ difficulties, the thinking subjects are the visually impaired students; the difficulties related to/ caused by these students, therefore, are considered subjective difficulties while one related to/caused by other factors from the real world like teachers, tutors, facilities,etc. are considered objective ones. For the case of teachers’

difficulties, this way of distinguishing between subjective difficulties and objective ones also works. To be more exact, in this case, the teachers are the thinking subject, difficulties related to/caused by them are the subjective difficulties and ones related to other factors are the objective ones. Objective difficulties In contrast to the term “subjective” which is mentioned previously, according to the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, the word “objective” is defined as “based on real facts and not influenced by personal beliefs or feelings”. (Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 1999). In addition, “objective” has been also defined in light of education as: “emphasizing or expressing things as perceived without distortion of personal feelings, insertion of fictional matter, or interpretation”. (Miller, G. et al, 2010). As it can be clearly seen from the two definitions above, there are two conditions for a matter, a thing or an opinion to be “objective”: it is a real fact and it is independent of people’s beliefs or feelings. Therefore, along with the definition of difficulty provided above, an objective difficulty may be understood as the difficulty which is real and independent of personal beliefs or feelings. This understanding of objective difficulty sheds a light on our category of difficulties met by teachers and students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school in organizing and participating in speaking activities. Specifically, the difficulties met by students may be categorized based on the objective and subjective criteria. Regarding the students, difficulties coming from the teachers and the learning environment can be considered as objective ones, since those difficulties are real and independent of their beliefs and feelings. On the other hand, with regards to the teachers, difficulties coming from the students and the teaching environment can be

considered as objective ones, since those difficulties are real and independent of their beliefs and feelings. 2.2. Related Studies It is admitted that in regard to the topic of teaching English to the blind children, not much research has been intensively conducted. The journal “Teaching English as a New Language to Visually Impaired and Blind ESL Students: Problems and Possibilities.” (Kashdan, S., & Barnes, R., 1998) in Kaizen program, the article “Teaching English to Blind and Visually Impaired Pupils” (Aiazzi, A. M. (2007) and “Teaching English to blind students" (Seng, C., 2004) are three among the rare studies on this area The first journal “Teaching English as a New Language to Visually Impaired and Blind ESL Students: Problems and Possibilities.” (Kashdan, S., & Barnes, R., 1998) stated many challenges in teaching English to the blind people in separate aspects such as “challenges with Mainstream programs and responses”, “challenges with tutor recruitment and training and responses”, etc. However, these difficulties are not well- organized because sometimes the ideas overlapped with one another. That is the reason why the researchers rearrange the study in a clearer order including challenges with tutors, with tutees and others. The challenges with tutors or teachers can be divided into two main points. The first challenge is tutors are always the fully-sighted people, most of whom often neither understand the blind situation nor devote their time to getting literary in accessing the Braille formats for only Blind people. As a result, it is suggested that the literate blind people should be trained to become teachers.


The second one is tutors experienced no special training to teach blind students, which is quite similar to NDC school situation where these teachers have to teach not only the blind students but also the normal ones. The suggested solution is “educate staff members in mainstream, communitybased programs about the literacy capabilities and needs of blind and visually impaired people”. Although each stated challenge is followed immediately by a solution, it seems not to satisfy every reader because of the unreasonableness and vagueness of the solutions. The first solution is too difficult to implement due to the fact that there are not enough literate blind people to be trained as teachers. The second one is also unsatisfactory because understanding about literacy capabilities and needs of blind students could not help much with teaching them in class.The second challenges come from the tutees. Many objective factors such as lack of information about the program, specialized help, or racial discrimination from the citizens and other subjective ones like their complex about different situations or suspicion of the program’s benefit, etc. hinder these blind people from taking part in the programs designed to meet the needs of sighted people. The recommendation to these problems is to provide brochures which have been translated into the immigrants’ language about the benefits and services of program. However, this solution seems to find only one piece of the whole picture, which means dealing with only the subjective factors especially their suspicion of the program but can not cover other objective onesIn addition to the two mentioned challenges with tutors, tutees and programs, there is only one small part discussing the in-class problems “challenges and responses when serving tutees”. However, in fact, this part of the journal focuses on only how they teach the blind students with some special teaching techniques in general but


not come into details about the real difficulties tutors and tutees face in class when applying these techniques. In conclusion, in spite of listing out a lot of challenges in teaching Blind students followed by some solutions, this study still includes some big gaps which could be more effectively dealt with in other studies. Firstly, as mentioned before, some of the solutions are unsatisfactory. Secondly, their research population, the illiterate immigrants into America differ from our participants, the Vietnamese students at NDC secondary school in ages, social status, aims of studying, study conditions, etc. Thirdly, this study just focuses on the general difficulties outside the class such as programs, tutors and tutees recruitment but does not come into details about in-class challenges like teachers can not use the visual aids, students can not take part in class activities because of their disabilities, etc. Another study on this research topic is the article named "Teaching English for blind and visually impaired pupils" (Aiazzi, A., (2008). This article does mention many difficulties and mistakes in teaching and learning English, which come from teachers, students and other factors such as learning facilities and environment. Teachers' common mistakes when teaching blind students would likely be: regularly mentioning verbs like "watch", "see", "look", which discourage blind students as they become conscious about their disability; forgetting the gap between normal students and visually impaired ones when teachers follow the speed which is too fast for blind students; heavily relying on the oral code to teach blind students as they possibly misunderstand and misinterpret the messages. In terms of difficulties, teachers cope with many problems such as: they cannot use pictures and images, or other visual aids to teach blind students, they have to pay more

attention to visually impaired ones as they need more careful and special instructions, as well as encouragement; last but not least, most of teachers are not systematically trained to teach visually impaired learners, thus their teaching methods may still be inappropriate. Additionally, blind students have many difficulties of their own when they are visually disabled and obsessed of their disability. Besides, the problems also come from learning environment when normal students are not very cooperative with blind ones, or from the poor-equipped facilities like lack of Braille books or special teaching aids. All of these factors lead to the current problematic situation of teaching blind learners. However, this article still has some gaps which are not effectively healed throughout the study. First, all the difficulties mentioned are common in teaching for blind students in general, not specifically teaching English. It would be better if some typical features of teaching English, as well as typical problems of teaching English for blind students are studied to make the research more thorough and deep into the matter. Second, the age of blind students are not specifically mentioned, because the difficulties may varied among different ages. Third, the classification of visual loss is not studied clearly, since students of different level of visual loss have different difficulties, thus require different teaching methods and treatment from teachers. If the first study digs deeply into the difficulties of teachers and blind students, the second study, whose title is "Teaching English to blind student" (Seng, C., 2004), focuses on some tips and solutions to the related problems. In this article, the author does give some advice for teachers to bear in mind when teaching blind students. First, the teacher should understand the background of

students, such as the reason why they become blind and the level of their blindness. Second, teachers should make full use of the Braille documents, but if there is a shortage of them, they should use other techniques like recording the reading texts, reading the texts out loud, or using computer software with sound technology to help blind students understand the lesson. Third, teachers should remember to say out the instructions in class, or utilize other sensory codes except from visual code because the blind students cannot see the pictures, the words on board or the screen. Lastly, teachers should encourage the sighted students to help the impaired ones so that they can be more willingly and involved in classroom activities. However, some tips provided in this article cannot be applied widely in many learning contexts. For example, the tip of using computer high technology like computer software would likely to become infeasible in many areas where the teaching classrooms are not well-equipped; or the tip of encouraging sighted students to help the blind ones may have counter-effects since it may distract the normal students, or may cause depression in blind ones.

Summary The chapter has laid the theoretical background for the whole study through defining key terms and reviewing related studies. Particularly important is the definition of visual loss and the presentation of speaking activities exploited at secondary school in Vietnam in general. Also, brief evaluation of related studies on the difficulties of teachers in teaching blind students has revealed the gap which is going to be bridged in this research.

Chapter 3: Methodology


The previous chapter has provided the basic theoretical background for the paper. Continue the line, this chapter underlines the practicality of the research by presenting the method by which it was carried out. In detailed, this method is discussed through four sub headings, namely participants, instruments, data collection procedures and data analysis. 3.1. Participants The process of data collection would involve both the teachers of English and the blind students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school as follows: 3.1.1. Teachers Since the difficulties met by teachers of English at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school are among what this research aims to investigate, the teachers’ performance during in-class speaking activities as well as their opinions on the difficulties in teaching speaking English to the blinds are of great value to the study. Therefore, English teachers at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school in Hanoi would be participating in this research to share their appreciable experiences that help to answer the research questions. As there are only three teachers of English at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school, all of them would be asked to take part in this study by co-operating with the researchers during the classroom observation process and the interview session. Though the number of participants is rather small, their co-operation is believed to guarantee the reliability of the study. Firstly, for all the teachers have considerable experience in teaching English to blind students (from 4 years to 21 years), their report on the difficulties they have met during the

time teaching English to the blind students would greatly contribute to the study. Secondly, the teachers are in charge of different grades and classes at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school, their experience with students of different age, English competency, characters and perhaps different causes of blindness would provide useful and varied information for the research. 3.1.2. Blind students As the obstacles the blind students encounter when taking part in speaking activities are also the expected outcomes of the study, the participation of the blind students plays a vital role in this research. Hence, the observation process was carried out in eight classes (6A, 6B, 7A, 7B, 8A, 8B, 9A, 9B) where blind students are learning. In addition, under the light of “simple random sampling”, 8 blind students from eight classes of different grade and English competency took part in the interview session of the research. 3.2. Instruments For the validity and reliability of the study results, our research is conducted under the combination of the two data collection methods: observation and interview.

3.2.1. Observation scheme As classroom observation has long been believed to effectively aid in the research process and to “help to make the educational research more accessible and practical” (Hoang & Nguyen, cited in Vu, 2008), it is fully employed at the first stage of our research for two main reasons. Firstly, it

helps us partly answer the first and second research questions with some surfaced difficulties such as blind students could not hear clearly because of the noisy class, or teachers have some problems with louder, etc. Secondly, observation method is applied with the aim of collecting some raw data about the behaviors of the teachers and students in speaking activities from which we can find out some problems for deeper investigation in the following interview part. Based on the difficulties of teachers and blind students in teaching and studying English mentioned in the related study, the researchers designed a draft Tally sheet. Then, we come to NDC school to make a trial observation in class 7B, from which we collected more data to finalize the observation scheme Our tally sheet, which is included in the Appendix 1, is divided into three main parts: types of activities, teachers’ activities and Blind students’ activities. The first part lists out various types of speaking activities based on the literature review to see in each lesson how speaking activities are exploited by teachers and how many times these activities are integrated to promote students’ speaking competency. The second part about teacher’s activities is split into two smaller categories in a chronological order: giving instruction and holding activities, in which we tend to find out how teachers apply visual aids and audio aids to teach the whole class. The last part is devoted to the blind students’ activities in order to see how they are involved in the lesson Though simple and modest as this tally sheet may seem, the results of the classroom observation process are really helpful for the researchers to design


the interview questions for further investigation into difficulties of teachers and blind students in involving blind students in speaking activities.

3.2.2. Interviews The semi-structured interview will be utilized since it allows reasonable flexibility in definite situations, which provides both interviewers and interviewees the opportunity to control and make essential changes during the interviewing process (Hoang & Nguyen, 2006, p.45, cited in Vu, 2006, p.29). To make the best support for the research, two separated interview schedules will be held for teachers and students. Additionally, all interviews will be done in Vietnamese to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings between the researchers and the volunteered participants. Concerning the interview for teachers, it is aimed at exploring the difficulties perceived by the English secondary teachers while teaching speaking for blind students in NDC school. Also, the researchers wish to learn about practical solutions suggested or experienced by the teachers themselves to overcome mentioned hardships. Besides, the questions will be categorized into three main parts, namely pre-teaching, while-teaching and post-teaching. The postteaching questions put big focus on the afternoon extra lessons for blind students. Likewise, the interview for students will also follow the above format of the teachers’ interview which includes three main categories divided in accordance with their learning timeline. Students will be asked about the obstacles they have to face in and out of class time regarding developing their English speaking proficiency. Also, the researchers hope to receive their ideas of how to solve their own existed problems.

3.3. Data collection procedures • Phase 1 This stage enhances the preparation of the observation scheme and the proposal for observing Nguyen Dinh Chieu classes. At first, the research group made a proposal to both Head Masters of HULIS and Nguyen Dinh Chieu school to ask for the permission to be observers of some English classes from grade 6th to 8th in Nguyen Dinh Chieu school. Phone calls and face to face meetings were held for the timetable of the Nguyen Dinh Chieu classes as well as the approval from the English teachers. After that, there was a trial observation in class 7B by two members of the group. The observation scheme then was set up. • Phase 2 The second phase took place in the investigated classes where observations were made. During the lesson, observation notes were taken by the researcher based on an observation sheme had been carefully designed in advance. In addition, video-recordings of the blind students’ performances were conducted so that the researcher could have detailed references to reassure the outcome of the interviews.

• Phase 3 Semi-structured interviews were conducted during this phrase among the participants, who are sixteen blind students of four different grades and three teachers of English at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school. All the information in this stage was confirmed to the respondents to be treated with

the strictest confidentiality; henceforward, all the participants felt willing and comfortable to participate in the process. The interviews were successfully conducted thanks to the teachers and students’ highly supportive attitude and assistance. 3.4. Data analysis methods and procedures After the data had been gathered, they were classified, analyzed and synthesized carefully and systematically with a view to revealing particular patterns to be interpreted later. First of all, the data collected from the in class observations would be analyzed to find the problems of both teachers and blind students faced with. By doing so, the researcher had an overall and also some specific difficulties of teachers and blind students in teaching and studying speaking English. After that, the data colleted from the interviews were compared with those collected from the observations. Also, the data from interviews could help the researcher had a more specific understanding of the problems of students and teachers and the solutions as suggested by the teachers. All the data collected from the observations and the interviews were classified according to the research questions. Noticeably, they would be analyzed and then demonstrated for comparison and interpretation. Besides, some of the quotes from the interviews with teachers and blind students would be cited when necessary to support the points here and there in the research. Summary


This chapter has justified the methodology of the study by elaborating on the participants including the teachers and students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school, as well as the triangulation data collection method. Clarification has also been given to the data analysis methods and process. The presentation and interpretation of findings from such analysis are going to be made clear in the next chapter.

Chapter 4: Results

and discussion

The previous chapter has clarified the methodology applied in this study, particularly the descriptions and justifications of the choice of participants, the instruments and data collection and analysis process. In this chapter, all the results collected from the interviews and classroom observations will be presented and discussed in detail. Noticeably, analysis of the collected results have been compared with the literature in the field to figure out the similarities as well as the new findings of the study. Below are the data presented in accordance with the four research questions. The discussion is also engaged in the data presentation with a view to making the arguments more sharply deployed. 4.1. What are the difficulties that teachers of English at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school encounter when organizing speaking activities for blind students, as perceived by the teachers? Teaching the Blind and visual impaired students requires a great effort from the teachers especially in facing the difficulties about the facilities. After conducting many interviews, observation and even teaching in reality, the researchers have explored many difficulties of the teachers when organizing speaking activities for blind students, all of which are objective difficulties including the characteristics of the class, the facilities, the tutorials, and the students’ awareness. 4.1.1. The characteristics of the class Planning and conducting the speaking activities for blind students in class are also great challenges for the teachers. In terms of planning activities

at home, English teachers have to think over to balance the benefits of blind students and normal students “there are only 45 minutes each lesson and the are more fully-sighted students; therefore, sometimes we are forced to finish the syllabus for normal students only” (line 58-60, interview with teacher X). Moreover, teaching blind students will decrease the number of various activities because teachers can not use visual aids, one of the most important teaching aids. In addition, some types of activities like matching or some special game like guessing have to be omitted. Van, one blind student said she had to try to remember all the options of the two columns, which was the only choice for her. In class 7A (conducted by one of the researchers), there are two times that blind students can not answer teacher’s questions because that is a guessing game. Based on some notes in the observation scheme, student H in 7A expressed to the teacher “I can not describe what it is because I have never seen this in my life” About carrying out these activities in class, teachers also suffer from many difficulties when involving the blind or visually impaired students. Firstly, because these special students can not see, the teachers’ speaking time in class has to be multiplied by times “When writing on the board, I have to talk at the same time, even two or three more times for the blind students to hear… it is more exhausting, of course, than teaching normal students” (line 87-93, interview with teacher X). Secondly, trying to involve these students in activities sometimes demotivates other fully-sighted ones. For example, in class 7A conducted by one researcher, there were three times when teachers asked the blind students and the other normal ones make noises, the class seemed to be out of control and too noisy. About this problem, teacher Y expressed her opinion “When calling these blind students to talk, sometimes they just stand still without answering,


which wastes a lot of other students’ time” (line 90-91, interview with teacher Y) In addition, the class size also causes some problems for teachers in terms of classroom management. There are about 45-50 students in one class while the number of blind students takes only one tenth, only 3-5 blind students in one class. This crowded class prevents teachers from paying attention to each blind student and also controlling the class. Students making noises or doing other things in class are so ordinary that we have to tick more than 10 times for the choice “the class is too noisy” in every observation scheme. 4.1.2. Facilities The facilities in Nguyen Dinh Chieu school can not meet the demand of teaching blind students. Firstly, it takes the teachers a lot of time to prepare handouts in Braille for the blind students. As teacher Y, one of the three English teachers in Nguyen Dinh Chieu expressed “Preparing for only one handout like this needs at least 2 hours at home”. Moreover, this material can not be saved in the computer; therefore, it could not be recycled for the second time, which multiplies the work of preparation for the teachers by thousands of times. Secondly, lack of machines used for printing pictures in Braille causes teachers a number of problem when preparing the teaching tools for the lessons: “in the foreign countries, there is one kind of plastic paper used for drawing Braille pictures, but in Vietnam, we find it nowhere” (line 114-119, interview with teacher X). Thirdly, there are not enough reference books in Braille for students in the library, which challenges teachers a lot when assign students with further practice out of the textbooks. Teacher Z, another English teacher in Nguyen Dinh Chieu school said “the reference books are printed every year but never enough because students who had borrowed did not

return them back because they brought home or some of the pages are torn, they were so terrified that they did not return it back” (line 60-62, interview with teacher Z). Fifthly, the arrangement of the desks in class also hinders teachers from reaching to every blind student in class. From our observation in class, the researchers realized that blind students often sit at the back, which is quite difficult for the teachers to move from the end of this range to the end of another. Sixthly, teachers going to class are not equipped with the microphone. Therefore, they have to buy on their own or try to raise their volume as much as possible, which is exactly what we had to do when we taught English here. Last but not least, there seems to have no special arrangement for the tutorial lesson in the afternoon, even no unstable rooms “if there is an available room, it is our choice. Sometimes, due to the outside noises we have to change the room” (line 57-58, interview with teacher Z) 4.1.3. The tutorials An other difficulty stays in the tutorial lessons in the afternoon. According to teacher Y, the tutorial time is not enough, only 2 periods per week; teachers can only provide students with new words and some grammatical structures, almost no time for speaking activities (line 57-58, interview with teacher Y). Moreover, because the timetable of tutorial class is too dense as B, one student in class 6B also said “ you can imagine that we have from 3 and a half to 4 hours in class, after having lunch, we have to attend the SJ club, no time for relaxing. I am so exhausted, I can’t” (line 145147, interview with student B), students do not want to attend, teacher sometimes have to “look for students…… if the students are industrious, they will come, if not, they will go out for playing” (line 53-55, interview with teacher Z). 4.1.4. The students’ awareness

Lastly, the students’ awareness of the importance of English is also another obstacle for teachers to overcome. Among 8 students we have interviewed, only two students are really keen on studying English while others seem to pay no attention to this subject. Student B said that “regardless of how carefully the teacher says, English could not come into my mind” (line 135, interview with student B). Students’ laziness and lack of motivation to study turn out to be the biggest difficulty for the teachers to overcome. Conclusion: To sum up, compared with the related studies we have mentioned in the literature review chapter, our findings have some points in common but some other useful and meaningful ones. Among our findings about teachers’ difficulties, the two difficulties including students’ awareness of English and lack of materials in Braille are partly similar to the challenges from the journal “Teaching English as a New Language to Visually Impaired and Blind ESL Students: Problems and Possibilities” by Sylvie Kashdan & Robby Barnes. However, other difficulties such as lack of reference books, inconvenient classroom arrangement, balancing the benefits between the blind and the fully sighted students in one class; or unstable rooms and stressful timetable of the tutorial lessons, etc. have not been found in other research, which help us confirm the meaningfulness of our own one. 4.2. What are the solutions to teachers' difficulties when organizing speaking activities for blind students, as suggested by teachers? Encountering the mentioned difficulties while developing blind students speaking proficiency, English teachers at Nguyen Dinh Chieu school suggested practical solutions towards this issue based on their long period of


teaching experience. Their suggestions are classified into two categories: inclass solutions and out-class solutions. Regarding in-class teaching time, teachers agreed that board writing should be accompanied by oral instructions and explanations which help reduce the inconvenience among blind students when they followed the lesson flow. In more detailed, students would be able to use their hearing ability to make up for their lost in visual ability.
While teaching we can have some adjustment, which do not affect the over all learning atmosphere, for instance, when we speak, we have to speak louder so that they can hear us, or when we do board writing, we should tell them the content so that they know what we are doing, or we can introduce the activities we are arranging, like: “now we look at the slide and there is a picture on it.

Teacher Y, an English teacher of Nguyen Dinh Chieu expressed. (Line 20-26, Interview with Teacher Y) Secondly, teachers understood that blind students need a lot of encouragements in speaking activities to overcome their psychological obstacle. To be more specific, teachers recommended that speaking opportunities should be opened as much as possible in order to form a speaking habit. This would gradually fade out their psychological hardship. Speaking opportunities could be set up by simply call them to answer questions, read dialogues, pronounce new words, etc. Sometimes, questions should be made easy to avoid discouraging them and sometimes enforcement was necessary. Apart from that, teachers also seek help from normal students in class by asking them to assist their blind classmates. Teacher X of Nguyen Dinh Chieu school said:
Blind students can’t see the board so teachers pay attention to the seat arrangement, which mean we ask a good students to seat next to the blind, when the teacher write 46

something on the board, this blind students while read it out while they write so that the blind can copy it down, or with those who have serious visual impairment, their neighbors all know to show them their notebook after they finish writing.” (Line 18-22, Interview with Teacher X)

…usually we ask the students sit next to the blind student to transform the picture into oral description. It means that when I show my students a picture of a group of students playing soccer, the normal students will immediately know “they are playing soccer” but the blind students can not see it, then we have to let the students sit next to them tell them what picture we are showing, which means, there are always collaborations between the teachers and the students who sit next to the blinds because the blinds can understand the lesson or not depends largely on the ones sit next to them...”(Line 35-42, Interview with Teacher X)

In this case, teachers should pay attention to the neighbors of the blind as well. If the neighbors did not have enough ability to help the blind or they were not willing to support their disabled friends, teachers should make changes in terms of seat arrangements. Concerning out-class activities, Nguyen Dinh Chieu school has organized extra classes for blind students in the afternoon. English teachers have made use of these classes to provide the blind students with more explanation and practice. Additionally, new words would be pre-teach so that in class time, the blind can catch up with their peers and spend more time on listening and speaking since new words were written beforehand.
Honestly, extra classes have 2 parts, revision and pre-learning for the next lesson. (...) We pre-teach so that when they re-learn in the next lesson in class, they don’t have difficulties in copying the words (in terms of speed) (...) they learned writing

already, in class they only listen, and re-read, they don’t have to write anymore. We let them write in the extra-classes already, in class they only read. (Line 3-7, 46-49, Interview with Teacher Z)

More over, there are also programs for volunteered students and foreign teachers to teach and help the blind at school. The classes are at noon and in the afternoon. The blind have chance to learn with native speakers, which benefit their speaking skills. Teachers believed that the blind should be encouraged to attend those classes regularly. In a nutshell, English teachers at Nguyen Dinh Chieu school have found out many methods to overcome all the obstacles arisen when teaching speaking English for blind students. However, they still face problems in terms of facilities (the lack of braille books, braille pictures, microphones, etc.) and balancing attention in class since the majority of each class are still normal students. Conclusion: The researchers believe that most of the findings on the

solutions perceived by English teachers at Nguyen Dinh Chieu school to overcome their difficulties when teaching speaking English for blind student have not been mentioned by previous studies since the participants we chose were Nguyen Dinh Chieu’s students and teachers, who have not officially took part in any kind of research under this theme. One of the most outstanding findings in this paper lies on the afternoon tutorial program led by Nguyen Dinh Chieu English teachers, volunteered students and foreign natives. In addition, we found that little attention was put on sparing more time setting up classes to help the visual impaired catch up with the work load in their

normal classes. Moreover, the seeking for help of normal classmates to their blind peers was not referred as a useful strategy either. That is not to mention some other small holes that we have filled such as board-writing accompanied by oral instruction or reducing the difficulty levels of the inclass questions. 4.3. What are the difficulties that blind students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu encounter when participating in speaking activities in class, as perceived by the students?

The 8 interviews with the blind students, 4 observation sessions at English classes organized by teachers at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school, and experiences from an one-week practicum at this school (14 English lessons) have equipped the researchers with some insights into the difficulties met by the blind students in involving in speaking activities. These difficulties could be put into two different categories: Difficulties coming from the blind students themselves and difficulties coming from the learning environment including difficulties from the teachers, tutors, friends, and the facilities. 4.3.1. Subjective difficulties

In the first place, there exist some particular hindrances caused by the blind students themselves to their involvement in speaking activities. Firstly, most of the interviewed students (7/8) admitted that they are not really good at English and often find it very hard to memorize/ pronounce the new words in


their course books. One student even expressed that she could not remember the English words and how to pronounce it because the pronunciation and the spelling of the words are too different from each other. (line 57-59, student O). Therefore, blind students find themselves rather slow in participating in speaking activities. Secondly, since it takes the blind students more time than the normal students to take notes/ to read the texts, they hardly have time to prepare for and participate in the questions/ activities teachers raise for the whole class. For instance, one blind boy revealed that because he had serious troubles reading what teachers write on the board, he had to wait for his friends to help and therefore could not catch up with the whole class’s speed. When this blind student finished taking notes, he hardly had time to thinking about the teacher’s questions (line 43-44, interview with student H). Likewise, another blind girl also shared that because she had to read the Braille text, she could not follow the speed of the class (line 7-9, interview with student L).These situations also happen to all other six interviewed students. Thirdly, some psychological problems are said to cause great hindrance to the blind students’ involvement in speaking activities. A teacher of English expressed:
I think some elements related to personal characteristics and psychology greatly affect their participation in speaking activities. Maybe they are not bad at English at all, but they are too shy and therefore rarely raise their voices in class. For example, H, the blind student you’ve just observed in my class, rarely raises his voice and anytime I call him, he speaks very softly (line 145-153, interview with teacher Y)

The blind students themselves also admit that they rarely raise their hands to answer the questions or volunteer to participate in the activities in class because they are too shy. Five out of eight interviewed students said that they are afraid of getting wrong answers and being possibly made fun of by their

classmates. “I never raise my hand to answer my teacher’s questions” (line 53-54, interview with student G); “No, I never volunteer to answer. I just sit and close my eyes in class” (line 57-58, interview with student B), “I’d rather speak to myself than speak in front of other people” (line 50-66, interview with student Y) are common sharing from the blind students. In addition, from the results of the observation sessions, the researchers can find no tallies for point 1, part C about blind students in the observation scheme that writes “Blind students volunteer to participate in the activities”. What can be interpreted from these results is blind students are not ready and comfortable to volunteer to participate in speaking activities organized by teachers. Generally, the blind students’ English competence, their speed of reading/ taking notes in Braille and some psychology-related elements may cause some obstacles to their participation in English speaking activities. 4.3.2. Objective difficulties In the second place, some elements of the learning environment also cause difficulties to the blind students in taking part in the speaking activities in English lessons. These elements include the teachers/ tutors, friends, and the facilities. Difficulties related to teachers Though all of the English teachers at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school are quite experienced in teaching English to visually impaired students (from 4 years to 21 years), teaching English to both fully sighted and blind students at the same time is not always an easy task. Therefore, sometimes the


teacher’s activities also cause some difficulties to the blind students in mastering speaking skills. First, the types of activities that teachers choose to use in their lessons sometimes negatively affect the visually impaired students’ participation. According to what researchers observed from teacher Y’s English class on November 17th, 2009, blind students could not join in activities like guessing games (students take turns to mime for their friends to guess the words/ sentences), matching exercises (students match the options and then stand up to tell the whole class their answers) and describing pictures (students describe activities in some pictures). Though it is undeniable that the benefits of fully sighted students should be taken into account, the choice of such activities may cause problems to integrated blind students. Second, though teachers often spell/ read what they are writing on the board, they may only focus on the new ones and sometimes even forget to spell/ read the information on the board/ slides, therefore, some students still revealed that “though the words are learnt already, sometimes we cannot recall them, so when teachers write them on the board without spelling, we cannot take notes and cannot understand the activities” (line 8-10, interview with student T). Third, despite the usefulness of the tutorials, they are occasionally cancelled by the teachers (line 160-164, student O & line 197-199, interview with student V)This causes the students to face a lot of difficulties in dealing with new lessons, especially the pronunciation of new words because this area of knowledge is not included in the books (line 59, interview with student T). In short, teachers’ choice of activities in class, board writing and cancellation of tutorials may create some obstacles to the blind students’ learning of English in general and involving in speaking activities in particular. Difficulties related to tutors

Fortunately, apart from the support from teachers’ tutorials, visually impaired students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school also receive the help from foreign volunteers and some Vietnamese volunteers from Hanoi University of Technology. The volunteers are no less helpful to the learning of the students than the teachers. To be more specific, foreign volunteers from SJ organization are greatly helpful in creating chances for blind students to communicate in English (line 211-224, interview with student V). Likewise, volunteers from Hanoi University of Technology are also helpful tutors of the blind. However, SJ volunteers often get the students to learn new knowledge and to participate in activities they themselves plan. For example, students may have chance to listen and discuss about some stories(line 208-210, interview with student V). These activities, though very exciting and creative, are not directly and closely related to the in-class activities, and therefore do not help students much with their learning in class. The tutors from Hanoi University of Technology, similarly, cannot help blind students much with their English lessons (line 114-117, interview with student T) because they are not majored in English. In addition, one student also expressed that “sometimes I really want to ask the tutors some questions related to English but I think they don’t know, so I do not dare to ask.” (line 236, interview with student V) Difficulties related to friends According to teacher X, the help of the students sitting next to blind students in class plays a very important role in the learning process of the blind pupils (line 15-22, interview with teacher X). For example, this teacher shared a tip for teachers to use pictures in teaching English even when there were blind

students in the class. That is to ask the students sitting next to the blind ones to describe the main contents of the pictures for their blind mates. However, this source of help is not always available, which causes certain difficulties to the participation of the blind students in speaking activities. To be more specific, student G expressed that “if the classmate is kind, they will be very willing to help me but if they are not really kind and generous, I myself do not dare to ask for any help” (line 92-93, interview with student G). In addition, the blind students are left sitting alone in speaking activities requiring pair/group work. This point is shared by four interviewed students. One blind girl shared that in some speaking activities requiring pair/group discussion, the student sitting next to her often turn to the student sitting in front of/ behind to discuss, leaving her sitting alone (line 116-127, interview with student O). Another blind student said that because the student sitting next to him is often not very serious in pair/ group discussion, they do not speak to each other in those activities (line 74-78, interview with student T). Moreover, some observation sessions at class 6B on November 13th, at class 9B on October 14th 2009, at class 7A on October 15th 2009 also revealed that the students who were assigned to sit next to the blind students often turn to the students sitting in front of/ behind them to carry out the pair/ group discussions instead of talking to their blind peers. Adding to that, according to T, a blind student, misunderstandings also occur between him and his fully sighted friends. He said that “my fully sighted friends often spell the new words for me but we occasionally misunderstand each other. For example, if they say the letter “r” in Vietnamese, some of them may say “e rờ”, some of them may say “rờ”, so I often write “e” and “r” instead of “r” if they say “e rờ”.” (line 17-25, interview with student T). Moreover, fully-sighted students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school do not know how to read Braille letters; if the blind pupils

write the wrong words after mishearing the spelling, they cannot check/ correct the spelling for their blind mates. This obviously creates some hindrances to the learning process of the blind students. What is more, according to our observation, one more difficulty related to the fully sighted students is that they are usually very noisy in class, which is specially annoying to the blind students who base mostly on the hearing sense. Difficulties related to the facilities Although Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school is one among the rare schools that teach blind students, the facilities for the blind’s learning process is not adequately equipped. According to T, a blind student at this school, there is no pronunciation transcription of new words in his books, so he often finds it impossible to master the pronunciation by himself. Furthermore, his Braille course book(English 9) also lacks the glossary at the back, which is the reason why he has to spend a lot of time detecting the new words in each lesson by himself (line 59-63, interview with student T). In conclusion, though the school and teachers have put many efforts in creating an appropriate learning environment for the blind students, there are still some obstacles that these students may face with when participating in English lessons, especially in speaking activities. Conclusion: All in all, this research has found out a lot of difficulties met by the blind and visually impaired students, which were not ever studied in other aforementioned related studies. To be more specific, this research, firstly, has provided some insights into the hindrances to the involvement of blind students in speaking activities from the student’s perspective. This could be


considered a meaningful contribution as all other related studies only mentioned the hindrances from the perceptions of educators and teachers without considering ones from the students’ angle. Secondly, since this study was particularly conducted in a specific school, to be more precise – Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school, the difficulties met by the students are believed to be more specific and useful in the context of this school. For example, the student’s perceptions of their difficulties related to the tutorials, the facilities, the teachers, etc are studied carefully so that specific and practical solutions could be drawn, which could not be done effectively basing on other related studies that only mentioned general ideas about English teaching and learning to the blind or on ones that were conducted in different contexts. 4.4. What are the solutions to students' difficulties in participating in speaking activities, as suggested by blind students?

Being aware of their own difficulties in participating in speaking activities, blind students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school have also recommended some solutions. These suggestions can be seen through some interviews with blind students, as well as the observations of the researcher. Regarding the difficulties related to facilities, in which the English textbooks written in Braille are lack of the phonemic transcriptions of new words, some of students use high technology to solve this problem. Student V, who is quite hard-working and fond of learning English, shared:


I often look the word up in the computer, then the computer pronounces it for me. Whenever I encounter a new word which I do not know how to pronounce, I often take note and then look it up in the computer. Every week there are about two IT sessions at school, and on the average, every two of us share one computer, so that’s quite convenient. (line 25-43, interview with student V) Sometimes I make a copy of my lessons in class and save it in my own mobile phone, so that I can listen to it again at home to better understand the lesson, and also to learn the pronunciation of new words. (line 128-134, interview with student V)

In terms of the difficulties related to the low seeing competency of the blind students, which prevents them from reading as fast as the normal students do, they have also recommended some solutions. Student H shared:
My seeing competency is very low, at the level of 2/10. Therefore, I have to use a special device, which is a magnifier, to read books and handouts. (line 19-22, line 56-61, interview with student H)

Besides, since blind students here receive quite a lot of supports from others, they often take advantage of these supports in their learning speaking English. Almost all of the students often ask their friends for help, including both their roommates at the dorm, and also their classmates. Students T said:


Right at the beginning of the semester, the teacher often arranges the seats among students. Normally, the teacher often chooses good students to take a seat right next to the blind students, so that the blind ones can ask them for help when needed. (line 1011, interview with student T)

Moreover, blind students regularly have the tutorials after class, in which they can ask their teachers for anything unclear in the lesson. In this tutorials, the teacher often revise blind students the old lessons, help them prepare for the new ones, and create chances for them to practice speaking English by asking questions. Additionally, students here usually receive the tutorials by voluntary students coming from the Hanoi University of Technology, University of Civil Engineering. Therefore, in these tutorials, blind students have chances to ask the volunteers anything unclear in the lessons, and also to speak English with them. Generally, these students’ solutions can partly solve their difficulties in learning speaking English. Some of the solutions are shared among many blind students, whereas some of them are not very common and practical to a large amount of students (like the use of mobile phone, as suggested by student V).


Conclusion: With a reference back to some pieces of research which have been discussed in the literature review, the study has been proved to have some new and useful findings. Firstly, none of the reviewed research studies blind students’ solutions to their own problems in learning English, let alone participating in English speaking activities. Therefore, this study helps to fill in the gap in the research field about the perception of blind students about the ways to solve their problems. Secondly, concerning some problems that are included in the review pieces of research, like their low English competence as a result of visual impairment, or their obsession about their disability, this study did give out proper solutions to these problems as well. For example, students can use special learning aids, can ask their peers for help, or can go to tutorials to improve their English speaking ability.

Summary The chapter has provided a thorough analysis and discussion of data collected from the two instruments as a way of giving detailed answers to the four research questions. This critical step serves as the foundations for the summary of the major findings and important pedagogical implications to be discussed in the next final chapter of the paper.


Chapter 5: Conclusion The previous chapters have been dedicated to the elaboration of the introduction, the literature, the implementation and the results of the research. This final chapter will sum up the major findings, unfold some pedagogical implications and evaluate the whole paper by pinpointing the limitations, leading to an urge in proposing some possible directions to further studies. 5.1. Major findings of the study: Generally speaking, this research paper has revealed some major findings on the students’ learning of English speaking at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school as follows: To begin with, the paper has dug deeper into the findings of major problems of teachers in organizing and involving students into English speaking activities, which are categorized into the subjective difficulties and objective difficulties.


Second, many attempts have been made to find the teachers’ solutions to these problems, which are categorized and presented in the same order with the teachers’ problems. Third, students’ problems are found out and also categorized into two main parts, namely subjective and objective difficulties. Finally, suggestions to the students’ problems are presented as well. However, the solutions are classified in terms of facilities, competency and tutorials.

5.2. Pedagogical suggestions Above the paper have reported solutions given and applied by the English teachers and the blind students themselves. Honestly, the researchers all appreciate their pedagogical suggestions and believe in their big effort in teaching and learning speaking English. Yet, some difficulties are still existed and need to be solved. Therefore, the researchers hereafter would like to recommend some more suggestions with the hope to fill in the most left-out blanks. First of all, we believe that a Braille Phonetics systems is needed to assist blind students in learning speaking, especially pronunciation. We understand the hardship blind students have to encounter without the phonetics systems. They need to rely on their friends and teachers to read the word to them since the pronouncing rules in English is much different from the Vietnamese’s (as mentioned in Students’ difficulties). With the Braille Phonetics systems, the students may learn to pronounce new words more independently thus may promote their speaking proficiency faster. All of all, students’ autonomy in learning should be encouraged since it is one of the keys to their success.

Secondly, Braille books should be kept more systematically. We learned from Teacher Z that the the number of Braille Books is in shortage because there are books lost each year. (Line 9-13, Interview with teacher Z). Moreover, raising the students’ awareness in protecting the school books can not be done in one or two days. Therefore, in our point of view, the library should strengthen the rules of borrowing books and keep record of the students who borrow the books to reduce the number of book lost. Thirdly, we suggest teachers provide students with more reliable sources for learning English through listening. It’s true that students have already shared among themselves but if there are professional judgments and guidelines from the teacher through the learning materials, it is likely that students will feel more secured. In fact, teachers can join hands to build up materials themselves since there are a lot of volunteered foreigners come to the school regularly. With the help of professional volunteered teachers and the understanding on the blind students features, the self designed materials by teachers in the school are potentially fit the needs of the blind students thus would be the precious resources that students may count on. Finally, the key of teaching is the passion in our work. As long as teachers still carry the deep passion to devote to their teaching, any challenges would be overcome Teacher’s enthusiasm is one of the biggest motivations for students and we believe that motivation is what the blind students need most of all to leave behind their psychological obstacles. 5.3. Limitations of the current study: Although the four researchers have put big efforts into the paper, devoted time and also money to complete the process of observing, interviewing, analyzing,

etc. this research still meets some certain shortcomings due to the time constraints and many unexpected as well as unavoidable factors. First, the number of participants take part in the interviews is not big. However, the researchers did manage to interview all the English teachers of Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school as well as equalize the number of interviewed students in each grade. Therefore, this still allow the researchers to have an over all view of the difficulties the secondary blind students and their teachers are facing together with the solutions suggested and applied by them. Second, the observation times are also limited. Nevertheless, the researchers had chance to experience the difficulties themselves by being the substituted teachers for one week. For that, the researchers not only have an outside view but also inside view to investigate the matter inside out. This would allow a deeper analysis in the study. In summary, despite some certain limitations, the researchers believe that the results provided by this study are reliable and trustworthy. Yet, further studies should be aware to produce a more effective paper. 5.4. Contribution of the research: This research is believed to be helpful to teachers and researchers or anyone who is interested in teaching English to blind students at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school. Firstly, the study provides an insight into the difficulties teachers may face with when teaching English, especially when organizing speaking activities for blind children. Therefore, new teachers who do not have many experience in teaching to such students can rely on this study to be more proactive in their teaching process. In addition, the research also studies the difficulties met by

the blind students, which can be a helpful source of reference for all the teachers and the school managers to understand their students’ needs to provide better learning environment and facilitation. Secondly, researchers and anyone who happens to develop an interest in this topic can take this research as a reliable reference for their related studies in the future. 5.4. Suggestions for further research: As for the limitations of the research, the researchers expect a wider research scope to be taken. It would be better if the further study can involve researching of the whole blind students’ population at Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school, to find out other particular difficulties and suggestions as perceived by the blind students. Therefore, the major problems and solutions can be more closely examined. In addition, further study can broaden their scope of study into students’ learning English, and also learning in general, since some problems and solutions can be found commonly for their study as well. Taking one step further, it would investigate the whole picture of blind students’ studying English and other subjects to better improve this critical process.


Aiazzi, A. M. (2007). Teaching English to Blind and Visually Impaired Pupils. Retrieved September 12, 2009, from %E2%80%9CTeaching+English+to+Blind+and+Visually+Impaired+P upils %E2%80%9D+by+Anna+Maria+Aiazzi:.&cd=1&hl=vi&ct=clnk&gl=v n&client=firefox-a American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. (2000). Houghton Miffin Company. Bygate, M. (1987). Speaking. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Byrne, Donn. (1986). Teaching Oral English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. (1999). Retrieved April 11, 2010 from Cambridge English Dictionary and Thesaurus online: Cline D, Hofstetter HW, & Griffin JR. (1997). Dictionary of Visual Science(4th edition). Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann


Crystal, D. (1977). Advanced Conversational English. London: Longman. Hanoimoi Online Daily News (2007). Truong PTCS Nguyen Dinh Chieu ki niem 25 nam ngay thanh lap. Retrieved on Sunday, September 13th, 2009 from chieu_ky_niem_25_nam_ngay_thanh_lap.html Huong, T., (Eds.). (2009). English Language teaching Methodology II. Hanoi: National University International Congress of Ophthalmology (2002), Visual standards report (p.2), Sydney, Australia. Kashdan, S., & Barnes, R. (1998). Teaching English as a New Language to Visually Impaired and Blind ESL Students: Problems and Possibilities. Journal of Kaizen Program for New English Learners with Visual Limitations. Retrieved September 12, 2009, from SectionID=44&TopicID=108&SubTopicID=32&DocumentID=19 33 Miller, G. et al, (2010). Retrieved April 11, 2010 from Wordnet, A lexical Database for English: s=objective Nation, P (1991). Fluency Improvement in a Second Language. RELC Jounal, vol.22:1, 84-94. Nguyen Q.B. (2009).Con nhieu rao can trong viec day ngoai ngu. Retrieved on Sunday September 13th, 2009 from


Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (7th edition). (2005). Oxford: Oxford University Press Seng, C., (2004). Teaching English to blind students. Teaching English, retrieved September from Visual standards report prepared for the International Council of Ophthalmology at the 29th International Congress of Ophthalmology. (2002). Sydney: p.1 Trask (1982) Teaching and Learning Language. England: Cambridge University Press. Visual standards report prepared for the International Council of Ophthalmology at the 29th International Congress of Ophthalmology. (2002). Sydney: p.1 Wikipedia,Blindness. Retrieved on Sunday, September 13th, 2009 from Wikipedia, Vision loss. Retrieved on September 23th 2009, from World Health Organization. International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision (ICD-9), World Health Organization, Geneva, 1977.


Appendix 1-

Interview set for teachers

1.1 Pre-teaching 1.1.1. Lúc soạn bài cho cả học sinh khiếm thị và học sinh bình thường, cô có gặp khó khăn trong vấn đề soạn bài không? (ví dụ: chọn hoạt động nói cho học sinh, có hay không có trò chơi? V.v…) Nếu có thì đó là khó khăn gì? 1.1.2. Cô có chuẩn bị phương tiện dạy học gì đặc biệt cho các em khiếm thị không? Nếu có thì đó là gì? nếu không thì tại sao?


1.1.3. Cô có đề ra mục tiêu học của các em khiếm thị đạt được như thế nào? (thấp, bằng hay cao hơn các em học sinh bình thường? ) Tại sao cô lại đặt mục tiêu như vậy? 1.1.4. Cô có dự đoán trước khó khăn cụ thể của học sinh khiếm thị khi tham gia vào hoạt động nói mà cô đã soạn để chuẩn bị dạy không? Nếu có, cô có tìm cách khắc phục không? Cụ thể cách khắc phục của cô thế nào? 1.2. While-teaching 1.2.1. Trong khi dạy, cô có thường xuyên gọi các em khiếm thị trả lời / tham gia vào các hoạt động nói không? Nếu có thì mức độ thường xuyên thế nào? Nếu không thì tại sao? 1.2.2. Cô nhận thấy các em khiếm thị có tích cực tham gia vào các hoạt động nói trên lớp không? Nếu có thì đó là hoạt động gì? Nếu không thì các cô làm thế nào để thu hút các em?


1.2.3. Cô có khó khăn gì về phương tiện dạy học đặc biệt hay cơ sở vật chất dành cho các em khiếm thị không? Nếu có, theo cô tại sao lại có tình trạng đó? Hướng khắc phục của cô thế nào? 1.3. Post-teaching 1.3.1. Cô có thể mô tả lại thực trạng của giờ học phụ đạo cho các em khiếm thị sau giờ học không? (thời gian, địa điểm, nội dung, phưong pháp…) 1.3.2. Cô có dạy phụ đạo môn nói cho các em khiếm thị không? Nếu có thì dạy theo hình thức và phương pháp nào? Nếu không thì tại sao? 1.3.3. Theo cô đánh giá, các em học sinh khiếm thị có thể tiếp thu / tiến bộ nhiều từ chương trình phụ đạo này không? Nếu không thì tại sao?


Appendix 2- Interview

set for students

2.1. Before-class 2.1.1. Trước khi đến lớp, em có đọc bài trước ở nhà không? Có tập nói trước ở nhà không? Nếu có, em thường gặp những khó khăn gì (ví dụ như không biết phát âm đúng hay sai) 2.1.2. Khi chuẩn bị bài trước ở nhà, em có được sự trợ giúp gì từ thầy cô hay bạn bè không? 2.1.3. Em có cảm thấy kĩ năng nói quan trọng như thế nào việc học Tiếng Anh? 2.2. In-class 2.2.1. Trong lớp, em có thường xuyên giơ tay phát biếu ý kiến xây dựng bài học hay không? Nếu có thì mức độ thường xuyên thế nào? Nếu không thì tại sao? 2.2.2. Em có cần sự trợ giúp nhiều từ bạn bè và thầy cô khi học tập trên lớp không?


Bạn bè trong lớp có giúp đỡ em đọc bài, chép bài trong thời gian học tập trên lớp hay không? 2.2.3. Em có dung phương tiện học tập đặc biệt nào không? Phương tiện đó có tiện lợi cho em khi sử dụng hay không? 2.3. After-class 2.3.1. Em có thể mô tả lại thực trạng của giờ học phụ đạo Tiếng Anh của các em sau giờ học không? (thời gian, địa điểm, nội dung, phưong pháp…) Trong giờ học các em có nhiều cơ hội để tập nói tiếng Anh hay không? 2.3.2. Theo em tự đánh giá, em có thể tiếp thu / tiến bộ nhiều từ chương trình phụ đạo này không? Nếu không thì tại sao?

2.3.3. Em có tự rèn luyện kĩ năng nói ở nhà hay không? Nếu không thì tại sao? Nếu có thì mức độ thường xuyên như thế nào?


Appendix 3- observation


Observer:............................................................................................................ Date: ............................................ Time: from..................... to........................... Class: ............................................ by teacher: ................................................. Unit:................................................Type of lesson.............................................

A. Speaking activities
Speaking activities 1 Practical situation
. 2 . 3 . 4 . 5 . 6 . 7 . 8 . 9 . Tallies Total Notes

Guessing games

Information gathering activity

Jigsaw activity

Role - play


Opinion sharing

Reasoning gap activity

Prepared talks


B.Teacher 1. Giving instructions:
1. Activities Teacher explains the instructions again to the blind students or ask them to repeat after the rest of the class are 2. already clear Teacher has other students explain the instructions to the blind students after 3. the rest of the class are already clear Teacher uses non-verbal communication 4. to demonstrate the activity rules Teacher applies pictures, hand outs or board writing to demonstrating the instructions Tallies Total Notes

2. Holding the activities
2.1. Using visual aids
5. 6. Activities Teacher uses hand-outs to organize/ aid in-class activities Teacher uses pictures, videos, miming or other types of visual aids to motivate the 7. students Teacher prepares hand-outs in Braille of extra exercises or activities that are not in 8. the course books Teacher writes words/ grammar points/ language focused points on the board or displays on other visual equipments Tallies Total Notes

2.2. Using audio aids
9. 1 Activities Teacher does not speak loudly so that students at the back can hear Teacher is not equipped with microphone Tallies Total Notes


1 1.

or has troubles with the micro-phone Teacher spells the new/ difficult words

2.3. Other techniques
1 2. 1 3. 1 4. 1 5. Activities Teacher calls the blind students to talk Teacher has students including blind students work in pairs/ groups Teacher mentions words related to vision such as “color”, “see”, “look”, “watch” Teacher holds competitive activities in which students need to be physically involved (run to the board for example) Tallies Total Notes

C.Blind students (BS)
1 2 3 4. 5 6 7 Activities BS volunteer to participate in the activities BS are called by teacher BS can not answer the teacher’s questions BS can answer the teacher’s questions BS ask their peers to help them with the instructions/ new words BS refused to participate in the activities BS sit still during activities using realia/ pictures (E.g: activity 2, grade 8 course 8 book: describing people) BS speak to their peers in pair work/ group work (role play in dialogue, practice pronouncing the new words, for 9 example) BS finish reading Braille text nearly at the same time as/ soon after the class 10 11 finish reading BS don’t locate the exact words that teacher mentions in the lesson BS take notes in Braille Tallies Total Notes



The class is too noisy


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