September 5, 2011

Sample Term Paper on the Improvement of the Teaching of the English Language to Students with Visual Impairment

Improvement of the Teaching of the English Language to Students with Visual Impairment

In teaching English as a Second Language or ESL to students with visual impairment, involves deep sense of challenges for both English educators and the visually impaired students. Typically, ESL programs do not really focus on the people with disabilities. And, this is a real challenge in coping with various factors in teaching these visually impaired students, on how they can access the learning tools and training materials; as well as how to locate and recruit efficient and effective tutors that will build good rapport with the visually impaired students. So, in order to improve the method of English language teaching to them, there must be an assistive or adaptive technology that wills assistive, adaptive and rehabilitative devices for them. In fact, Assistive/Adaptive Technology (AT) helps to promote tremendous sense of independence on the part of the visually impaired students. Through interacting with the use of new technology needed to accomplish the teaching and learning tasks more effectively and efficiently. Based on the survey made in the previous year, there were 20 ophthalmologists and optometrists who did their services to 33 immigrants or refugees with visual impairments, out of 656 visually impaired immigrants. And, 577 of them were requesting for interpreters, indicating various difficulties in understanding the universal language, which also led them a hard time to believe in themselves that they can learn the English language in due time. In this connection, St. James ESL or (SJESL) was built to serve these visually impaired students through its mainstream program that primarily focused on the fully sighted students. Actually, this is a non-sectarian community that offers its outreach service to these students with the help and support of their various benefactors and advocates, volunteers and staff. The school has been rendering its services for 30 years now. And, luckily, it has also able to meet the ESL needs of the low income visually impaired students from every part of the world. However, there is still need of further improvement on the teaching facilities and tools, because there are still many immigrants who are not able to avail the service.

(http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=44&TopicID=108&SubTopicID=32&DocumentID=1933)

Furthermore, screen magnification, is software that is used by people or students with visual impairment, in order to access information in the computer screens. The software has the capability to enlarge data and information through incremental factors. The screen magnification programs have simultaneous running with the computer’s operating system and applications. And, the most interesting part, there is the excellent screen magnification programs that are flexible to magnify the entire screen, parts of the screen or even magnifying glass view. All these programs have inverted colors that enhanced the pointer viewing and tracking selection. In addition, there is a screen reading software that has the ability to read aloud everything on the computer screen. Including the text, pull down menus, icons, dialog boxes and web pages. In the same way, there is also a scanning or reading systems which combined together in software. It has the ability to read aloud any printed text; as well as textbooks, class handouts, tests can be scanned in and read aloud by a computer too. Subsequently, there is also a portable note taker, a portable note taker that provides speech output without any visual display; and can be connected to printers and computers for printing and uploading purposes. There are video magnifiers too; they are closed circuit televisions which enlarge written materials and small objects. At the same time, all printed materials from the book can be magnified through CCTV for easy viewing. Finally, a digital book reader is a software that playbacks RFB&D’s audio plus CD books on a desktop or laptop computer. With all these in mind, if all English language schools have all these high-technologies, it is easier for the visually impaired students to cope up with their lesson. For sure, studying ESL will be both educating and enjoyable to them.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assistive_technology)

Nevertheless, the mainstream community based ESL programs really depend on the fully sighted fluent English speaking educators and volunteers. And, the tools they only have in the school are the audio cassette tapes and cassette players for the students. But, theses students can even learn further about the English language; if they are provided with complete and advanced assistive technology system. Being accessible to modern teaching and learning formats and tools can easily motivate these students to get interested to study the English language. In the final note, adapting the new technology in teaching is the most challenging job in teaching ESL because it leads to a wide perspective among the visually impaired students in the world.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assistive_technology)

References:

(http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=44&TopicID=108&SubTopicID=32&DocumentID=1933)

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assistive_technology)

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assistive_technology)

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