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Making EFL classes inclusive for visually impaired students

Alexis Lefranc's IATEFL workshop about visual impairment inclusion in the EFL classroom. Based on the experience of the British Council Riyadh team.

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Making EFL classes inclusive for visually impaired students

  1. 1. Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council © Making Adult EFL Classes Inclusive for Visually Impaired Students 1 Alexis Lefranc - British Council Riyadh. Saudi Arabia
  2. 2. Session aims Do you know anyone who is blind / visually impaired? (UK: 2 million people experience sight loss, 360,000 legally blind / partially sighted). • Situational awareness: experimenting with blind behaviour. • Practical awareness: identify challenges linked to Visual Impairment (VI) inclusion in the EFL classroom. • Practical solutions: a set of teaching tips to make your classes inclusive. 2Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  3. 3. Blind and Bold - Experimenting with Visual Stimulus 3 With your blindfolded partner, make your way to your seat. Take off your blindfold and take a moment to look into your partner’s eyes. • If you were blindfolded: how much trust did you feel you needed to place in your partner’s hands? • If you were guiding: how much responsibility did you feel you had to ensure your partner’s safety? Have you ever taught blind/visually impaired students? Or students with other physical disabilities? Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  4. 4. Different types of visual impairment 4 Source: Maha Khochen British Council SEN Webinar December 2013. With Permission. Macular Degeneration (centre of the retina) Glaucoma (optic nerve) Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  5. 5. Mainstreaming: Background Is anyone familiar with the concept of mainstreaming in education? • Until Classical age, disability = divine punishment or social inadequacy (Foucault, 1961) • 19th / 20th century: Disabled persons = objects of specific attention. Notion of special education (e.g. Montessori) and medical model. • Mainstreaming posits disabled persons as subjects with rights, including being part of society - social model (UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons - 2006). 5Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  6. 6. Visual Impairment: International Context 6 Late 19th century: Writing and reading systems developed for VI and blind persons (incl. Braille). 1948: International Declaration of Human Rights 1953/1991: International Conventions on Braille usage. Since 1970s: Mainstreaming developed as a concept 2006: UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UK ratified 2009) Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  7. 7. Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities Article 24: Education 1. States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to education. With a view to realizing this right without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity, States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning (…) 2. In realizing this right, States Parties shall ensure that (…) persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability, 3. States Parties shall enable persons with disabilities to learn life and social development skills to facilitate their full and equal participation in education and as members of the community. https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the- rights-of-persons-with-disabilities.html 7Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  8. 8. 8 Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  9. 9. Visual impairment inclusion in EFL • A blind spot in global mainstreaming. There is “Little interface or cross-training among ESL and Braille teachers” (Guinan, 1997). • Initiatives do exist, but tend to be isolated and local. Access to Braille material, training and support when operating abroad is a challenge. • The EFL sector lags behind the UK education system in accommodating special needs. 9Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  10. 10. VI Inclusion in EFL: Real life situation Scenario: you are an EFL teacher working for a mid-size school or teaching centre. A group of 25 visually impaired students are joining your school. One of them is due to study in your elementary class. What are the challenges you expect to face in providing inclusive classes to these students (and in particular the one you teach)? Think of the following: Practical issues Relationship (or social) issues 10Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  11. 11. VI Inclusion: Practical & Social Challenges 11 Mobility and safety  Centre Access  Mobility on the premises  Go to person?  Emergency procedure? Making contact  Course information access?  Additional guidance if required? Communication  Basic communication (low levels)  Staff trained to interact with VI?  Staff aware of VI presence on premises? Discrimination  EO&D policy?  If yes, are students and staff all aware of it?  Will they act accordingly? Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  12. 12. Addressing practical and social challenges 12 Mobility and safety  Provide full premises induction (lavatories, emergency exits, etc)  Identify students’ degree of impairment (can they get around)  Have a SEN coordinator (SENCO) liaise on SEN issues. Making contact  Make regular email or phone contact, incl. in L1.  Ensure information is sent via email (handouts, course info). Communication  Ensure a bilingual colleague is on hand to help when needed.  Provide adequate staff training  CS must be aware of SEN presence - best flag it upon registration. Discrimination  Communicate EO&D policy to staff (training) and students (upon reg).  Publicise it through visuals, emails, awareness raising events. Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  13. 13. Blind and bold - In the classroom • You are elementary students of English. learning comparatives. • Here are two pictures: think of three comparative sentences to describe them. Work in pairs. • Oh and by the way: one of you is blindfolded. Work that one out…  13Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  14. 14. 14Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  15. 15. VI Inclusion in the classroom: Academic Challenges 15 Access to material:  How can they read the textbook? Homework  How can it be given, and checked? Testing  How can they input their answers in a receptive skills test?  How can they produce any written assessed work? Classroom interaction  How can they join pair and group work?  How can they retain elements of language if they cannot write?  What if I’m using pictures?  What do I have to do differently for / with them? Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  16. 16. Academic challenges: material / homework / testing How can they read the textbook? 17 / 9 / 12  Braille  Screen reading software  Enlarged print How can homework be given, and checked? 2 / 3  Re-assign class exercises through email.  Student emails written work. How can they input their answer in a receptive skills test? 4 / 11 / 1  Computer access  Assign ascribe  Customised / shorter / Braille test How can they produce any written assessed work? 3 / 10  Student emails written work.  Inclusive technology: Ipad/smartphone Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  17. 17. Academic Challenges: Classroom Interaction 17 . What if I’m using pictures? 7  Elicit descriptions What do I have to do different for / with them? 8 / 16 / 15 / 14 / 13  Spell out vocab  Verbal signals  Higher TTT  More realia  Focus on listening How can they join pair/group work and mingling activities? 6 / 5 / 20  Pair or team them with stronger students  Pair with a weaker student.  Pair with teacher (who monitors) How can they retain elements of language if they cannot write? 10 / 19 / 18 /  Portable audio devices  Email key vocabulary  Braille reader.  Ipad/tablet Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  18. 18. VI Inclusive EFL : a challenge, many rewards  A real challenge that requires a build-up of additional teaching skills.  Once trained, should not be more demanding on teacher than regular mixed-ability class.  Mainstreaming is a global effort fostered by many governments and organisations, including the UK, UN and British Council.  As we implement inclusive teaching, teachers develop skills that will benefit their students, but also their future careers. Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  19. 19. VI Inclusive EFL : Conclusion mahakhechen@hotmail.com Anwar-alnassar@hotmail.com https://britishcouncil.adobeconnect.com/_a917587435/p1qsevufl86/?launcher=false&fcsCo ntent=true&pbMode=normal UN convention website: Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©
  20. 20. Literacy Option: Braille A 6-dot cell: Each cell stands for one letter: Alexis Lefranc – IATEFL 2016 - British Council ©

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  • Yassergebril1980

    Mar. 31, 2019
  • OrlandoEdwards3

    Oct. 8, 2019

Alexis Lefranc's IATEFL workshop about visual impairment inclusion in the EFL classroom. Based on the experience of the British Council Riyadh team.

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