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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


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


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 page

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 10

1.4. Significance of the study 11
1.5. Scope of the study 11
1.6. Methodology 12
1.7. Organization 13

Chapter 2: Literature review

2.1. Key concepts 15

2.1.1 Nguyen Dinh Chieu secondary school 15
2.1.2. Tutorials 16
2.1.2. Blind and visually impaired students 17 Visual acuity 17 Vision loss 18

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

Chapter 3: methodology

3.1. Participants 34
3.1.1. Teachers 34
3.1.2. Blind students 35
3.2. Instruments 35
3.2.1. Observation scheme 35
3.2.2. Interviews 37
3.3. Data collection procedures 38
3.4. Data analysis methods and procedures 39

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? 41
4.1.1. Characteristics of the class 41
4.1.2. Facilities 43
4.1.3. Tutorials 44
4.1.4. Students’ awareness 45

4.2. What are the solutions to teachers' difficulties when organizing

speaking activities for blind students, as suggested by teachers? 45

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? 49
4..3.1. Subjective difficulties from the students 49
4.3.2. Objective difficulties 51 Teachers 51 Tutors 53 Friends 53 Facilities 55

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 60

5.2. Pedagogical suggestions 61
5.3. Limitations of the current study 62
5.4. Contribution of the research 63
5.4. Suggestions for further research 63

References 65

Appendices 68

Appendix 1: Interview set for teachers 68

Appendix 2: Interview set for students 71
Appendix 3: Observation Scheme 73

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

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 in-
depth 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,

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

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 theory-
based. 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
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



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 review

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,

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

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 Vision acuity

1 Normal vision >=0.8
2 Mild vision loss <0.8 and >= 0.3
3 Moderate vision <0.3 and >= 0.125
4 Severe vision loss <0.125 and >= 0.05
5 Profound vision <0.05 and >=0.02
6 Near-total vision <0.02 and >= NLP
7 Total vision loss 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 - Unit 8 (p.80): Practice the dialogue with a partner
T: Excuse me. Is there a souvenir shop near here?
English 8 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
Eg: Where is the ….? It is opposite the …..
It is between the….. and the…..
English 7 Page 34: Practice with a partner, talk about your family,
Where does your father/mother/brother/sister work?What
does he/she do?
English 8 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 - Unit 6: Read and dicuss (p.65)

English 8 - 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)
English 8 - 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) 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 time-
consuming, 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, community-
based 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

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

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.

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

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

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 post-
teaching questions put big focus on the afternoon extra lessons for blind
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

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.


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
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
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 145-
147, 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: in-
class 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

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

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 in-
class 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

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 10-
11, 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.

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

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
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
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.

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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

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

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

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

A. Speaking activities
Speaking activities Tallies Total Notes
1 Practical situation

2 Guessing games

3 Information gathering activity


4 Jigsaw activity

5 Role - play

6 Discussion

7 Opinion sharing

8 Reasoning gap activity


9 Prepared talks

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

2. Holding the activities

2.1. Using visual aids
Activities Tallies Total Notes
5. Teacher uses hand-outs to organize/ aid
in-class activities
6. Teacher uses pictures, videos, miming or
other types of visual aids to motivate the
7. Teacher prepares hand-outs in Braille of
extra exercises or activities that are not in
the course books
8. Teacher writes words/ grammar points/
language focused points on the board or
displays on other visual equipments
2.2. Using audio aids
Activities Tallies Total Notes
9. Teacher does not speak loudly so that
students at the back can hear
1 Teacher is not equipped with microphone

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

C.Blind students (BS)

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

12 The class is too noisy