Rethinking the visual: first lesson

I’d like to share here Sandy Millin’s thought-provoking post on teaching a blind student.

Sandy Millin

On Thursday I had my first lesson with M, a very enthusiastic ten-year-old girl. She was a pleasure to speak to, and knows a lot of English. She’s also completely blind.

I’d met M a couple of days previously when she came to the school for a placement test. I knew she was coming, but wasn’t really sure how to test her, since she couldn’t do our traditional written placement test or access any of the visuals that most young learner testing relies on. I opted for asking her various questions to try and gauge her level, and concluded that she was high elementary, possibly pre-int. She spoke quite fluently and was very excited about using her English.

Before our first lesson, she and her mum took me to their house. During the five-minute walk I realised that I’d misjudged her level, and she was actually much better: quite a confident pre-intermediate…

View original post 1,310 more words

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2 thoughts on “Rethinking the visual: first lesson

  1. What I gathered from the original blog post by Sandy is that ‘M’ is learning English the way that any other child would be listening and communicating. I wonder if her blindness helps her overachieve in aural and speaking comprehension? Do you think that a focus more on conversation rather than visuals (reading, diagrams, etc) might help ESL students better improve? (personally, I hope so as that is what TheTalkList is trying to accomplish).

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