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Journal Review, Reaction Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 348

Reaction Paper

Language learning is essential for students who have visual impairments so that they might successfully integrate into larger society and bridge the gap that is caused by their lack of sight.  The ability to master a foreign language has positive applications for all students, but is especially key for the visually impaired in order to improve their communication abilities and allow them access to the wealth of information provided by new technologies such as the Internet.  ELLVIS–the English Language Learning program for Visually Impaired Students–uses software that is built upon human/machine interaction to promote language learning in the visually impaired.  Its emphasis on building a link between manual abilities, fine motor skills, and active listening creates a proactive system which increases the likelihood of successful learning outcomes in visually impaired students (“ELLVIS,” 2009).

The ELLVIS consortium worked with four language institutions and three schools for the blind that addressed the language learning needs of blind students whose mother tongues were Italian, French, and Romanian.  Along with the specialized software, this program utilized a specially-designed joystick meant to improve the manual dexterity of the students while helping them to interact more fully with the program material and their teachers.  The initial phases of this project have led to the development of an English course complete with a teacher’s guide.  Although this course is specifically geared towards Italian, French, and Romanian students, it can be adapted to meet the needs of other non-English speaking visually impaired students (“ELLVIS, 2009).

ELLVIS has assisted educators in teaching English to visually-impaired students, thus increasing their abilities to communicate in an increasingly globalized world.  The European Union emphasizes the importance of multilingualism for all European citizens, which has been difficult for the visually impaired due to the lack of available resources and materials (“ELLVIS,” 2009).  ELLVIS allows for an overall improvement in the quality of life for visually-impaired students by providing them with the motivation and means to communicate in English, thus broadening their linguistic abilities and overall confidence.

References

Education, Audiovisual, & Culture Executive Agency. (2009). ELLVIS: English language learning for visually impaired students. Author: Florence, Italy.

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