THE INITIATIVE PROMOTER’S PERSPECTIVE
In most of the European countries the education of visually impaired is drastically limited in regard to resources and methodologies for teaching foreign languages. In addition, a number of factors put barriers in front of people with visual disadvantages who want to develop some communication skills in a foreign language. One of the main reasons for this is that the contemporary language teaching is often based on approaches which actively use visually-oriented learning sources. This often makes the learning of a foreign language inaccessible to the blind.
The aim of the project is to address the needs of blind and visually impaired adults and young adults in learning foreign languages, and in particular English.
The project began with the development of a methodology for foreign language teaching to visually impaired, based on the communicative approach, enriched and supplemented with various techniques suitable for teaching to blind people. This methodology is described in the material “Methodology for foreign language teaching to the blind”. It includes theoretical and practical information for teachers who teach to blind and visually impaired people. The methodology is produced in 4 language versions – English, German, Greek and Bulgarian.
The methodology includes the development of a two-level Braille version of the Streamline English course, adapted for blind students, and an English Braille Manual. Created was also an interactive English course for blind users which was produced on CDs.
- Methodology of foreign language teaching to the blind
- Two-level English course adapted for blind users
- CD version of the course for blind native speakers of German, Greek and Bulgarian
- English Braille Manual
One of the main project outcomes were the pilot courses. After the project, the developed materials and methods were incorporated in the language learning programmes of the three organisations which carried out the pilot courses.
The application for the European Language Label was provoked by the good results of the project and the potential for further application of those results also after the project end.
In December 2004 the project was awarded the European language label for innovative approach in teaching and learning foreign language. The Label logo was placed on the website of the promoter certifying the quality of the project.
In 2005 Lingo study carried out by the European Commission recognised ‘Listen and Touch’ project among the 50 good practices in Europe motivating Language learning.
In 2007 the Europian Commission selected " Listen & Touch" among 70 language projects and awarded Silver Prize for Lifelong Learning.
The Label award recognised the success of the project giving it opportunities for greater visibility.
Recommendations for future applicants could be made in terms of precise explanation of the achieved results, their multiplication potential and plans for sustainability.
THE NELLIP NETWORK’S PERSPECTIVE
"Listen and Touch" is consistent with the European policies in the filed of language learning because it is aimed at promotion of new approaches to language teaching and learning as well as promotion of language learning for specific purposes
THE NATIONAL AGENCY’S PERSPECTIVE
The selection decision of HRDC was based on the results of the project addressing the quality standards of the European Language Label award. The decision was also influenced by the sustainability potential of the main project products.
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