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Title: Challenges of teaching EFL to students with visual impairment in Egypt
Author: Ibrahim, Mona Kamal
ISNI:       0000 0001 3586 0164
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2003
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In an attempt to improve English language teaching to students with visual impairment in Egypt, this study explores the provision of EFL to students with visual impairment in Egypt in order to establish whether it is adequate to enable these students to meet the communicative aims and goals of the English syllabus as stated by the Ministry of Education, which has a policy of equal access to education for students with disability. A secondary aim is the collection of views on inclusive education, which is a relatively new educational concept in Egypt. The research investigates the perspectives of 198 students with visual impairment in both preparatory and secondary stages in six schools serving two areas in Egypt, one of which is a school for partially sighted students, whereas the remaining five schools are for students with visual impairment (blind). The views of all 23 EFL teachers in these schools are also analysed. The study adopts a qualitative approach employing the following methods of data collection: classroom observation including videotaping, semi-structured interviews with teachers and students and incidental data collection. Three of the schools, two for students with visual impairment and one for partially sighted students, are described in case studies. The data from all six schools is then comprehensively analysed in order to extract common themes across all schools in the sample to complement the case studies. Provision of educational services to students with visual impairment was found to be inadequate in various respects. In addition, unequal conditions existed between different schools for students with visual impairment and also within the schools. The major problem was the lack of specialist training received by the teachers either for teaching EFL or for teaching students with visual impairment. This omission was particularly serious in the case of teachers with visual impairment. The inadequacy of training existed at both pre- and in-service levels. This led most importantly to the omission of the listening and speaking practice so central to a communicative approach to language learning and so essential for students with visual impairment. Physical conditions in schools were not always appropriate. Essential material resources e. g. Braille machines, tape recorders were scarce and unevenly distributed. Supplementary language practice materials, available to fully sighted students, were not available for these students. Inclusion was not rejected as a policy, but there was a common concern among teachers and students about the response of the larger society. The following conclusions are drawn: there is a need for awareness raising about people with disabilities in society in general and in the educational world more particularly. It is suggested that specialised pre-service training to student teachers in the Special Education Section as well as compulsory refresher courses to all in-service teachers would increase EFL teaching effectiveness to students with visual impairment. Consideration is given to the content and organisation of such courses. Recommendations are made for collaborative efforts on the part of concerned ministries to raise community awareness towards persons with disabilities and introduce special education to all student teachers in order to pave the way to successful inclusive educational, and rehabilitation efforts
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available