Beyond the “Handicapped” Label: Narrating Options to Teach Foreign Languages to Blind and Visually Impaired Students

Imperio Arenas González


This article describes the research project carried out with a blind student, who studied French at a public university. The pedagogical experience over three years began in a classroom when a foreign language teacher and educator felt herself “handicapped,” as she had not been prepared for working with blind people. In order to put her student on the same level of other students in terms of study possibilities, the teacher entered the blind and visually impaired students’ world through Braille. She designed methodologies in order to encourage the autonomous learning of the foreign language as well as tried to motivate other blind or visually impaired people to acquire the same knowledge.


Blind; Braille; foreign languages learning; visually impaired

Full Text:



Aiazzi, A. (2008). Teaching English to blind and visually impaired pupils. Retrieved from

Colombia (1991). Constitución Política. Retrieved from

Couper, H. (1996). Teaching modern languages to visually impaired children. The Language Learning Journal, 13(1), 6-9

De Vecchi, G., & Carmona-Magnaldi, N. (1996). Faire construire des savoirs. Paris, FR: Hachette.

De Witt, K. (1991, May 12th). Rise in illiteracy among blind prompts drive to restore emphasis on Braille. The Baltimore Sun, p. 3.

Instituto Nacional para Ciegos [INCI] web page.

Lance, M. (2012). Reading to blind people. Retrieved from

Santana, M. E. (2003). Adquisición de una segunda lengua en alumnos con discapacidad visual: la integración como variable en el aprendizaje de inglés como lengua extranjera. Integración, 42, 7-18.

Teachers of French’s Review (n.d.). Français dans le monde [CD]. Paris, FR: CLE International.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ASOCOPI is a TESOL affiliate and a member of IATEFL
Please send all correspondence to the HOW journal:
Carrera 27 A # 53 – 06 Of. 405, Bogotá, Colombia.
Phone/Fax: 57(1) 2115018
ISSN 0120-5927