Convesational English is a special professional program designed by Bind-Link for Vietnamese blind young adults. There is a great range of benefits and advantages that become available when a blind is skilled and confidents with his/her English language.
In terms of employment opportunity, being able to speak English help high-skilled blind therapists expand their customer segments to serve foreign residents and tourists. In addition, English speaking capability also make blind and partially sighted people be more self-confident, and give them more opportunities to interact and communicate with global environment. Last but not least, although there are many assistive technologies developed to support the blind and partially sighted people in the world, these technologies only support English and some other most spoken languages. For instance, after braille, no invention has enabled blind and visually impaired people to communicate as effectively as the assistive technologies that make computers and the Internet accessible. Digital technology has also given blind people ever-expanding opportunities for personal and professional growth. However, Vietnamese blind or visually impaired people must learn English so that they may benefit from these assistive technologies.
Our English program consists of two components. The teaching on-site component is developed thanks to our agreements of cooperation signed with the Center of Training and Rehabilitation for Vietnamese Blind and the Global Volunteers, United States. Every year three teams of native English speakers led by the Global Volunteers have short-term visits to Hanoi and teach conversational English for Vietnamese blind young adults in Blind-Link and CTRB. Besides, international interns from AIESEC also teach English three mornings per week for blind students in Blind-Link’s classroom located at Huynh Thuc Khang Street.
The other component is online platform via Google Hangout. Learning English online opens up a whole new world to our blind young adults because they can reach global volunteers and have much more opportunities to learn and develop their full potentials now.
Teaching curriculum includes six levels with gradually increasing difficulty. Each level covers a wide range of daily conversational topics as well as dialogues between massage therapists and their customers. To allow our students practice speaking English as much as possible, the teaching ratio is designed to be 1:1:5 (01 foreign volunteer, 01 local teaching assistant and 05 blind and partially sighted students), 60 minutes per day, three days per week in two months. We screen students’ English proficiency before learning and evaluate their progresses at the end of each level.