AWEJ Volume.5 Number.3, 2014                                                                       Pp.368-382

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Visual Impairment and Majoring in English as a Foreign Language


Hassan Ahmed El-Nabih
Islamic University of Gaza



This study is intended to investigate visual impairment and majoring in English as a foreign language (EFL). A qualitative approach is adopted to explore the experiences of five visually-impaired Palestinians during their BA program in EFL. Despite the difficulties they faced while studying at the university, the five participants managed to excel in a major that is not common to the visually-impaired in Palestine. Four key themes are highlighted in this study: why the participants chose to major in English, what challenges they faced during their BA program, how they coped with these challenges and what final results they obtained, and their recommendations for better inclusion of the visually-impaired in the Palestinian higher education context. As there is no specific research addressing the issue of visual impairment and majoring in EFL at the university level, this study is intended to fill a gap in the literature.
KeywordsEnglish as a foreign language, higher education, visual impairment


Hassan Ahmed El-Nabih is a Palestinian educator of English. He obtained his BA in
English language and literature from Ain Shams University, Egypt, his MA in
linguistics/ESL from California State University, Fresno, and his Ph.D. in curriculum
and instruction (with a concentration in language development) from Boston College.
He has been teaching linguistics and EFL courses at the Islamic University of Gaza,
Palestine since 1997. Before that, he also worked as a school teacher of English for
eleven years.