TANDEM Hamburg, TANDEM International e.V. member since its foundation in 1985, participates in a very interesting Socrates project for developing computer-based language learning courses for visually impaired people. The role of TANDEM Hamburg in this project is to develop the German lessons for English-speaking learners.
ALLVIP (Accessible Language Learning for Visually Impaired Poeple) is an English and German language learning course aimed at blind and visually impaired people who can’t read Braille.
Two main goals pursued by this project are:
The development of an innovative self studying language course for blind learners: The centre of the project is the development of a self-learning language course «English for German learners» and «German for English learners» which concentrates on communicative listening and speaking skills. Contentwise and methodically, this course takes into account the challenges of being a blind learner, especially those learners who have not mastered Braille. Learners may reach an A1 to A2 level in the self-learning course.
The development of an innovative user interface: The project will create an alternative user interface for language learning software using a combination of Force-Feedback equipment and 3D-Sound navigation which works without the need for a screenreader. It will create real interactivity with the PC and this technology will allow users without writing and reading skills learn another European language through the use of their own PC.
This project was born to counteract the lack of adequate language learning materials and language courses with appropriate training facilities locally available for blind and visually impaired people.
Being one of the aims of the European Commission that all citizens of Europe can understand and speak at least three languages, language competence is not only regarded as a central element of the understanding among European people, but also as one of the central qualifications for job mobility and job promotion. Therefore, the European Commission promotes and supports language learning projects for everybody.
Other organizations participating in the ALLVIP project are:
- Bildungszentrum für Blinde u. Sehbehinderte (Würzburg)
- Bundes-Blindenerziehungsinstitut (Wien)
- Deutsche Angestellten-Akademie (Frankfurt-Oder)
- GedonSoft (Bremen)
- Odilien-Institut (Graz)
- Royal Blind School (Edinburgh)
- Scottish Sensory Centre (University of Edinburgh)
- seven of seven – Media Network
The first test versions of the software are already available. If you are interested in the project and would like to evaluate the the software, you may contact Thomas Deharde at the Deutsche Angestellten-Akademie
D – 15230 Frankfurt (Oder)
Tel.: +49 (0)335 55641-17
Fax: +49 (0)335 22783