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Activity and strategy

Maintaining Braille Skills Using a Daily Journal for an English Language Learner

Using a daily journal to help an English Language Learner (ELL) maintain braille skills through the summer

Cristian is a 17-year-old boy from El Salvador who recently moved to the United States.  He is totally blind, but received very little in the way of formal education or braille instruction prior to this past school year.  When we began working with him, he could recite the alphabet and knew some of the letters in his name, but was otherwise essentially illiterate.  We used the “Read Naturally” program in Spanish last year and this year Cristian is beginning to use the English version.  

Maintaining Braille Skills During the Summer Break

His TVI was very pleased with the progress he made during the school year, but was worried about how to help him maintain his new skills over the long summer break.  She gave him a loose leaf notebook with a stack of braille paper and invited him to keep a journal over the summer.  We honestly did not have very high expectations of what he would be able to do without any supervision or support people familiar with braille. We were thrilled to discover on the first day of school that he kept an extensive journal faithfully until he ran out of braille paper after a month.  While he had some difficulties with some formatting issues, such as setting margins, the results are exciting!  We are sharing a sample of the pages here.

Journal entry for June 3


junio 3 2017
melebante a las dies de la mañan 
comi tamales y café lave ami 
plato fui a platicar con mi mama
mie dio otra mala noticia que fa
llecio bisabuela la queria mucho
me puse triste pero la bida con
tinuaasi fue este dia. 
june 3 2017
i woke up at ten in the morning
i ate tamales and coffee i washed my plate
i went to chat with my mother
she gave me another bad news that great-grantmother passed away
this made me sad but life continues
that was today.

Journal entry for June 8



junio 8 2017
yo melebante alas onse de la ma
comi frijoles y huebos tambien
labe los trastes y able con mi
nobia la amo mucho labe los tra
stes del almuerso y l a pase m bien
june 8 2017
i woke up at eleven in the morning
i ate beans and eggs and also i washed the dishes and 
spoke with my girlfriend i love her very much
i washed the lunch dishes and
things went well

Journal entry


ju nio 10 2017
yo labe los trastes fui a la a 
una cita con el medico fui a la
policia a sacar mi aidi pero no 
lo saque porque estaba lleno
fui a la gradaucion de mi erma
tambien la pase muy bien.
june 10 2017
i washed the dishes i went to an appointment with the doctor 
i went to the police to get my i.d. but I did not get it 
because it was full I went to the graduation of my sibling
also it went very well.





Journal entry

junio 17 2017
ayer fui parque de agua me baño
me subi a un tobogan la pase mu
bien camine por las wabes despe
me subi a otro tobogan estaba
muy alto medio un poco de miedo
pero me diberti mesenti muy co
tento este dia estaba abicado e
galbeston mese misiento muy fe
june 17 2017
yesterday i went to the water park i got in the wate
i climbed up a slide it was good iwalked through the (…….) afterwards
i went up another slide it was very high scared a little scared but 
i had fun i enjoyed myself i felt very happy today it was located
in galveston i felt very happy


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