English Spelling Errors Committed by the Blind

Nimatul Lailiyah, Iswahyuni Iswahyuni, Alies Poetri Lintangsari


Despite the outgrowing trend on assistive technology assisting blind student to be fully participate in education, the challenges remain in the area of English language learning.   The inconsistency of the sound-spelling relationship in English apparently triggers the spelling problems for the Blind student since he tends to encode syllables by as it sounded. This study aims to identify, classify and analyze the spelling errors committed by the blind students in learning English using the classification of NEFR (National Foundation for Educational Research) that comprises the aspects of omissions, substitutions, insertions, transpositions and grapheme substitution. Employing case study design, this research elaborate the spelling error committed by 1 blind EFL learner enrolling an Academic Writing course in English Language Education Program, Faculty of Cultural Studies, Universitas Brawijaya, Indonesia. The findings expose that the blind students tend to frequently do spelling error in the aspect of grapheme substitution followed by omissions, substitutions, and insertion. Some contributive factors that presumably affecting the errors are (1) lack exposure to the formation of the words, (2) inherent of language (silent letter, homophone and borrowing words), (3) different characteristics of L1 and L2, and (4) student’s preferences on reading (use screen reader more than braille text). Thus, the exposure toward phonetics symbol and the sound-letter relationship in English should be more disseminated so the blind student is capable of having a correct spelling.


Spelling Errors, Blind Student, English

Full Text:



Barraga, N. C., & Erin, J. N. (1992). Visual handicaps and learning. Austin, TX: PROED.

Barbotte, E, et al (2001) Prevalence of Impairments, Disabilities, Handicaps, and Quality of Life in the General Population: A review of recent literature, in Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Vol. 79, No. 11, p. 1047.

Clark, Christine, et al. (2008). An Investigation of the Spelling Skills of Braille Readers. Vol. 102, No. 11, p. 553-563

Cook, V.J. (2004). The English Writing System. Arnold London

Eid, et al. (2015). Analysis of Spelling Errors of Beginner Learners of English in the English Foreign Language Context in Saudi Arabia. English Language Teaching. 8. 10.5539/elt.v8n3p185.

Frith, U. (1985). Beneath the surface of developmental dyslexia. In K. E. Paterson & J. C. Marshall & M. Coltheart (Eds.), Surface dyslexia: cognitive and neuropsychological studies of phonological reading (pp. 301-330). London: Erlbaum.

MaK, Z. (1993). Writing Path: Spelling Mistakes, Diagnostics, and Remedial Treatment. Jerusalem: Z. Mac (Hebrew).

McCall, S. (1999). Acessing the Curriculum. In C. Arter, L.H. Mason, S. McCall, & S. Stone (Eds.), Children with visual impairment in mainstream settings (pp.29-40). London: David Fulton.

Stein, Verena & Neßelrath, Robert & Alexandersson, Jan & Tröger, Johannes. (2011). Designing with and for the Visually Impaired: Vocabulary, Spelling and the Screen Reader. CSEDU 2011 - Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Computer Supported Education. 2. 462-467.

The Nation Commission Writing in America. (2003). The neglected “R” the need for a writing revolution. Accessed in http://www.collegeboard.com on 1 December 2019

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21776/ub.ijds.2019.007.01.7


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.