Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dyslexia- My e-mail to Dyslexia Scotland

This article is in response to the comment by Liz Ditz on my article dated 21.8.2010.

She had written “I am not sure why you haven't received responses to your letters of inquiry”.

I am not sure either and I leave it to you, my readers, to see if you have any idea why I do not get a response to similar letters written to Dyslexia Associations, Research Universities and other Government institutions.

One of my readers from Scotland, Alan Gurbutt, made a comment on my article on 29.4.2010. You may read the full comment here: http://www.parentingdyslexia.com/2010_04_01_archive.html.

Subsequently, Allan, who has his own blog posted 3 of my articles in his blog with my permission. We corresponded with each other and had exchanged many e-mails.

On 12.5.2010, upon the insistence of Alan I wrote to Dyslexia Scotland. I had earlier told him that I am not interested in writing to them as they had not replied my e-mail to them. I wrote only because he assured me that they will respond for sure.

The following is the E-mail I wrote to Dyslexia Scotland.

From: luqman michel
Subject: Dyslexia - A Different Perspective
To: cathy@dyslexiascotland.org.uk
Date: Wednesday, 12 May, 2010, 19:28
Dear Ms.Cathy,
My name is Luqman Michel and I have been teaching dyslexic children for more than 5 years.
I would be grateful if you could please keep an open mind and read my entire e-mail.

Having taught dyslexic children 2 or 3 languages I have found that dyslexic children do not have a phonological awareness deficit as written all over the net.

All my dyslexic students can read Malay and romanised Mandarin fluently. (If they can read in a language fluently it simply means that they do not have a problem with "phonological awareness".) They however have a problem reading in the English language. This prompted me to ask myself "Why this anomaly?" And over the years I have found that it is simply because dyslexic children's mind shut off when they are taught anything illogical.

I started a blog to share my findings with parents of dyslexic children and it has been well received by people from countries where they speak more than one language. However people from countries like Australia, UK, Canada, NZ and US are reluctantly beginning to take a second look at my blog. I have a number of readers from US who seem to see what I have to say as they speak Spanish as well.

English is orthographically inconsistent and this is one of the problems with dyslexic children learning to read in English. Example: They learn the words but, cut, gut and rut easily. But when I teach them the word put I could see the puzzled look on their face. Their mind just shuts down. (This is something I am trying to find out from psychologists - Is it possible for children to just shut off?)

Another reason is the fact that most teachers do not teach the various sounds (phonemes) of the letters. The letter 'A' for instance has at least 6 sounds.
When I teach a dyslexic child the word 'cat' he learns it easily - bat, cat, fat, mat, rat, sat.
But when I teach "A cat", again I see a puzzled look. Because it does not make sense to him. This is simply because the A carries one sound whilst the 'a' in cat carries a different sound.

I then started to say the new sound of letters as we come to them and compare it with previously learned sounds.
I also tell them not to make sense of the English language like they do with Malay and romanised Mandarin. Once they realise and accept this fact they learn to read at a much faster rate.

Pleas read my blog from the first article onwards and give me your comments.
Illiteracy rate can be greatly reduced if dyslexic children are taught in an appropriate manner.

I sincerely hope that you will read this with an open mind. Let us reduce illiteracy.........Believe me it can be done.......

Thank you and kind regards,
Luqman Michel.
Visit my blog at: http://www.parentingdyslexia.com

End of e-mail.

Now, Liz and other readers please write and let me know if I have said anything improper. Why do I not get a response from almost all of them. Perhaps Liz would be kind enough to write to these Associations and find out why I do not get a response.

I am leaving the interesting part to the next article. Till I see you in my next article...

5 comments:

Valrie said...

Michel,

Peerhaps they are uneducated in the TRUE importance of recognizing phonemes. English is the mst unruly language in the world! It breaks the rules ALL the time and does not transfer logically into other languages. Students who read and speak fluent Malay, Chinese, Japanese and other romance languages will be quick to affirm your research as am I!

They perhaps FEAR they are wrong and unable to admit it to themselves!

Keep on doing what you are doing, and to you self doubters and doubters of Michel's research my advice to you is:

Your mind is like a parachute, it works best when it is open!

As educators and researchers EXAMINE before you analyze and draw conclusions!

Valrie
The Reading Doctor!
MSE Kappa Delta Pi
EdD in progress!
Professor at MVCC
email readingdoctorconnections@yahoo.com

Valrie said...

Yes I made typos, I was furious with the arrogance dealt to a colleague!

Mia culpa!

Valrie

Luqman Michel said...

Thank you for your very encouraging comment. I do hope others will keep an open mind, like you said, when they read my blog. The more than 100 years old definition that dyslexics have a phonological awareness deficit should be changed.

I am in the process of writing my next article which is on dyslexics and spelling which I hope will be read with an open mind as well.

Anonymous said...

having just discovered my 8 years old has dyslexia, i was interested in what you had to say about the english language.I from experience agree. children are taught phonics to make reading simpler, this has at times confused my son. e.g the magic "e" turns a in to A. this rule is not consistant and does confuse him. there are many more as you know. unfortunatly his school does not know how to teach children with dyslexia as the most advise ive had,apart from teaching him touch typing, is to write his homework for him so as not to put him under pressure! he has been doing his own work for 3 years and im not going to let that happen.

Luqman Michel said...

Sorry, I had not seen your comment earlier. See if my lessons commencing in March are useful for your son. Start from the first lesson even though this may seem easy for your son. He should be able to read once he finishes all the lessons in my blog.
Kind regards