Thursday, December 7, 2017

Dyslexia – First do no harm


                             Those with vested interest will do anything for money


In medicine, there’s a First Do No Harm Rule. If you can’t make someone better, at least don’t make them worse.
The same rule should apply to education.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Creative Minds- Addendum



                           
There is no limit to the creativity of the Western World especially when it comes to duping the innocent public.

This post is an addendum to my post on Creative minds of the Western world.


I saw the following article on 9.11.2017 in ‘Global news’:

Why some parents of children with dyslexia feel they have to take matter into their own hands

Friday, November 24, 2017

America’s Gods of education



One of the most important business of God to be done on earth is to reduce the illiteracy rate. I have written many posts on how the number of kids leaving school each year as illiterates may be reduced and know that many people read my posts but I hardly get any ‘likes’ let alone comments in LinkedIn. Most of the likes are from connections in LinkedIn who are not teachers. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Today’s reality: More degrees less common sense



“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”. Confucius


“Common sense is a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things that are shared by ("common to") nearly all people and can reasonably be expected of nearly all people without need for debate.”

The above is the internet definition of common sense. But is 'Common sense' common?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Why we cling to our views so adamantly



'We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them', Albert Einstein.


I have said that if I were to draw a graph of my students learning to read, the graph will be horizontal to the Y axis for about a month before it suddenly and sharply moves upwards.You may read it here.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Got an opinion? (part 2)










"At the core are three issues (which are described in detail on the COTC site):

1) insufficient readiness for the challenge of learning (auditory/linguistic/cognitive/speed)

2) unnatural confusion     

3) self-blame>shame (distraction/avoidance)" (David Boulton)



“Children of the Code avoided advocating solutions so as not to be dismissed as having an agenda other than learning deeper into the challenge. 3 decades of work have culminated in a solution, an entirely different approach to supporting learning to read: https://youtu.be/lDVNUvocVz4  (David Boulton)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Do you have an opinion?




I shall post some positive comments I have received from my readers of my blog and Face Book in the days to come but for now….

A teacher friend from Australia wrote the following, in an email to me, backing up Annaleese McNamara on her comment in LinkedIn. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Killed the Goose that laid the Golden Eggs









My next post this Sunday will be on the comment made by David Boulton in my post at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/drboulton-drlyon-drengelmann-disengaged-kids-luqman-michel

Those who are reading my posts are urged to read the above article. I have read it a few times while writing my next post and don’t see a connection between my post and David Boulton’s comment.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dr.Joe Torgesen vs Luqman Michel









 “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ideas. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain

One such great giant is Dr. Joe Torgesen. He took his valuable time to respond to my many emails. We did not see eye to eye and I now understand why.

(This is a mighty long email but I have decided not to break it down into 2 or 3 parts. However, there is more to write on this and I will write after my short leave I am taking from today)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Discourse with Tim Conway Ph.D



I have another 5 articles to post (already written and yet to post) and then want to continue with my Chinese and Tamil studies which has stopped because of my involvement here in LinkedIn. I believe my mission in LinkedIn is now completed.

Meanwhile, I think I should write a post on the response (by way of message) I received from a Tim Conway Ph.D (TC) in a post by Prof Amanda Kirby on 9.10.2017.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Diacritical marks




This article is a prelude to my next two upcoming posts.

In one of my blog posts in 2010 found at: http://www.dyslexiafriend.com/2010/02/accent-markssolution-for-dyslexic-child.html    I had suggested that diacritics may help kids learn to read English a little better.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Moral Failure








This is the final part of 3 parts on the comment made by Annaleese McNamara.


“Often it sounds as if the tones have a subtext of accusing the other person of moral failure, so it's not blatantly ad hominem but the "music" of the argument makes it so, and that just makes the other more entrenched, because they might lose face.”


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Seek and Ye shall find









The following is the balance of my off the cuff response to Annaleese McNamara.

I also wrote about kids, who could not read, being wrongly classified as dyslexics. I don't know if the tone is wrong - but the message is gravely important. I have been writing about this since 2010 and is it possible that I don't get a response or comment because I got my tone wrong?
OR is it because the 'Gods of education' in US have not accepted it because it is a winning or losing issue? 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Winning , Losing and Discovery








I don’t know if the following comment in LinkedIn refers to me but allow me to assume it is meant for me and see how I will respond if it was directed at me.


“I find the tone in how one argues makes a difference. Often it sounds as if the tones have a subtext of accusing the other person of moral failure, so it's not blatantly ad hominem but the "music" of the argument makes it so, and that just makes the other more entrenched, because they might lose face. But if you just ask a lot of questions with genuine inquiry, they might go away and change their minds, but do so privately. This way it doesn't become about winning or losing, but about discovery.”


The following was my off the cuff comment to the above.

I quote Annaleese McNamara : "But if you just ask a lot of questions with genuine inquiry, they might go away and change their minds, but do so privately. This way it doesn't become about winning or losing, but about discovery."

I don't understand why tone is that big an issue on important matters. Way back in 2010 I wrote about 'Phonological awareness deficit not being the cause of dyslexia'. I honestly do not know if the 'tones' were wrong. I wrote to more than 20 professors over several months. There were professors who had simply echoed what one revered professor had said about 35 years prior to 2010 and everyone latched on to his research paper without thinking. 

Despite logical explanations, in my emails to them, none of the professors accepted what I had 'discovered'. I wrote to more than 30 universities to no avail. After a few years new research reports were out singing the same song I had sung.

Additional comment now:

“…subtext of moral failure…………”  This appears interesting but I will come back to this another day and would be grateful for comments.

I quote “But if you just ask a lot of questions with genuine inquiry, they might go away and change their minds, but do so privately. This way it doesn't become about winning or losing, but about discovery.”

The emails to David Boulton and many other professors in 2010 have not surfaced until now. As of now they are still undisclosed.
i.                     Was mine not genuine inquiry?
ii.                   Were my emails not private?
iii.                  Is my case a matter of winning or losing? If it was, would I have not written to the more than 20 professors saying or rather singing “I am the winner, I am the winner”. Did I write to anyone and say “I told you so”?

No, I did not as it is not important anymore. I wanted the world to accept my discovery and it has been accepted. Yes, it is about discovery. Sadly it is not Luqman’s discovery but so what? What does it matter?

Now, let us look at Timothy Shanahan's blog in 2015 – that is 5 years after my emails to all the experts who had echoed what one guy had told the world more than 35 years ago.



The term dyslexia has been, justifiably, controversial, and has consequently been avoided by most reading educators—including me.
There are scads of studies revealing that dyslexia is phonological in nature. That is, students with this disorder have a particularly difficult time perceiving phonemes and coordinating this perception with the letters on the page.

…. NICHD research suggests that when elementary kids have reading problems, they tend to be problems with phonological awareness and decoding about 86% of the time.”


My comment: Don’t forget “Scads (numerous) of studies revealing that dyslexia is phonological in nature”. 

Also, please remember this was in 2015 when what I wrote was in 2010.


What does Timothy Shanahan say in September 2017 in his blog above?(Revision of his 2015 blog post)


“This explanation of dyslexia seems especially pertinent ….. and the only thing I would change in it now is the estimate of the phonological/phonemic awareness role in reading problems. There are some more recent data in relatively large studies suggesting a somewhat lower incidence of these problems at least with some populations; that wouldn't change the overall thrust of this much, but it would be, perhaps, more accurate.”


My comments: Look at the dates – I wrote extensively to professors, universities, Dyslexia Associations, Ministers of Education in UK, US, NZ and Australia and in comments in blogs and anywhere I could write in 2010. I wanted the misguided definition that dyslexics could not read because of phonological awareness deficit to be done away with.

Many of the professors who just echoed what one guy had told many years ago did not respond to my emails but one did and apologised saying that she is not an expert in this and referred me to Dr.Sharon Vaugn whom she had quoted.

I wrote to Sharon Vaugn an introductory email which received an immediate response.

I then immediately wrote and asked her about her stand on Phonological awareness and its role in dyslexic kids and said that I disagree with what I have read and gave her reasons for my disagreement. There was no response.

Were my emails to Sharon Vaugn private or not? I am disclosing about this email only now to let you all know that it was private.

Wouldn’t it be better to admit a mistake for the benefit of the kids of the future? Is face saving more important than Millions of children all over the world who are classified wrongly as dyslexics?

Not responding to questions appears to be a practice among many professors in US. There are a few exceptions like Prof Joe Togerson and Dr. Richard Selznick and our Prof.James Chapman in NZ.

Note: See how our Timothy Shanahan covers his mistake in 2015 with “suggesting a somewhat lower incidence of these problems at least with some populations; that wouldn't change the overall thrust of this much, but it would be, perhaps, more accurate.”

What is my purpose of writing all this now?

1.       To request educators to use common sense and think for the benefit of our future generation.
2.       To not blindly rely on past research reports. If what is informed makes sense and appears contradictory to what is commonly believed then do a research without being biased.
3.       To listen to those who are speaking from experience.
4.       To ask yourself as to why one – Luqman - would spend so much time writing to various universities, professors etc. Does he have an agenda? Did he subsequently write to all the universities and professors and say “I told you so”?
5.       To inform those who had commented in the page above about ‘wrong tone’ that they should not just look at the current event and make a wrong conclusion. Like I said I have been writing on two issues. One (Phonological awareness deficit being the cause of dyslexia) has been resolved and one more which is even more important than the one resolved and needs to be discussed by all concerned educators – ‘Why kids disengage from learning to read?’

This is getting too long. Let me come back next week with the balance of comment in the post above and my response.

I had kept my emails private. I used courteous language. I wrote again to David Boulton in 2015 without reminding him of the emails in 2010.

I did not write to any of the professors or University asking them for some acknowledgement of my contribution. (Perhaps I should have requested for an honorary degree of some kind as I see many educators viewing my profile in LinkedIn and then not bothering to respond to my comment in their posts.)

 If I have to say so myself:

1.        I am the first person in the world to say that ‘phonological awareness deficit’ is not the cause of dyslexics not being able to read.
2.       I am the first person in the world to come up with an answer to the frequently asked question as to why the illiteracy level is as high as it has been for decades.



The important matter is the future of our children and that is all that matters to me right now. This is not a matter of revenge or making people ‘lose face’. I have asked again and again to be grilled on what I have found.

For those who come mid way of discussions and comment without knowing what is going on, I would urge you to read my past posts before jumping in.

My contention is that a majority of kids who are classified as dyslexics are classified wrongly. These kids are unable to read because they have been taught phonics in the wrong way which confuses them. Read my past articles carefully and grill me.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Plasticity of the brain









A member of LinkedIn has opened a can of worms in her comments in a post by another member where I had made a few comments.

I think I should explain it in detail so that all readers will understand where I am coming from. That is a very important matter and I will post it next weekend after mulling over it.
Meanwhile I want to write about plasticity of the brain not only from what I have read but from my 
experience in teaching disengaged kids.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Facts Don’t Change People’s Minds. Here’s What Does




Here are some extracts from an article I read that I feel are insightful and my comments on them.



As a result of the well-documented confirmation bias, we tend to undervalue evidence that contradicts our beliefs and overvalue evidence that confirms them. We filter out inconvenient truths and arguments on the opposing side. As a result, our opinions solidify, and it becomes increasingly harder to disrupt established patterns of thinking.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Coincidence or Grace








Always, I get answers to questions I think deeply about. Some will call it coincidence but I believe it is Mother Nature providing answers. This is probably what ‘The Secret’ is based on.

Yesterday while I was going through the posts in my home page in LinkedIn I came across the following which caught my eyes. But, since I had, at that time, just shared another beautiful post I decided to hold on to this till today. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Comments deleted wilfully

Below are some of the comments I had made on word Press comments in blogs and web-sites. I saw them a few days ago when I clicked on 'thinking reading writing' blog on my comment and it brought me to the page below. This is definitely Mother Nature's work.

When you press CTRL and click on the posts it will bring you to the respective blog/web-site.

The first four leads you to the web-site and the comments made by me. However, when you click on Learning Stewards (David Boulton) it brings you to the web-site but the comments are missing.

The next two comments made under Ahmad Ali Khan and Mirror Books brings you to the web-site with my comments intact.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Timothy Shanahan's Blog post









Here are extracts from one ofTimothy’s post - Originally posted June 26, 2010; re-posted on August 31, 2017.



“This post is timely given some of what I saw on Twitter this week as well as some recent questions and responses to my posts.”

My comment: This probably refers to my twitter posts and what I had posted in Timothy’s blog.
Why has he not responded to my comments? 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Willful Blindness – Timothy Shanahan and his colleagues (Part 2)






                                                          

The blind see what they want to see.
DAN BROWN, The Da Vinci Code
                    


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Willfully blind – Timothy Shanahan and his colleagues









Why do guys like David Boulton, Reid Lyon, Andrew Johnson and Timothy Shanahan reject what I have told them without any basis? I don’t think it is ignorance. I believe it is willful blindness.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Speaking out



This post is in response to a post in a blog I read. It is a prelude to what I intend to write this Sunday on some of our so called experts like Andrew Johnson, David Boulton, Reid Lyon, Timothy Shanahan and a few others.

All these guys are just too naïve to connect the dots.

I have thought over this long enough and believe what I am doing is not vicious personal attack. I am giving a chance to all these guys to give their views. I am all ears. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Promotion without mastering the 3R’s (Part 3)






                                    The clip above describes a majority of Human Beings on earth.




Comment from Kenya:  Every Child can do well in class when learning is made Easy and Fun as a game”.
Author: “I do agree that making learning fun helps get kids engaged”.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Promotion without mastering the 3R’s (Part 2)








Author: “However, some things are beyond a teacher’s control.
You have no control over: Kids who have emotional or mental disabilities and have not been diagnosed yet.”

My comment: I can’t disagree with that. However, there are many things that are within a teacher’s control.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Promotion without mastering the 3R’s (Part 1)



I have been following a post in LinkedIn by a teacher for whom I have high regards for his wisdom in his posts. 

The post talks about Kids being promoted from grade to grade without mastering the 3Rs

Monday, August 28, 2017

Connecting the dots








The dictionary definition of ‘connecting the dots’ is: To draw logical inferences connecting items of information to reveal something previously hidden or unknown.

Since 2010 when I first started writing my blog I have given actual solid reasons for kids disengaging from reading. Reasons for shutting down, obtained from the kids themselves.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Discourse with Dr.Richard Selznick Part 3 – Why kids disengage from learning to read










Luqman Michel: Dr. Selznick, for our next discussion, if I may request, please ask your 'patients' one question. Ask 10 such 'patients' and let us see what they say. Please keep a record.

Ask them for the sounds of a few consonants.

Let us find out if they will add vowel sounds to consonants such as mmmm (not muh),
nnnn (not nuh), fff (not Fuh.) lll (and not Luh).

This will give us an idea as to whether they are shut-down kids or otherwise.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Opaque languages vs. transparent languages



This morning, I read a post by Dr.Timothy Shanahan where it is stated that English is an opaque language and these are my thoughts on that post.

Many articles have been written on transparent languages such as Italian, Spanish, Finnish, Malay and many other languages which are easy to learn to read. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How to teach phonics



About 20% of children disengage from reading when they are confused. These are the children spoken about in many of the articles in Children of the Code. One such quote is from Nancy Hennessy who was president of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) from 2003-2005.

“……even if we settle on a middle number, let us say 10%; that still leaves a lot of children who are not dyslexic, whose brains are not wired any different way, who have reading difficulty.

We are not supporting the learning of our teachers in order for them to do what we are talking about

We still don’t have the capacity nor the will to change what it is that we are doing with reading early on and so consequently unless we make those significant changes we are not only going to lose the dyslexics but I am also concerned about these other children; these other struggling readers.”

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Practice makes perfect – REALLY?



I saw a post in LinkedIn which said ‘practice makes perfect’. I disagree and will give my opinion below. I believe perfect practice makes perfect.

The reading war as pointed out by Jo-Anne Gross from Canada, a Remediation teacher, has been going on for 45 years. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Discourse with Dr. Selznick (Part ii) – Why kids shut-down



“I agree with you that many of these kids are instructional casualties and if they had been taught differently, many would have not shut-down.”  (DR. Selznick)

Luqman Michel: James Wendorf said, in The Children of the Code series, “Make sure that reading is taught in the most effective way”.

For the time being, let us leave the most effective way of teaching aside. What we should not do is to teach them in a wrong way. Imagine a child taught wrongly for two years in kindergarten.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Another Discourse with Dr. Selznick (1)



24.7.2017
It has been seven years since Dr. Selznick and I had a Q& A session which is all in my blog. You may see it from my post on 10th June 2010 to 5th July 2010.

Recently, Dr. Selznick asked me in LinkedIn Website as to how I manage to teach my students in a short period of time. As such this discourse is to answer that question.
Luqman: My definition of shut-down kids is only kids who have learning difficulties as a result of what they have learned. The kids I have taught are kids who have shut-down or disengaged from reading because of confusion. I have Ms.Nancy Hennessy to back me up on this with her following statement: “……even if we settle on a middle number, let us say 10%; that still leaves a lot of children who are not dyslexic, whose brains are not wired any different way, who have reading difficulty.”

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Extracts of interview – Timothy Shanahan in COTC (Part 5)



David Boulton:  The first thing that children who are struggling sense and come away with is that there must be something wrong with them.

Dr. Timothy Shanahan:  I think that’s true. I think most of us, if we fail at something, don’t blame the teacher or the book or the school. We blame ourselves.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Extracts of interview – Timothy Shanahan in COTC (Part 4)

You may also find the post at:




David Boulton:  We said earlier that the process of how well children learn to read is all but fating their development in life. About three-to-five percent of children have some neurological disadvantage taking off in the process. The rest of the children that are struggling are struggling for a variety of different reasons, but effectively it has to do with how we as adults are building ‘on-ramps’ into reading that will actually work for them.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Extracts of interview – Timothy Shanahan in COTC (Part 3)



David Boulton:  Why is learning to read so difficult?  

Dr. Timothy Shanahan:  I’m not sure we entirely know that. Certainly, one very small group of kids has something that doesn’t quite work right in their brains in terms of picking up this kind of information. They don’t do it that easily. That doesn’t mean that they can’t learn to.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Extracts of interview – Dr.Timothy Shanahan in COTC (Part 1)



You may read the full interview here - Children of the Code.



Dr. Timothy Shanahan:  What we really want all systems set up towards is making sure that people are getting more literate. Obviously, more literate means different things. If we’re talking about a third grader it might mean just raising his traditional reading level. If we’re talking about an older student or an adult you very well might be talking about using literacy in an entirely different way than they’ve ever used it before or using it to drive a kind of thinking that they never or rarely engage in. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who wants to increase literacy, I’m on their team. 
Reading, to me, involves some kind of an interpretation of written symbols.

Friday, August 4, 2017

A classic case of a shut-down kid reading English as one would read in Malay



The kid in this video is a smart kid who will be categorized as dyslexic because he cannot read in English. It is very obvious that he can read well in Malay. He is confident enough to cancel out alphabets that he thinks is wrong.

The teacher had not told this kid that in the English language we have silent letters like the silent ‘e’ at the end of the word ‘have’. The boy says ‘Saya tak faham lah’ which means ‘I don’t understand’, but does the teacher explain it to him? No! She just continues (screaming) and this is exactly what will make the kid to ‘shut-down’.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Dr. Thimothy Shanahan’s blog post on Phonics (Part 3)



Here is a comment by another reader of Shanahan's blog:

Debbie Hepplewhite
Jul 24, 2017 06:45 AM
Hi Tim,

I wonder if Luqman Michel was actually referring to the pronunciation of letters with an added "uh" which can be misleading rather than suggesting it is 'phonics' as such that is causing the problem?

I've watched part of the video and note that the pronunciation of phonemes as beginning sounds in words is not that great.

Instead of saying /k/, for example, the narrator/singer says /k+u/. Instead of /s/, /s+u/, instead of /m/, /m+u/ and so on.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Dr. Thimothy Shanahan’s blog post on Phonics (Part 2)



This first paragraph below is from my previous post:

Dr.Timothy Shanaghan: The point isn't that phonics is an important thing to learn for English Learners, it is that it is not the only thing they need to learn. There is a reason that English proficiency is the top predictor of literacy learning for English learners.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Dr. Thimothy Shanahan’s blog post on Phonics (Part 1)



Recently I came across a Blog maintained by Dr. Timothy Shanahan. I made the following comments and received his responses below.

At the bottom of this page you will see the link to Dr.Shanahan’s blog but for now let us look at my comments and his response.

I hope this discussion with Dr.Timothy Shanahan will continue.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dr.Boulton, Dr.Lyon and Dr.Engelmann on disengaged kids (Part 2)

I have copied the comments of Dr. Boulton and my responses in the Linkedin website for your convenience.



My comment in Linkedin about 1 year ago:

"One should stop categorising all students who find it difficult to read as dyslexics and shove them aside. A majority of these kids are kids who learn differently from the roughly 80% of kids who learn regardless of the way they are taught. Researchers in Children of the Code already are aware of how to teach these kids. 

There are many teachers around the world who have taught disengaged kids successfully. Why not spend the required money to teach these kids instead of wasting it on building prisons and teaching kids in prison. Find the cause and eradicate it rather than trying to find a cure for the symptoms."

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dr.Boulton, Dr.Lyon and Dr.Engelmann on disengaged kids (Part 1)


The following article was posted by me in Linkedin on September 2015

In response to Andrea’s comment on my article on 'Tale of two studies' I now post extracts from various articles from 'Children of the Code'.

As early as 2003 researchers already were aware of the fact that a major cause of illiteracy is because of children shutting down/disengaging. In time I hope to find out why this information is not wide spread and why solutions have not been suggested in ‘Children of the Code’. Perhaps Dr. David Boulton will read this post and favour us with a response.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Email to Dr. David Boulton (Part 3 of 3)



·         luqman michel
·          
·         06/09/15 at 4:41 AM
To
·         David Boulton
Hello again Dr. David Boulton,
I think it is time to challenge our institutionalized assumptions about reading failure. Our assumption that many students will be poor readers can and should be changed. As Dr. G Reid said these kids are “instruction casualties”.

Now, I am giving you anecdotal evidence on questions you have raised in your interviews.

Please give me your views.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Email to Dr. Boulton (Part 2 of 3)



6.9.2015
Hi again Dr. David Boulton,
What you said in one of your videos is: 10 times the number of kids who have innately biologically ordered learning difficulties have learning difficulties that are a consequence of what they learned…... Until such time we can read that they are cognitively going askew relative to what they have learnt in the past then our teaching is kind of brute force against this deep core stuff that is working against us.

Emails to Dr. David Boulton - 2015 (Part 1 of 3)



On Fri, Sep 4, 2015 at 7:03 AM, luqman michel ;luqmanm2002@yahoo.co.uk; wrote:

Dear Dr.David Boulton,
I am writing an article based on videos of the Children of the Code and have one question for you.

There were 6 kids in the video below who had various excuses for not reading.


Dr. Why couldn't these kids read?

Thank you and kind regards,
Luqman Michel