Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Dyslexia OR Shut-Down Learner (Part 3)

I don’t like the word dyslexic as it does not have a definite meaning. I prefer to use the word shut-down learners or Disengaged Students. These are the type of students who have come to me. I have yet to see a student who has the following difficulties:

·         Problems processing and understanding what he or she hears
·         Inability to sound out the pronunciation of an unfamiliar words
·         Difficulty learning the names of letters or the sounds of the alphabet, numbers
·         Difficulty learning to say the alphabet in the correct order or counting to 10 correctly.
·         Difficulty with "phonemic awareness"
·         Complain of feeling or seeing non-existent movement while reading
·         Visual disturbances when reading – for example, a child may describe letters and words as seeming to move around or appear blurred

I therefore believe the claim that 10 to 20 percent of the population is dyslexic must be grossly exaggerated. I believe a major portion of the kids who leave school as illiterates must belong to the shut-down or disengaged student’s category. 

I have three good Facebook friends who are into dyslexic and as such I would not want to offend them by saying there is no such thing as dyslexia. My posts are on children who are smart and who don’t have the above difficulties and their main difficulty is in reading in the English language. 

Yes, all my former students had shut down or become disengaged from learning to read in the English Language. Many of my former students from Chinese schools can rattle away in Han Yu Pin Yin and yet cannot read in the English Language. Many of them could read in Malay but were unable to read in English. 

This got me thinking as to why such smart students could not read in English like their classmates.
I have met teachers who confirm they have students who excel at mathematics but are poor in English.

I am going to explore together with you and your comments as to why these otherwise smart students are unable to read like their classmates.

Now, I hope I have preempted my friends who write about dyslexia from ‘taking up arms’ against me.
Here is a link to a newspaper article stating that a British boy who could speak very well in English could not read in English but could read well in Japanese.

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