Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dyslexia myth

One of the blog writers had written the following in her blog:

“Myth 5: People with dyslexia see things backwards.

Fact: Dyslexia is not caused by a vision problem, although reading difficulties very often are. Children need to have their eyes (and ears) checked regularly – and if there is a reading problem make sure the optometrist knows this. There are lots of exercises and strategies that can be used. If these sort the reading problem out, then the difficulty is not likely to be dyslexia.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dyslexia- Middle of The Road Mentality

Buddha has given us many lessons in life that should still serve us today. One of the things he has taught is to learn from everyone you come across in life - whether they're on the same path as you or not.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dyslexia - Spelling Bee


After writing the previous article this thought on spelling and phonological awareness came to my mind and led me to this article.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Phonological Awareness Deficit is not the cause of dyslexics being unable to read fluently - A Myth Busted


It is a fallacy to state that phonological awareness deficit is the main or even one of the causes of dyslexia as claimed by many researchers and Dyslexia Associations.

Let us clearly define what is not dyslexia.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dyslexia - An English Language Problem

The English language is an irrational language that makes it difficult for all of us to learn and especially difficult for dyslexic children.

Dyslexics and spelling

“Whether You Think You Can or Can't, You're Right” Henry Ford

Last week my first dyslexic student John came to my house for a casual visit.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My e-mail to Dyslexia Scotland part 2

Please read my last article before continuing with this article.

For those of you who did not read the comment by Alan Gurbutt I reproduce it here:

Alan Gurbutt said...
Hi Luqman,
Thank you so much for your unique insight. You have provided a useful alternative to challenge the homogeneous belief, so prevalent in the UK, that dyslexia is a learning disability.

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”.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dyslexia - A multi- billion US dollar business

Dyslexia is a multi- billion US dollar per annum business. Billions is spent on research into dyslexia, therapy, brain imaging, drugs, tuition, salaries for all the people working in all kinds of organizations involved in things related to dyslexia and many other things purportedly said to do with dyslexia. As such it is obvious as to why organizations will make dyslexia sound like a disease that can only be cured or treated with great expense.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dyslexia- A convenient term for reading difficulties in general

Following from my last article I would say that there is no reason why most dyslexics cannot read well with the right instruction.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dyslexic children who could not read but can read as adults

I have read many articles about adults who were unable to read in school as children but have learned to read when they were older.

The questions that arise in my mind are: “Why is this so? Why is it that they could not read when in school but are able to learn to read when they get older?” I believe the answer is simply that as an adult they can reason out and realize that they have been trying to learn English in a logical way when many of the words are not spelt logically. When this realization sets in they have no problem learning to read in English. There is no underlying reason (except perhaps that they had not been taught the way they should have been taught) as to why most of them had not learned in the first place.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How I teach my dyslexic students - Part 2


On the first day, a student comes to me I try and encourage the child to speak as much as possible. I ask him his name and continue a discussion with him. Most of my students have no problem talking about themselves, their friends, school and family.

Monday, July 12, 2010

How I teach my dyslexic students - Part 1


This is an introduction to my article on “How I teach my dyslexic students”.


Many children find learning to read in English easy but not so dyslexic. Dyslexia is a learning style with strengths and weaknesses. With timely intervention and effective instruction, dyslexics can learn at a rapid rate and can even do exceptionally well in school. Some of the characteristics of  dyslexic children are:

How to help build a dyslexic child’s self esteem

Self-esteem is your overall opinion of yourself. It is how you feel about yourself with all of your successes, abilities, flaws and limits. Having a great sense of self-esteem is an important factor and a necessary component of success.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The blind man and the elephant: (Disecting childhood)

 The following article is from Dr.Selznick's blog. It is about a mother who was recommended a different "remedy" each by various  "experts" she had  gone to seek advice from for her daughter who had trouble reading.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Discourse with Dr.Selznick – Shut-Down Learner Final Part & Lesson 45

Dr.Selznick: I think your approach of being clear and direct with the kids is good.  Not sure about the kids you deal with in your area, but many here could care less.  I think with your passionate approach to linguistic explanations and the evolution of the English language, I am sure they are soaking up your wisdom!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dicourse with Dr.Selznick Part 7 & Lesson 44

Dr.Selznick: Yes, understood.  But, give me an example of a logical and an illogical thing that they learn, so I know what you are referring to.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Discourse with Dr.Selznick Part 6 and lesson 43


Another point for elaborating please:

Your book pg 39 : For example, take the name Darcy, which is on the list.

Discourse with Dr.Selznick Part 5 and Lesson 42

Thank you for your mail and example of the tennis players.
Now, perhaps we can move on to the next questions I had asked you about your book.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Discourse with Dr.Selznick - Part 4 & Lesson 41

Dear Doc,
I understand that yours is not a teaching task.
I understand your tools as well. All my dyslexic students will have no problem with your exercise.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Discourse with Dr.Richard Selznick - Part 3 & Lesson 40

Dear Doc,
Thank you so much for entertaining my thoughts and findings. This is very kind of you. I hope we and my readers can all benefit from this discussion.

Discourse with Dr.Selznick on Shut Down Learner - Part 2 & Lesson 39

I have come to learn that most of the people "shut down" when something different from their experience or understanding is mentioned. They do not read with an open mind. I believe one should listen to any suggestion and weigh it before accepting or discarding it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Discourse with Dr.Richard Selznick - Author of Shut Down Learner & Lesson 38

This is the first of a series of e-mail discussion between Dr. Richard Selznick PhD and myself, based on his book the Shut Down Learner.

Dear Luqman:
Here are some of the observations that I can share with you relative to some of the issues that you raise:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Autism Spectrum syndromes & Lesson 36

As I mentioned in my previous article I do not know much about learning disabilities other than dyslexia. I am writing on these other disabilities found in articles in the net so that you will be able to differentiate dyslexia from the others.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Auditory Processing Disorder & Lesson 35

Learning Disability is not a specific disability; it is a category containing many specific disabilities, all of which cause learning to be difficult.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Comments in a dyslexia Forum & Lesson 34

Recently I had written some comments in response to a query by a member in a forum. A learned lady with a string of qualifications criticised my comment and went on to say the following:

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dyslexia -The Shut Down Learner – Book review.

A few of you have been asking me to recommend books and I thought it will be a good idea to review books for my readers.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dyslexia - Recognizing the genius sitting next to you...

I requested one of my readers to write an article on her personal experience with dyslexics and the following is what she wrote.

Dyslexia and Meares-Irlen Syndrome

I have been reading a few articles on dyslexia where it says that some children see words jumping around thus making it difficult for children to read. Not one of my students had complained about words jumping around.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Teach your dyslexic child to read - Phonics vs sight reading

Which is a better method to teach children to read – phonics or sight reading (whole language)?

Phonics aims at teaching children the skills necessary to decode a word.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Who says dyslexic children are phonologically unaware? & Lesson 26

Many of the articles on dyslexia say that dyslexics are phonologically unaware. A little thought will clearly reveal that this statement cannot be true.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dyslexics - Can they become writers and authors? & Lesson 25

Many people confuse difficulties in reading and the ability to write. Many of the well known writers are dyslexic. Dyslexia affects one’s ability to read and spell (in orthographically inconsistent language) but it does not affect one’s imagination and creativity.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dyslexia and iPhone & Lesson 24

Recently there has been a lot of articles on dyslexia and iPhones. A dyslexic had said that he could read easier on an iPhone and that has triggered many articles on how iPhones can help solve the problems of a dyslexic.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Headmistress agrees with advice given on dyslexia.

For those of you who have not read my article in the local papers on 18.4.2010 - Daily Express - you may read it here:The Daily express.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Pygmalion effect & Lesson 22

Encouragement and expectation
The power of expectation cannot be overestimated. It is well known and has been called the Pygmalion effect. Your expectations of your student is a key factor in how well he performs in his school work.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Phonics and Lesson 21

Sounds represented by the letter O

O as in oat, obey, old and over.

O as in object, occupy, offer and office.

O as in onion.

O as in ooze

O as in orchard, orchid, order and orchestra.

For lesson 21 click here :

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Phonics and lesson 20

Sounds represented by the letter “I”

I as in idea, iron, island and item.

I as in ignorant, ill, improve and in.

I as in irk

Note: I regret I was unable to post my article last Wednesday as I was out station. Similarly I will also be out station for a week from first of May.

For lesson 20 click here :

Friday, April 16, 2010

Phonics & Lesson 19

Sounds represented by the letter e

E as in each, eel, equal and evil.

E as in earn, early, earth and err.

E as in ebony, echo, elbow and elephant.

E as in eight, eighteen and eighty.

E as in elastic, elect, enough and erupt.

E as in either

E as in ewe.

For lesson 19 click here :

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Phonics and Lesson 18

Sounds represented by the letter ‘U’.

U as in umbrella, under, up and ugly.

U as in uniform, unit, urine and use.

U as in urban, urchin and urge.

For today’s lesson click here:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Phonics & lesson 17

Different sounds represented by the letter “A”

It is best to explain to a dyslexic child the sounds represented by each letter in the English alphabets as and when you come across it when reading. This way he will not be confused as to why the letter “A” was pronounced one way at an earlier date and now pronounced another way.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dyslexia - "Off Days" & Lesson 16

Almost every dyslexic pupil has the following symptom. When he is very tired, having a fever, headache or flu his performance in any of the studying activities is way below usual. In fact the student appears to be a completely different person.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dyslexia- How to teach a dyslexic child to read.

When you are teaching a child it is important to continuously watch his progress. Keep getting books that are progressively more difficult. It should not be too difficult that he becomes discouraged. Make sure story books are selected properly.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dyslexia - Learning languages & Lesson 14

Dyslexia -Learning more than one language

We in Malaysia have always taken for granted about children speaking two, three, four or more languages. This is not the case in other countries as I came to realize recently. Some people in a group I belong to seem to make a big deal about their children speaking one foreign language.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dyslexia - Phonemic awareness & Lesson 13

Dyslexia – Phonemic awareness.

On the 1st of April a member from a group I belong to commented on my article about the Australian boy in Japan. I have copied the relevant part of her comments below:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dyslexia - Early intervention & Lesson 12

Dyslexia- Early intervention by diligent parents and Lesson 12

Recently one of the members of a group I belong to asked “……..I am not sure if it is just delayed learning or if there is another underlying cause for his difficulties.”

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dyslexia- Should a child be informed he is dyslexic

I believe a dyslexic child should be made aware that he is dyslexic as soon as the parents find out that he is dyslexic. He must be made to understand what dyslexia means.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lesson 11

The following was e-mailed to me a few days ago.
I think it is an interesting read.

European English:
AS a result of the new Lisbon Treaty signed only last Friday-The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dyslexia - Teacher's role & Lesson 10

First and foremost primary school teachers should be well informed as to what dyslexia is.

When I spoke with primary schools teachers about 5 years ago I was shocked that not one of the more than 10 teachers I spoke to knew what dyslexia was.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dyslexia - Parents role & Lesson 9

A child’s reading vocabulary and his listening vocabulary will not be the same. Though he may be able to listen and understand a lot of words, he may not be able to read those same very words when presented to him in writing. Important as it is that you teach your child to read, it is equally important to feed him information by reading to him.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lesson 8

OG continued.

A few readers had complained that they were unable to download lesson one. I am sorry, this was because for my first lesson I had used Microsoft office which some of you may not have. Hakim advised me to change it to PDF format which I had done from lesson 2. Now lesson one too has been formatted in PDF format.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lesson 7

Today’s lesson is to introduce the ‘s’ sound at the end of words.

The ‘s’ should be pronounced clearly for the student to grasp it.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lesson 6


This is a continuation from the previous lesson.

You may explain the sound made by the combination of the letters “fr”.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lesson 5 - OG


Sound out the sound that the letter ‘o’ makes in the word ‘dog’.

Sound out the combination of the letters ‘og’.

Ask him what sound would ‘rog’ make.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dyslexia -My logical thinking students & Lesson 4

John (my first student) learned the word ‘but’ and ‘cut’ and when I taught him the word ‘put’ I could see a confused look on his face. He could not understand why I pronounced ‘put’ the way I did and not the way I pronounced ‘cut’ and ‘but’.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dyslexia - Thinking "inside" the box.

Executives spend thousands of Ringgit to attend courses given by management gurus to learn about “Thinking outside the box”. What an irony! The dyslexic children do this on a daily basis without having attended any of these courses and they do it at an early age.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lesson 3

These are notes to lesson 3. Read them carefully and teach your student.

Sound out the letter ‘a’ and ‘n’. Then sound out the combination of sound ‘an’.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dyslexia - Phonic vs. sight words

By the middle of primary one, if a child is falling behind in reading than there should be immediate intervention and a one to one tutor should be found.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dyslexia Myth

Dyslexia Myth:
I have been surfing the net for definitions and the following is what I have unearthed.
I have copied the following from

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lesson 2

I forgot to mention. Please feel free to print these lessons.

This is the best time to introduce another sound represented by the letter ‘a’. This sound for ‘a’ is ‘er’. Compare this with the first ‘a’ that your student learnt – ‘a’ – ‘air’. Make sure that he understands this well.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I regret the delay in blogging lessons for parents of dyslexic children. This was due to a number of reasons which have now been resolved.

A little each day.

I taught my children Mandarin while driving them to school, and back. I found that it took me about 25 minutes each way. When I picked them up from school, the first thing I'd do was to ask them about their day. After that I’d teach them Mandarin. I told them that they were simply wasting their time, their ‘life’, looking out the car window, not looking at anything in particular, while I was driving.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Remy - another student

Another one of my student was Remy. He was hyper active and would not sit still for more than about 20 minutes. As such, every 15 minutes or so I'd ask him to walk around the room for about 2 minutes and that was all it took for him to go on for the next 15 minutes. So I had three breaks with him in an hour.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sequencing - Third and final part

Do not rush through these few preliminary lessons. These are some of the most difficult things for a dyslexic child to learn. I am continuing my post on a daily basis but you can stop and teach your student or child at his own pace.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dyslexia- Sequencing part 2

Sequencing, as I pointed out in my previous blog post is almost beyond some of these very intelligent dyslexic children. They have a big problem trying to understand the days of the week and the months in a year. Questions like, “What day comes after Tuesday and what month comes after March?” can baffle them. They may not know the difference between yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lesson - Preliminary

Before I start the lesson proper I will write on how you can help your dyslexic child learn some of the most difficult things they encounter. They have difficulty learning abstract things.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My first student John

As I had mentioned earlier John had to repeat primary one in a private school as he could hardly read a sentence after one year in a public school. With intervention and being taught in an appropriate manner he began to improve his reading in English and with that his grades in class began to improve.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Accent marks,Solution for a dyslexic child

Read the following and if you would like to help dyslexic children, ask your politicians or minister of education to incorporate accent marks in the books for the kindergarten and first 2 years of primary education. With millions being spent on grants to study dyslexic you should be able to get your politicians to get these books published.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Not Dyslexic

One day in 2006, a family friend's daughter met me in Kota Kinabalu city. She said that her son could not read and when I asked her how old he was she said that he was 5 years old. I replied that he was still young and asked her to come back to me when he was 6. I told her that I teach only kids who know the alphabets well. She quickly responded that he knew his alphabet and that his cousins who were the same age as him could read better than him. After much persuasion from her I asked her to bring him to my house that Saturday. Let us call him Ted (not his real name). I am not using the real names of any of my students.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Research Reports

I have introduced to you the article about the Australian boy in Japan. The following are further articles I had found two days ago. These research reports confirm my findings.
My question is,“What is the dyslexic association doing about all these research reports?”

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Very interesting news find – A must-read for all.


I surfed the net to see if I could find newspaper articles on dyslexic children in Japan and I chanced upon the following article about a dyslexic Australian boy in Japan.


The article is dated 10th July 1999. That was 10 years ago. You can read the full article here.

I have copied some of the salient points:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Teaching almost all my students to unlearn was a big problem. Teaching them something new is one thing but teaching them to unlearn something that they have learned and practiced for a year or more is not easy at all. I found that the child’s face went blank when I pronounced certain words. It took me a while before I found out the reason.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dyslexia- American vs. British English

As if the inconsistencies in the English language which I wrote on yesterday are not enough, our Malaysian students have to cope with the differences between British English and American English. We in Malaysia have to write in British English. Teachers mark as wrong words spelt in American English.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dyslexia - Malay, Mandarin and English

Bahasa Malaysia (The Malay Language)

This is our National Language and all students have to learn this language. The only letter that represents more than one sound in Bahasa Malaysia is the letter ‘e’. It can be pronounced ‘er’ or ‘ay’.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dyslexia - A Different Perspective


In 2004 one of my neighbours asked me to tutor his son. I said that I have not given tuition to any child and asked him to look for a proper tuition teacher. He replied that since my children have done exceptionally well in school I should be able to help his son. After much persuasion, I agreed to try. After three lessons which were nerve racking he told me that his son was dyslexic. His son John (not his real name) had just completed a year in a public primary school and was going to be transferred to a private school in Kota Kinabalu and would be placed in primary one as he could hardly read. I had not heard the word dyslexic and checked the internet to learn about dyslexia. Having checked a few sites I took it up as a challenge to teach John. By this time I had taken a liking to John as he was a jovial child.