Sunday, August 30, 2015

Another confession of a teacher

The following is extracted from a blog by Melinda Crean  found here:  

“You know at the end of university I didn’t have a clue how to teach kids how to read, write and spell.  I came through university with the whole language approach to teaching reading.  This approach is based on the visual memorisation of whole written words and doesn’t teach the skills or conceptual knowledge needed to read.  When I came through uni, phonics was a bit taboo, and we were told that we don’t teach literacy like that anymore.  I have had no exposure to phonics and don’t really know much about this approach to teaching reading”.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dyslexia is not a language based learning disability

I vehemently disagree with what Rachna Varia says in her video

This video shares what dyslexia is, what it's not, and what needs to be done!
“Dyslexia is a language based learning disability that impacts phonological processing in reading…”
 “Phonological processing is the ability to see or hear a word, break it down to discrete sounds, and then associate each sound with letter/s that make up the word”.

My comment: Both the statements above are erroneous. It is PhD holders like her who write as if they are authorities on subjects that they know little about. This is one of the problems that hinders the progress of education. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Toast Masters Talk: Shut Down Kids

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
I am grateful for this opportunity to give a talk on shut down kids.

First and foremost, I would like to thank Dr. Jacob Yan who invited me to give this talk. Dr.  Jacob Yan is a fellow club member of The Lions Club of Kota Kinabalu Host, the oldest and largest Lions club in Sabah.
This talk is one of the numerous activities of The Lions Club of Kota Kinabalu Host.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Confessions of a teacher

The following is part of a comment in Linkedin in a forum I am participating in.

"I`m told that to be polite is important but when it harms innocent children and puts their teachers into further instructional confusion-it irritates me to no end......there is barely a whimper of "how to teach reading" in the early grades.The factory of labeling the victim is still in place,I think 99% of the problems are dysteachia brought on by outdated teacher licensing institutions!" (Jo-Anne Gross)

Since 2010 I have been saying that the majority of kids leaving school as illiterates are casualties of teaching. It starts from kindergarten where letter sounds/phonemes are taught wrongly.

The following is extracted from:   Children of the Code interview.

This interview was given by Dr. G. Reid Lyon who is the former Chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch within the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institute of Health (NIH). He was recruited into NICHD in 1991.

“I had to learn how to be a teacher, so I went back and took education courses and became certified as an elementary school teacher and as a special education teacher. Now, I say I took courses, but that is not to say that I learned anything. As a matter of fact, I had no idea what I was doing when I got into my third grade classroom other than calling the roll and recess”.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Disengaged students

I prefer the term disengaged/disconnected/shut-down students to dyslexic students. The term dyslexia is being misused by people with vested interest to include many conditions that would be best excluded from the dyslexia definition. For instance kids with auditory processing difficulty, kids with acuity problems, kids with neurological problem and kids with sight problems should all be excluded from the dyslexia umbrella.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Dyslexia – How NOT to teach letter sounds

How would you pronounce the following word?
Can you recognize that word? It is an English word given to us by Liz Dunnon. You can hear it in a You Tube video here: (You can hear it under skill 2 between minutes 1.48 and 3.05 in the video.)

Unfortunately this is how letter sounds are presented to kids by many schools here in Malaysia as well as in countries speaking English as their main language. The letter c does not say cuh and the letter t does not say tuh. What happens to kids (the roughly 20% of kids who are prone to shutting down) who are taught that these are the letter sounds? They SHUT-DOWN. I have written an article on this about one of my first students who refused to say the word fox. You may read that article here:

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Dyslexia – News from organizations with vested interest

On 4.6.2015 I first saw an article in the internet about how dyslexics see fonts. This news was subsequently published in many magazines and newspapers. It began to appear on Face Book and an article also appeared in Linkedin.This continued for about a month.

Many articles related to dyslexia keep surfacing periodically and I believe these are articles supported by some organization with vested interest.
The first article that I saw on dyslexia fonts can be foundhere