Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A disengaged students plight

Here is a Whats app clip I would like you to examine carefully.

Unfortunately I have been unable to copy the video here. Highlight the whole url and click on open link on new tab.

The kid in the video would probably be classified as a dyslexic and accused of being stupid. To me it is obvious that he is smart and a confident kid. His problem is that he has not been taught properly. He has not been informed of the difference between reading in Bahasa Malaysia (Malay) and the English Language.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Disengaged students – The Problem

Go to any school you choose and speak with the English language teacher or with the superintendent. Ask him/her if there are students who do well in mathematics but are unable to read in English. 

All schools have at least 10% of kids who leave school without being able to read. The question is to ask as to why this is the case.

Also ask as to how I dare say that I can teach Jill to study after one minute of interacting with her. All I did was talk to Jim and Jane for about 20 minutes and then for less than a minute asked Jill to read a few alphabets written on a sheet of paper. After the one minute with Jill I knew she was a shut down learner.

After my first lesson with Jill I have confidently confirmed that I can get Jill to read at grade level within 4 months. I leave you with these questions to ponder and ask yourself as to why kids are not taught in a way that they ought to be taught. Why kids are not taught in a way whereby the illiteracy level will be reduced drastically? 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

My first lesson with Jill

Give every day the chance to become the greatest day in your life (Mark Twain)

I start by teaching 3 to 5 Dolch words a day which I ask my students to memorise. Some of the Dolch words can be sounded out but I still get them to memorise them.

There are 220 Dolch words which can be found at:
The reason for memorizing these words is that they (not all of them) are difficult to be sounded out. A few of these words will make it easy for you to understand why they are best to be memorized especially for the 10 to 20 % of kids: with, here, which etc.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Disengaged students - Consonant Blends

I read the last comment in the article mentioned in my post on FB yesterday (13.3.2017). 

Here is the comment from the reader in the link in my post yesterday: superkate'smum said...
My daughter is certainly one of the children you describe. I noticed her 'shut down' for the 1st time when she went into year 1. On the first day of school she met her new teacher who was in a rush. The teacher fired several questions at Kate very rapidly and Kate's eyes began to fixate and glaze over.
I have seen her shut down in class many times since. Kate was taught the alphabet correctly, with the appropriate voiced and voiceless sounds. The problem for her was blending the sounds together due to issues with auditory closure. She could not identify words if they were broken down, partially spoken, spoken with an accent, or spoken with the emphasis on the wrong syllable.
What a varied and complex condition dyslexia is!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Disengaged student – A case study

I have written many articles on the Americans and British as well as Australians and New Zealanders grouping any and all children who have difficulty reading as ‘dyslexics’. The Americans and British say that most of the dyslexics have a ‘phonological awareness deficit’ which I believe is erroneous. I have written many posts on this in my blog as well.

I had stopped teaching for about a year and the one student that we have is taught by my wife. On 5.2.2017 someone (let’s call him Jim) telephoned me and asked me to evaluate his daughter to find out as to why she cannot read. I agreed stating that I only deal with disengaged/ shut down students and will be able to find out in a one hour session.

On 9.2.2017 Jim and his wife (let us call her Jane) brought their daughter Jill (not her real name) to my house. Jim explained that Jill is smart and when she talks will talk incessantly just like her mother. On this day Jill hardly opened her mouth. Jim said that Jill will not sit with him to read any material he reads to her. Within a minute or so she would walk away from reading. Jill was not interested in reading at all said Jim.

Jane told me that Jill was made the monitor of the class when she went into primary one after 2 years in a kindergarten. However, her badge was removed when the teacher found out that she could not read.
I asked Jill if she would like to learn to read and be as good as her classmates. She nodded her head giving me the first indication that she could be a disengaged student. Disengaged students do not want to be left out and would do whatever they can to be as good as their classmates if not better.

I then asked Jill to read a list of alphabets I had written on a piece of paper. The first line was written in large fonts and I had five lines of alphabets gradually becoming smaller and smaller until the last line was of the size of those in children’s books. She read all of the alphabets correctly.

I did that exercise just as a crude way of finding out is she had eyesight problem. This confirmed that she had no such problem.

I had expected her to read the names of the alphabets but (fortunately) she read she sound of the alphabets instead. This was just a one minute exercise. It, however, confirmed that her problem is that of a disengaged student.

She, like many kids in kindergarten and tuition centres had been taught the alphabet sounds (phonics) in the wrong way. She sounded out the following consonants in the following way:
M as Mur/Mer
S as Sur/Sir
T as Ter/Tur etc

As explained, elsewhere in my blog, this is one of the reasons a majority of the ‘so called dyslexic children’ shut down or disengage from studying. If not corrected they will lose their self esteem and end up being disruptive in class and then will be called stupid/ lazy by other students and sometimes by the teachers.
I told Jim and Jane that I will try and get her to read within 4 months of one hour lesson 3 times per week.
I will commence teaching on 14.3.2017 and write a summary of what happens so that parents of similar kids may be able to benefit.

There are about 10 to 20 percent of kids in the world who are unable to read and a majority of such students are actually smart kids who have shut down because of wrong methods of teaching.
Please inform parents of kids who may have such reading problems.