Sunday, December 30, 2018

Scout mindset or soldier mindset

Not long ago I heard a TED talk by Julia Galef on why scout mindset is crucial to good judgment.
I believe that both mentalities are important. I used the scout mentality to gather firsthand information from my students on why they were unable to read in English but were able to read in Malay and Hanyu Pinyin.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Ministry of Education of Singapore and Malaysia

                                Molding the future of our nation? What future?         
I wrote to our Malaysian Minister of Education and his deputy several times. 

AND then I wrote to both of them again together with their team members. I have yet to receive a response from them.

I wrote to MOE Singapore and immediately received a response from them.

Therein lies the difference between our MOE and that of Singapore.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

My students – the common factor

My only student whom I taught for 5 years from primary one to primary six ( only 5 years because he was promoted from halfway in primary four to primary 5) is my first student.

All my others students were taught only for a short period.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Discussion with Stepehn Krashen (Whole Language Proponent) Part 4

This is a continuation of my discussion with Stephen Krashen, Professor Emiritus at the University of Southern California.

He stopped his discussion and his group administrator said that all comments will be discontinued.

This is what happens when these professors are cornered and have nothing further to say.

Stephen Krashen is definitely an educated guy but may not be learned. He is barking up the wrong tree without knowing the actual sounds of the alphabets in the English language. 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Stephen Krashen - Whole Language Proponent (Part 3)

Here is the continuation of the discussion with Stephen Krashen, Professor Emiritus of the University of Southern California.

Stephen Krashen  About teaching basic phonics correctly I assume you mean accurately. I suspect that approximately right rules that work most of the time are OK. With reading, children acquire the more subtle rules. So many children have learned to read this way. Is there any research showing the proper way and demonstrating that it is better? Here is, of course, another Krashen paper you might be interested in: Defending Whole Language: The Limits of Phonics Instruction and the Efficacy of Whole Language Instruction

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

My emails to our ministers on Astro programme

The more appropriate title may be 'Rancangan Tergendala'. I am taking a short break from my continuation of articles on Stephen Krashen. This is a result of a challenge by some opposition members asking me why I had not written to ministers complaining about matters.

I have written several emails to Dr. Maszlee Malik and to Ms Teo Nie Ching and they do not even have the courtesy to respond. 

Similarly I also wrote to Mr.Gobind Sindh Deo to no avail.

Here are my emails to these ministers who probably do not understand what I am writing about. Now. let us eee if the opposition party members will act on this complaint.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Stephen Krashen Whole language proponent (Part 2)

Here is a recent FaceBook discussion between Stephen Krashen and me.

Luqman Michel: "Stephen Krashen, Let us start with the same question I have asked Claire Walter above. Are phonemes in the ABC song above taught correctly?"

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Dr.Stephen Krashen – Whole language proponent (Part 1)

                                      This guy wants to change an axiom into a hypothesis.
Recently I happened upon something written by Stephen Krashen which I disagree with. I made some comments in a blog post where both of us are members. In fact, that blog post is exalting him as another ‘God of education’. I have already written about the other ‘Gods of Education’ in my posts on my blog.

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Star online - Response to 'Transforming Dyslexia one word at a time'

On 4.10.2018 I read an article on Star online written by Dr Mullai A. Ramaiah who is the president of THE National Organisation for Dyslexia Malaysia (NOD)

NOD claims that it is teaching through the phonetic approach.  Upon reading the article I know that neither Dr. Mullai nor NOD knows what they are talking about.

Here is the whole article as published:

Friday, November 2, 2018

Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)

On 13.9.18 I wrote to ACER on FaceBook the following. I wrote to them as their name indicates that they are Educational Researchers.

Reduce illiteracy 

Would any researcher here like to discuss why kids who fail to read in English are able to read in many other languages? I have taught more than 50 kids, many of whom were wrongly certified as dyslexic. I have found that all my students are in fact instructional casualties. Let us please discuss.

 The following is the response from ACER.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Blaming Phonics

Here is part of a conversation I had in a group on FB. If more parents open up and write like this lady, many teachers and parents will benefit a great deal from the discussions in that group. 

1.Research says that the best way to getting better at reading is Reading.
2.The problem is not insufficient phonics teaching as some claim, but it is insufficient access to books.
3.Research tells us that better libraries is associated with better reading scores.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Emails to Astro’s CEO - Henry Tan

These are my emails to the CEO of Astro, Mr.Henry Tan and to his PA Ms. Nora Yahya. 

My first email was sent to the CEO on the 8.10.2018 after several attempts to the staff of Astro since 13.9.2018.

Dear   Mr. Henry Tan,
This is my third email to you.

Peace is better than being right - Is it?

This is a warning to all teachers and parents to be wary of letting babies and kids listen to Charlie and the alphabets.

This morning while scrolling messages on LinkedIn I saw the above message.
I have written many posts on my blog as well as on LinkedIn saying that kids disengage from learning to read when they are confused. 

Well, I definitely want peace as I had fought a one and a half year battle with my former Lions club that had misappropriated funds meant for the poor. The club was deregistered on 28.6.2018.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Australian Literacy Educators' Association

Let us take a short break from Astro and see what our 'Learned friends' from Down Under are doing.

More than a month ago I listened to a YouTube video by Alvin Irby found here

I found the above on Face Book on the page of ALEA Mackay - Australian Literacy Educators' Association.

The following is what I read about ALEA.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Astro TV and their 'Tidak apa' (lackadaisical) attitude

My first email to Astro complaining about the BabyTV programme teaching alphabet sounds  that is detrimental to kids was dated 13th September 2018.

I had also sent a link to my book for them to buy and read as to why that programme is not suitable for kids.

I fail to understand why Astro just cannot promise to stop airing that one programme 'Charlie and the Alphabet' until they are convinced that what I am saying is true and then completely ban that particular episode.

I received several responses and some of the emails are as below.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Instructional casualties – ‘Dysteachia’

Here is part of a comment I made in one of the posts on LinkedIn.

You need to know how to teach the basics. You also need to understand why many smart kids are not able to read in English but are able to read in other languages.

The following is part of the response by the author of the post.

But remember that we all teach in different places. What is true for some (like this) is not for others. (Marcela Falcone)

This was my response to her comment:

Teachers all over the world have been continuously saying that many kids are unable to read because of 'Dysteachia' (a word coined by teachers in the US.) Has anyone said what it is that is being taught wrong by teachers? Why is it that many kids still leave school as illiterates?

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Correspondence between BabyTV and Luqman Michel (Part2)

Many educators and scientists in the world have said that many kids cannot read because of ‘Dsytechia’ (a term coined by teachers). This simply means that kids cannot read because teachers do not know how to teach.

However, no one has ever said what it is that is being taught wrongly. I know the answer to that question and have said it many times. It is simply because about 20% of kids in the world are prone to shutting down when taught wrong phonemes/sounds represented by letters.

Correspondence to and from BabyTV and Luqman Michel

I wrote to BabyTV, the producer of the programme aired by Astro, on 12th September 2018.

There was a prompt response on 13.9.2018 from Debbie Pattinson who is the consultant to BabyTV
I responded immediately telling her about the programme that I believe will result in more kids shutting down from learning to read.

I requested her to read a copy of my book.

On 17.9.2018 Debbie responded as follows:

Friday, October 19, 2018

Dyslexia vs Shut Down Kids (Part 4)

I will get back to Dr.Maszlee Malik and Astro soon. Meanwhile let us continue with Dyslexia vs. Shut down kids.

“Increased phonics instruction will not help a child with dyslexia. Children with dyslexia are able to learn phonics once they have the underlying phonemic awareness abilities; although they may continue having trouble applying it. This is why difficulty with phonics and word pronunciation is a good warning sign of dyslexia.”

My Response: With the exception of 2 kids none of my more than 60 students to date had problems with word pronunciation. I am sure there are kids who have problem with word pronunciation as well as phonological awareness problem. However, to call these kids dyslexic and say that 20% are so is definitely a crime. 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Kit Siang to Dr.Maszlee: Don't fall into Najib's trap

The following is an article I read in  the Star on 16.10.2018. Here are some extracts from the article.

Kit Siang to Dr Maszlee: Don’t fall into Najib’s trap, stop talking about socks and shoes

“The DAP senior politician said that both Najib and Umno propagandists wanted to project the image that he [Dr Maszlee]  is a very mediocre minister who has very limited vision and objectives in the transformation of education in the country.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

They've got it all wrong - NOD Malaysia/ Star Online

In an article on Star Online on 4.10.2018; The National Organisation for Dyslexia Malaysia had said the following:

It has also been training teachers to teach language through the phonetic approach, assessing and teaching children who are dyslexic, and counselling parents.

“Dyslexia is a state in which one finds it extremely challenging to bring a sound to the written letter. One has difficulty in reading, writing and spelling.

“Therefore, sounds of the language or phonics are taught and not the letter names as in the traditional method.

“Where phonics does not work all the way, as in teaching English, the whole word approach is used,” said NOD president Dr Mullai A. Ramaiah.
Dr Mullai said dyslexia was often diagnosed as a disorder.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Luqman Michel vs Astro and Baby TV (Part 3)

After almost a month and not making any headway I decided to write to the CEO of Astro.

Here are my two emails to the CEO of Astro.

Sent: Monday, 8 October 2018, 17:48:45 GMT+8
Subject: My complaint on your programme

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Luqman Michel vs Astro, BabyTv (Part 2)

The above is the episode on Astro and Unifi that I know will cause kids to shut down. I have explained as to why kids shut down in my blog posts as well as in my book.
On 12th September, 2018 I sent a lengthy email to Astro where I explained why kids shut down from learning to read. I requested Astro to use what I had discovered on why kids shut down to do a programme to reduce illiteracy. I recommended them to get a copy of my book from the internet.
Here are the main points stating that many kids shut down from learning to read because of wrong teaching of sounds.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Luqman Michel vs Astro and BabyTV

On 12.9.2018 I wrote to Astro stating that kids shut down from learning to read as a result of being confused. 

On 13.9.2018 (exactly a month ago) I wrote and complained about one of Astro’s programmes that I know will cause kids to shut down from learning to read.

Dyslexia vs Shut Down Kids (Part 3)

“Although many dyslexics learn to read accurately they may continue to read slowly and not automatically.”

My comment: Again only 2 of my more than 60 students so far read slowly and not automatically. These two students are the ones I taught this year. They were siblings where one is in primary 3 and the other is in primary 5.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Courtesy call on YB Datuk Jennifer Lasimbang

She is Sabah’s Deputy Education and Innovation minister. I made a courtesy call on her at her Dun office in Moyog today, Tuesday, 9 October, 2018.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Dyslexia vs Shut down kids (Part 2)

"There has been over 30 years of documented, scientific evidence and research proving the existence of dyslexia." (Dyslexia Association)

My Response: How is it that after “30 years of documented scientific evidence” there is still no scientific definition of what dyslexia is?

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Dyslexia vs Shut Down Kids - Part 1

Facts (I call them lies) as claimed by the British Dyslexia Association

There has been over 30 years of documented, scientific evidence and research proving the existence of dyslexia. It is one of the most common learning disabilities to affect children.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Pamela Snow 'Perpetuating Myths about Phonics Instruction'


Here is an article in a blog post by Pamela Snow. The quotes in red are from a report by Prof. Robyn Ewing. I wrote to Robyn and am awaiting her response. The indented words that are not in red are by Pamela Snow.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Time, audience/receivers all play a part (Episode 1)

A LinkedIn friend responded to a comment I made and said; ‘Time, audience/receivers all play a part.

I believe it is time to write with no holds barred.

I read an article entitled ‘The couple who helped decode dyslexia – The Shaywitz’s’.
I am intrigued by why people swallow ‘Hook line and sinker’ anything and everything written by so called ‘experts’.

Here are a few excerpts and my comments and please feel free to question me on my comments.

People with dyslexia have trouble separating words into phonemes, the sounds that correspond with each part of a word. For example, the word “dog” is broken down into the phonemes “duh,” “aah” and “guh.”
Hearing these discrete sounds is a vital part of learning to read. But people with dyslexia hear the word only in its entirety: “dog.”

Friday, September 21, 2018

Suicide prevention and shut down kids

Recently I read a post on LinkedIn published on 12.9.2018 entitled:

Suicide Prevention Plan: 5 Tips to Deal With Thoughts of Suicide”

 The article is written by psychiatrist Melissa Welby, MD.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Phonics video that should be banned

The above is just one video to support my post yesterday. How does a teacher know what is the correct way to teach phonemes of alphabets?

My friend Ms Rose Hsu was honest in coming out to say she had made a mistake and taught phonemes of alphabets wrongly. 

Naïve parents let their children listen to videos, such as above, thinking that they will learn the alphabet sounds little realizing that many of them will be confused and end up shutting down from learning to read. The way phonemes are taught in many schools is more or less like that on the video.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Colorado's Dyslexic Students Face Systemic Challenges

Here are extracts from a Colorado Public Radio News. 

Colorado's Dyslexic Students Face Systemic Challenges—If They Can Even Get A Diagnosis

But then she was failing. Years of struggling in class had worn away at her self-esteem, and eventually her will to live.” 

My comment: Yes, this is true with smart kids who cannot understand why they are smart and yet are unable to read. They enter school with very high self-esteem which is lost within a few months of entering grade one. My first student kept asking me ‘Uncle, do you think I am stupid?’This question was asked by him intermittently and stopped when he was able to read at grade level.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Initial learning

One of the chapters in my book is on ‘The importance of initial learning’.

I believe there are two broad categories of learners. About 80% of children do not question and learn whatever the teacher teaches or somehow figure out how to read using patterns and analogies. About 20% of kids are those that are logical thinkers who question everything they learn. When what they are taught does not make sense or does not agree with what has been learned earlier they shut down or disengage from learning to read.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Children learn in different ways. Do they?

Not a week passes by when I don’t read an article on the internet about how kids learn differently.
Here is one such article.

For years teachers and students have had to struggle with how to teach and how to learn. Each teacher has their particular style but then so do most students. The problems develop when teachers and students don’t match.
Educational science has studied these questions for years and has determined that when some individuals struggle with learning it may be entirely a question of how they are being taught.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

How Microsoft's Immersive Reader tackles Dyslexia head on — and wins

I read the above-captioned article on the internet this morning. Here are some extracts and my comments.

Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability that makes reading, interpreting words, letters, and other symbols difficult. See how Microsoft is helping those who suffer from it.

My comment: I have written about the above definition many times and I repeat. This is the kind of nonsense that people with vested interest write and gullible readers read and believe. If one can speak but is unable to read in English can you claim it to be a language based problem? Do the millions of kids who can read in Italian, Malay, Spanish and many other languages but are unable to read in English have a language-based learning disability?

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Mayo clinic – “Dyslexia is a reading disability”.

Here is a link to the book above 

Here is an extract of what was published on an online newspaper and my comments. You may read the whole article here.

Ms Mecca is leading a group she states numbers more than two dozen district parents — most, if not all, of whom have sought or are seeking expanded services from administrators because their children are exhibiting signs of, or have been diagnosed with, dyslexia.
According to the Mayo Clinic, dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Also called reading disability, dyslexia affects areas of the brain that process language.

Monday, August 20, 2018

A comment on my book

This morning I had a pleasant surprise reading a comment on LinkedIn from an educator. 

I am sure Dr. David Pinder will implement the strategies in my book. Here is his comment on my book on LinkedIn.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Commonality between Math and learning to read

Dr. Barbara Oakley, an engineering professor and the author of a book on learning has written an article for the New York Times in the opinion section.

She has written on Math but I believe what she has written applies to learning to read as well.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Links to Shut down kids

I have had a few queries on where and how to purchase my two books published recently.

Shut Down Kids

Mainly my book is available on and people worldwide can purchase from there

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Phonics Debate


The following are a few excerpts from the YouTube video on the Phonic Debate held in Sydney on 31.7.2018. I did not transcribe more as there was nothing new that was not said before.


    "The Australian College of Educators is the longest serving association in the teaching profession in Australia. The college is formed with the specific purpose of elevating the teaching profession in Australia and to provide all educators the opportunity and avenue……(the YouTube video was not audible)."

Saturday, August 4, 2018

A day to remember

2.8.2018 was a good day for me. At 2 pm my two students (siblings – one in primary 3 while the other is in primary 5) came for their lessons. They both came to me for tuition for the first time on 20.6.18 and yesterday was their 14th lesson with me. The mother had heard about me from a member of the Rotary club in which I was to talk about how to eradicate illiteracy. 

Both of the siblings could not read when they came to me and neither of them could even spell words like was, to, went etc.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Why is illiteracy as high as it is?

In 2010 after having taught more than 20 children, most of whom were classified as dyslexic, I did not agree with the more than 35 year old theory that children could not read because of ‘phonological awareness deficit’ (PAD). PAD simply means ‘unable to listen to spoken sounds’. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Big Boys - people with vested interest

As I have written in my blog posts a number of times there are people with vested interest who have been opposing my findings with all kinds of excuses. Some are those who have said things quite different to what I have found and are ‘unable’ to make an about turn. But many are lured by monetary gains and therefore stick with what is wrong. Advocates of dyslexia and many who are assisted by Dyslexia Association are prevented from discussing matters with me or accepting what I have found to be true. I have written posts on this in my blog a few years ago.

Monday, July 9, 2018

A post on FB by a mother of one of my two students in 2017

Here is a Facebook post by a very happy mother of one of my students in 2017.

I had not seen her since her daughter left my house after her last lesson in July 2017.

I had arranged for a meeting with a doctor I had met on FB and this lady working for him happened to see my appointment with him and decided to message me on Whatsapp.

She suggested that I should leave a few books with her for her to sell in a shop she manages.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Further comments from the critic (Part 4)

Here is a comment from the critic on the chapter on:
Headmistress agrees with advice given on dyslexia. (Page 61)

The above chapter is the full comment by a headmistress on an article I had written in 2010 in a leading newspaper – Daily Express- in Sabah, Malaysia.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Comments from the critic- Part 3

There are a few comments from the critic which I will wait to see if the critic will revise after reading the whole of part ii and iii of my book - Shut Down Kids available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and many other online stores.

Here is a comment I cannot disagree with.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Vision problem - part 2

Refer to my post on eye convergence here.

The ‘big boys’ with vested interest making tons of money via medication, therapy, remediation classes, coloured layer glasses , hearing and visual inspection etc keep duping the world that kids cannot read because of many reasons except the actual reason. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Comments part 2 - Like father like son

The critic from part one went on to say:

“The final chapters of Part 1 feels sloppily put together.”

I then asked the critic if he had viewed the video and this was his response.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Comments from my first critic on my book - Shut Down Kids

A critic has made the following comments on the first part of my book – Shut Down kids.
I have only taken the gist of his first comment.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Dyslexia and eye convergence issues

The big boys with vested interest had convinced the world for more than 35 years when, in 2010, I challenged the theory that dyslexia is the cause of phonological awareness deficit.

Now that that theory has been debunked they have come up with another new theory.

Their latest definition which they are convincing schools, is that 98% of kids who cannot read is because they are unable to focus both eyes on the same letter.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Links listed in my book on Shut Down Kids

Reading my book on shut down kids without listening to the links referred in the book will be futile.
The links are listed according to the pages of the book. I have listed them here so that you may view them by clicking on the links below.

I have now added links to comments on my book and my responses.Please scroll down to the bottom of this page and click on the links provided.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

More than one way to skin the cat

There is an old Tamil song with meaningful lyrics that talks about a kind and queen who had a son. 
The prince who went hunting happened to catch a rabbit with 3 legs (one of the legs had probably been torn off by traps set in the forest).

Having caught a rabbit with 3 legs and never having seen one with 4 legs he kept insisting that all rabbits have only 3 legs.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Preview of my forthcoming book

This is a little advertisement of my forthcoming book which will be available by end of next month.

I have been teaching dyslexic kids for the past 14 years on a one on one basis and have observed them and interviewed them over the years even after they had been weaned from my tuition.
In 2010 I wrote to many universities, professors, government ministers and Dyslexia Associations saying why I don't agree with 'phonological awareness deficit' being the cause of dyslexia. At that time it was about 35 years since someone had said this and most professors just latched onto that theory without questioning.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Anecdotes and empirical science

For more than 35 years before I began to teach so called dyslexic kids in 2004, Phonological awareness deficit was said to be the cause of kids being unable to read in English.
Many professors started quoting the first professor without thinking at all.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Dyslexia or shut down kids (Part 2)

Please read my last post before reading this post.

My comments are based on an article from Houston Chronicle.

“They’ll argue that one answer to our nation’s reading crisis may be in plain sight.”

My comment: Yes, one answer to the world’s reading crisis is in plain sight but who is listening to what I have been writing since 2010.

I was the first person in the world to challenge the 40 years old theory that 'Phonological awareness deficit ' is the cause of 'Dyslexia'. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Dyslexia or shut down kids?

Here is something I read in the internet this morning. You may read the whole article here:

Here are some extracts from the article above with my comments.

Dyslexia is believed to affect one in every five people.
But dyslexia is not a hopeless affliction, as once believed. Scientists can observe its effects through brain scans as easily as they can observe a tumor.

 My comment: Stop! Think! Is it really possible that one in five – 20% of the population of the world is dyslexic? What is dyslexia anyway? 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

"It ain't over till it is over" - Timothy Shanahan (Part 1)

In late 2017 I discovered that I did not receive any notification of Timothy’s posts in my news feed in LinkedIn. When I checked I found out that he has disconnected me as his connection.

The following is one of his recent blog posts dated October 2017.
It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over: On the Idea of Developing Third Grade Readers by Grade Three