Thursday, May 12, 2022

My 5th day with Jack and emails from his parents

My firth day, dated 11.5.22, with Jack was teaching Jack word family ‘ig’ and ‘ug’.

Once he heard me pronounce the word family ‘ug’ he read the words bug, dug, hug, jug, mug, rug, tug with no prompting by me.

He could read the words above because he now knew the correct pronunciation of the consonants and his confusion has been cleared.

Jack is not the first student who can read all the words from chapter 8. Almost all my former students were able to do it. 

What is important is for you to ask how these students who could hardly read any word, when they came to me, are able to read them after a few lessons.

Do read my Twitter discussion with the mother, Alanna Maurin, who had used my lesson to teach her son to read. Link.

Here is an explanation of my Twitter discussion above.  How was I so confident in telling the mother that we will be able to get her son to read in a short time?

Here is the list of High Frequency Words I asked Jack to memorise in lesson 8:

will, are, there, many, one, ten, in, eat

In this lesson I have introduced another sound represented by the letter ‘a’ in the word ‘are’.

So, Jack now understands that letters in English, as compared with Malay, represent more than one sound.

He now knows A as in apple; A as in about, A as in all; A as in arm. Another sound that I will point out to him when we come to it is ‘A’ as in able. This sound will be familiar to him as he could read all the letter names including the name of the letter ‘A’.

Here are the mails from his parents.

From his mother:

Mon, 25 Apr at 19:33

Jack (I changed his name) going to be 9 on the 4th of October. He went to Kindergarten Chung Hwa Likas from 2018-2019.

He started darjah 1 (grade 1) from January  year 2020 but suddenly the school closed from march until June. Open for a while for only 1 month then close back until year 2021. Class is only online.

The school started open this year Feb 2022 finally.

He started at xxx (name of tuition centre removed by me) since he was 6 year old then continued until he was 7 after that start following online but cannot cope because I have to start working for 12 hours so he stop online since the Covid started. He only started face to face this year February 2022.

I think he got no school for almost 2 years, so maybe that’s the reason also he can’t read and write.

I really hope u can teach him in English to read and write.

I will start to send him twice a week on Wednesday and Sunday.

I asked if there were any reports from the tuition centre and here is her reply.

To:Luqman Michel

Sat, 30 Apr at 15:45

Hi Michael

From xxx (name of tuition centre removed by me) in the beginning Jack's (name changed) teacher already notice that he still cannot read and she ask me to read a short story and point the words so he can remember it but still no improvement.

So that's why because of my busy work we always end up to sleep early and I don't have time to teach him at home.

I'm sure u can help him.

Here is an email from Jack’s father.


Around three years ago, when my son was five years old and had been 'learning' English for almost two years, I asked a member of staff at my son's school if he could be tested for dyslexia. This was due to the fact I found he was struggling to read in English at the most basic level and couldn't recognise letters or sounds. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I doubt very much if it was followed up on or if they had appropriate measures in place to test students.

A few weeks ago, I asked a member of the teaching staff of a local language centre if they knew of a tutor who could help my son with his literacy skills because I had seen no improvement in his ability and the class teacher did not have the time in class to give him the coaching needed. Fortunately, I have been referred to a local tutor who understands the needs of my son and can guide him accordingly.

Note: That is how I came to start teaching Jack. I started to record the progress right from day one to let readers know that no child will be left behind if they are not confused by teachers teaching the wrong pronunciation of sounds represented by consonants.


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