Yoshini Thiagarajan was one of my first students whom I wrote about in the first month I started blogging in February 2010. She had gone to kindergarten for 2 ½ years and was in the first few months in grade one when her desperate father brought her to me for tuition. He said he could not understand why his daughter had a reading problem.
When I taught her, she refused to say many words as they did not make sense to her. For instance, she repeated the word ‘ox’ after me but refused to sound out the word fox.
I later found out the reason as explained in my blog post here.
I had to teach her to unlearn what she had learnt wrongly in kindergarten. It took me more than a month to get her to unlearn the wrong sounds represented by letters that she had learnt. I weaned her after a few months of one on one tuition.
She was selected for the National 2012 Selangor Choral Speaking. That is a feat for anyone let alone someone who could not read even after 2 and a half years of kindergarten and half a year in primary one.
In 2015 she was selected to represent Sabah in West Malaysia as the conductor of the Inter-School Choral Speaking Competition. You may read more in my post here.
In 2022, she graduated as Bachelor in Mathematical Science from University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Currently she is working as a Data Analyst in a company in West Malaysia.
She is one of more than 80 shut down kids I taught on a one on one basis since 2004. I learnt a lot from her as she did from me. It was from her that I learnt one of the main reasons why kids shut down/ disengage from learning to read.