Friday, December 15, 2023

Hypothesis - Why Singapore consistently does better in PISA (Part 1)


Back in 2010 after teaching so-called dyslexic kids for 6 years I was convinced that all my approximately 20 students whom I taught during the 6 years were shut-down kids who had disengaged from learning to read due to confusion.

At that time the existing theory that had existed for more than 35 years was that kids could not read due to phonological awareness deficit.

I disagreed with that theory and wrote over 100 articles/comments that disagreed with it until it was debunked in 2017. You may read some of my articles/comments in 2010 here. LINK

The follow-up question was, what is the cause of dyslexia if it is not a phonological awareness deficit.

I published a book detailing the causes. LINK

In 2010 I posted lessons on my blog that are free of charge. A few years later the service provider, File Den, disappeared without warning and I lost all my lessons.

I then re-posted an improved version of my lessons in 2020.

This year I published a book with all the lessons. LINK

For those in Malaysia, order a copy directly from me. LINK

Now, here is my hypothesis on why Singapore’s PISA reading result is in number 1 while the US and UK do not even make it to the top 10.

Page 2 of Dr. David Kilpatrick’s Equipped for Reading Success says:

In a large study conducted by scientists from the State University of New York of Albany, researchers were able to reduce the number of children who require ongoing remediation from the national average of 30% down to about 2%.

Many school districts using ARL have dramatically reduced the number of poor readers.

A third example is a study by researchers at Florida University. They showed how the most severely reading-disabled students could reach grade level - and stay there- using a surprisingly brief intervention program.

Most of my students, many of whom are certified dyslexic, are now professionals.

The 2% above is probably the percentage of kids I would classify as dyslexic or students who have a problem learning to read for whatever reason. The rest of the 28% (or thereabouts) are kids whom I classify as shut-down or disengaged kids. These are the intelligent kids who leave school as functional illiterates like our Tom Cruise who learned to read when he was 22 after completing the movie Top Gun. LINK

Think what may have happened to Tom Cruise if he had found a teacher who could have taught him to read in grade 1. (We may have missed one of the best actors)

Many of my former students graduated from various universities with good results. What would have happened to them had I not stepped in?

Why did one of my students refuse to say the word 'fox'. She had been in kindergarten for 2 years where the teacher had taught her that the letter F is pronounced fur. LINK

She refused because Fur + ox could not be fox. This girl became the Choral speaking leader in her school and was in the top 5 from grade 2 to form 5 (year 11). She is now a data analyst in a company in West Malaysia. She was shut down and would have left school as an illiterate. LINK

To be continued…

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