Saturday, July 13, 2024

Hanyu Pin and bopomofo


This guy Yong Wen San, who commented on Quora, is a highly learned guy. I walked away from his questions on Quora simply because I did not want to embarrass him but he insists on continuing and I thought it best to answer him. I have high respect for him.

The problem for many of us is that we quite often wear blinkers and do not want to see different perspectives. (Different perspective is the motto for my blog which was suggested by one of my sons.)

Thursday, July 11, 2024

A discussion on Quora

6 years ago, someone on Quora had asked: Which is better when learning Chinese: characters without Pinyin or Pinyin without characters?

Yong Wen San replied as follows.

If you are serious about learning the Chinese language, then you should aim to shed pinyin from your system as soon as possible.

For the beginner learner, especially one who is not immersed in a Chinese-speaking environment, pinyin does serve as a useful tool for learning the pronunciation of characters and words in Modern Standard Chinese. But that is all it should be seen as - a tool to aid learning pronunciation. I take issue with anyone who makes the sweeping statement that you can “learn Chinese using pinyin”. That will only help you with the spoken modern Chinese language, and even then, it will only take you as far as some basic phrases - ordering food at an eatery, buying something from a grocery store, asking for directions, etc. If your ambitions in “learning Chinese” only go that far, then fine, you can stop reading here.

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Phonics and Pinyin.

The following are video clips taken from Face Book where teachers from China are screwing up Pinyin.

I warned that more and more teachers will be ending up teaching Pinyin wrongly. Unfortunately this has already been happening for many years now. 

Many intelligent kids are unable to read in Pinyin and will be classified as dyslexic similar to kids learning English.

I wrote about one such teacher who teaches Pinyin and I commented on her YouTube channel and she has yet to respond to my question. Please refer to my post here

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Dyslexia and Pinyin


                                                                   QI HU NAN XIA

My so-called dyslexic students who attended vernacular school could read in Pinyin. There is no reason for them to be unable to read in Pinyin or Malay.

I researched why many intelligent kids could read in Pinyin and Malay and yet could not read in English. This resulted in my books Shut Down Kids which I wrote in 2018 and Teach Your Child to Read in 2023.

Recently I came across a YouTube channel where a girl named Melody JY Lyu is teaching Pinyin wrongly.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Learning Chinese


I have been away from social media for about 3 months as I was busy doing some important work.

I have finished my work and now would like to write my experiences on learning Mandarin. I hope my new blog will encourage non- Chinese who want to learn Mandarin without having to learn to read Chinese characters. 

Many Chinese teachers who are on social media to earn money tell us that it is impossible to learn Mandarin without learning Chinese characters. This is untrue. Now, it is so much easier to learn to speak in Mandarin than it was 50 years ago.

Those who are interested to learn how I am learning Mandarin are welcome to follow me on my blog at

Click here

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

How dyslexia changes in other languages - Sophie Hardach


Here is an article on BBC written by one Sophie Hardach on 10th March 2023. This was a copy-paste article about which the author knows zilch about. LINK

Here are extracts from the article and my comments.

At the age of 13, however, Alex was diagnosed with dyslexia, a learning difficulty that affects reading and writing. According to test results, his English reading level was that of a six-year-old.

Read my post on this in 2010. LINK 

Monday, February 19, 2024

Jon Hutchinson - Another guy who has blocked me for giving my opinion.


Jon Hutchinson @jon_hutchinson_

His profile says he is a Dad. Director at the Reach Foundation. Co-founder @menoacademy. LSX Fellow w/ @newamerica. Chair of @qpacademy.  And he has 17.5K Followers

He tweeted the following on 18.2.2024

Twitter obviously emphasises the things that people disagree on in education, but I’m curious: what are the areas of almost complete consensus? What does (pretty much) everyone agree about regardless of ideological stance?

Shameless self-promotion


This is for authors who want to promote their books on Twitter.

Every day since January 2024 I have seen many Tweets to promote each other’s books.

It goes on throughout the week with Twitters promoting books from Sunday to Saturday.

Here is one such example of promotion on Friday. 

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Reading is unnatural - Jennifer Knopf


Here is a post on LinkedIn by Jennifer Knopf from Orlando that included the above image.

Jennifer is the President and Founding Director @ REED Charitable Foundation

Her post was reposted by 13 LinkedIn members. I commented on one of the reposts and had a discussion/debate with someone. A day later all our (hers, another member and mine) comments has disappeared. Why members do this is beyond me.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Press Release


Someone from the other side of the globe suggested that I should do a press release so that there will be greater exposure of my book. 

This is a free press release that has 10 links to other sites. 

Teach Your Child to Read by Luqman Michel

This book quite simply spells out exactly how to address reading problems. And that is it. Right to the point. Parents and teachers will be relieved to find in this book how their students can easily learn how to read.

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Feb 10, 2024 (  - Luqman Michel embarked upon teaching children how to read when requested to do so by his neighbour whose son could not read even a single sentence after two years of schooling and kindergarten.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

A preventable tragedy - Sarah Duggan


This morning, 8.2.24, I read a post in Education HQ by Sarah Duggan. LINK


Here is an extract and my comments:


All Australian governments and school sector leaders should commit to a 10-year ‘Reading Guarantee’ strategy to reduce the dire number of instructional casualties slipping through the system and ensure best practice is not left to chance, experts have proposed.


One third of all students are below the basic level of reading proficiency, Amy Haywood, Grattan’s education deputy program director, tells Education HQ.


“And the sad thing is, that it’s a preventable tragedy because we do know what strong and effective reading instruction looks like – we just need to make sure that we’re getting it happening in every classroom…” Haywood says.

Monday, February 12, 2024

Double Deficit Dyslexia - A new challenge


On 9.2.24 a mother who read my message on a Dyslexia Support group messaged me and asked if I could help her son who has been diagnosed with double deficit dyslexia.

This is the first time I am hearing this term 'Double Deficit Dyslexia'. But, I don't believe in all these labels. 

The mother confirmed that her son, let’s call him David, has no acuity problems i.e. he has no hearing, sight or thinking problems.

I asked her for a voice recording of David reading out the sounds of the letters C, F, L, M, N, R, and S. She obliged. David pronounced the letter sounds perfectly. There were no extraneous sounds.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Brain Rsearch - Dr. Sam Bommarito Part 2


The following was tweeted by Kerry:

Kerry Greaves @KerryGr76867180 Feb 4

The reasons Reading Recovery is being banned in many states - it works for few and when it doesn’t, the child is blamed…

Luqman Michel

The question to ask is why does it work for a few and not the rest. Also, why does phonics work for some and not others?

Why does phonics work for any child, with no acuity problems, when using my book?


Dr. Sam Bommarito @DoctorSam7

Those are all kinds of research questions with plenty of research to answer them. Your claims around your book need to be verified with actual research studies. I know you are doing good work- but for wide-scale adoptions of what you are doing, that kind of field testing needs to be done.

Friday, February 9, 2024

Brain Research - Dr.Sam Bommarito


The following are extracts from Dr. Sam Bommarito’s blog and my comments.

Dr. Sam

I also had a chance to hear Dr. George Hruby’s presentation as he talked about various issues including the issue of what we can learn from current brain research. Here’s a teaser- did you know that the pictures of the brain lighting up aren’t direct pictures? Those images are computer-generated and based on the data being collected. So, this picture of the brain lighting up is not an actual picture that was taken directly. It is a computer-generated statistical chart. It is only as valid as the application of the data being collected and the interpretation of that data.

He also pointed out the major limits and limitations of current research about the brain. “50% of all studies in cognitive neuroscience are reporting false positives.” My take: a lot of the brain research being used as a basis for new legislation around literacy falls into the “not ready for prime time” category.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Top of the world


This morning I am feeling at the top of the world. 

Ellen Marie Wiseman, a many times Best Selling Author, Tweeted that my book Teach Your Child to Read is amazing. 

Last night I had a chat on Twitter with her that was initiated by her. We chatted well past my sleeping time.

Here is a little about her from the Internet.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

We don’t need meaning and pronunciation to remember words by sight (Luqman Michel)



Here is a tweet I read this morning that I disagree with.

Helen Proulx @HelenProulx 2 4.2.2024

To sum up- for a word to become a sight word, the meaning must be bonded to the pronunciation. Many words are not meaningful unless read in context (function words). It sounds an awful lot like Meaning, Structure & Visual information. (letters) are important in word reading/learning.

Luqman Michel @luqmanmichel

The following statement is incorrect.

'Words that are known by sight are recognized automatically because their spellings, pronunciations, and meanings have been stored in memory in separate but rapidly linked parts of the brain.'

Friday, February 2, 2024

Turning a school around - Graham Chatterley (Part 2)


You may read part 1 HERE.

Here are more comments on the thread by Graham Chatterley. 


The point is that schools can only be successful, positive, engaging learning environments when the culture is right. Children need to see clearly right from wrong and that their actions have consequences. If not, schools become chaotic.

graham chatterley

Yes, and the leadership have the job of getting children and staff to buy into that culture. Not taking a shortcut of getting rid of all the children who are struggling.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Red flags in education research - Anna Stokke with Ben Solomon (Part 2)


Part one of this post can be found HERE.

[00:19:48] Anna Stokke: The point you made about this paper being used to influence policy for millions of kids, is quite alarming. Okay, so I'm going to say, you know, in Canada when that curriculum I was talking about was adopted and I'm not kidding you that for a while, teachers were told that children could not use standard algorithms in class. They were not to teach them and kids were not to use them, even if they've been taught at home.

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Turning a school around


Here is an interesting thread on Twitter on turning schools around by a Former school leader, Director - author, radio presenter and SEN parent who has more than 3,600 followers on Twitter. 

Most educators are good at going around the mulberry bush repeating the same thing again and again expecting different results.

graham Chatterley @grahamchatterl2 29.1.24

If you are bragging about turning a school around, but your exclusion figures are sky high and you are sending parents elsewhere, you haven’t turned anything around, you’ve taken a massive shortcut. If you cherry pick your students of course results go up.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Red flags in education research - Anna Stokke with Ben Solomon


The clip above is copied from Anna Stokke’s Tweet dated 28.1.2024. Anna is a math professor and has a podcast that will be useful for all those interested in Math. I have only listened in full to 2 of her podcasts and think it is one of the best podcasts I've heard.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

More on Anuar Ahmad of University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)



Recently I blogged on Dr. Anuar Ahmad of UKM and Puan Fadhlina Sidek stating that they do not respond to emails on how to reduce intervention. 

A Facebook member replied that it is harsh to put the blame solely on them as Dr. Anuar Ahmad is a researcher and Puan Fadhlina Sidek is only a minister. He said that it was the Education Ministry who implemented irrelevant curricula that is to be blamed.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

'Unfair to judge just on Pisa' - New Straits Times


Education Experts in Malaysia must think the Malaysians are a stupid lot of people who will believe everything they say. 

Here are extracts from our New Straits Times dated January 24, 2024 and my comments.

Education experts said it is unfair to entirely judge the standards of the country's education system based on lower scores in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa).

"The success of our education system is not determined just by Pisa," said National Council of Professors (MPN) president Emeritus Professor Datuk Dr Raduan Che Rose.

Datuk Arifin bin Mohd. Arif- Sabah State minister


Recently I asked someone from Daily Express, what is Sabah’s stand on English being used to teach science and math. I quoted what the Sarawak’s Deputy Minister of Education had said.

"By hook or by crook, Sarawak will continue with its policy to teach Science and Mathematics subjects in English, said Sarawak's Deputy Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee."

"We are doing it and there is no turning back for us. We will go all the way till the students reach form five," he told reporters.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Do teachers know how to teach kids to read (Part 2)


The Madwoman in the Classroom, @heymrsbond, took offense with the following on my blog post:

Luqman Michel

The Madwoman in the Classroom @heymrsbond

'Secondary English teachers don’t teach students how to read. We aren’t taught how to teach students how to read.' But her Twitter profile says she is a Literacy educator • teacher-scholar. Read more HERE.

The Madwoman in the Classroom @heymrsbond

Just because I don’t teach children decoding and phonics doesn’t mean I’m not a literacy teacher. Attacking my work for your promotion and engagement is weird.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Ideas for my blog - A reply to Lucky Earther


While waiting for HeyMrsBond to respond to some of the tweets yesterday, I would like to respond to one of the tweets by:

Lucky Earther @WreckaCenter

Maybe you could come up with your own ideas for your blog instead of poking around on Twitter to see if someone will write something for you?

For the information of Lucky Earther and the others in the thread I will explain so that they know that most of what I write is based on my own ideas. This is specifically for those who have not been following my blog.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Do teachers know how to teach kids to read.


Here are tweets by The Madwoman in the Classroom @heymrsbond and a few of the replies.

Mrs. Bond’s Twitter profile says that she is a Literacy educator • teacher-scholar • mom.

Here are her tweets, some replies, and my comments.

As usual, I made some comments which I don’t expect anyone to reply to. I am posting this for future reference when I write my next book.

The important thing is the number of teachers here saying they don’t know anything about teaching kids to read and yet will not take the trouble to learn from what I have to say.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

More nonsense from Emily Hanford.


On January 16th Emily Hanford @ehanford tweeted the following and replies from Twitters have not been addressed by her.

Emily Hanford:

Schools often give struggling readers audio books and headphones with devices that can read aloud for them. These innovations can help poor readers keep up in math, science, and other subjects, but they can also become literacy impediments.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Behind & Beyond Sold a Story with Emily Hanford - Part 4


This is part 4 of Kate Winn's podcast with Emily Hanford.   


Emily Hanford:

The problem with teachers is they haven’t learned how kids learn to read.


My Comment:

It is not only the teachers who have not learned but no one in the world has learned how kids learn to read. I have stated this for many years now. Does Emily Hanford or anyone from APM Reports know how kids learn to read? 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Brain Science and Reading


Here are extracts from a blog post by Timothy Shanahan dated 13 January 2024 and my comments.

Timothy Shanahan:

It may be hard to believe given news media reports and the numerous books that now purport to translate neuroscience into pedagogy, but there are not any new and effective instructional methods, approaches, techniques, or materials that have been developed based on “brain science.”

Invest in something more certain to help your school – like buying lottery tickets.

So far, no instructional method has resulted from the study of the brain.

I advocate phonics because so many studies show that kids do better in learning to read when that is part of their instruction.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Dehaene - How the brain learns to read? Copied from my post in March 2022.

This is a post from  Sunday, March 27, 2022 which a Twitter said she can't access. Thanks to her, I notified Go-Daddy which confirmed that my subscription is up to date. The issue may be with Blogger. I have written to blogger and hope to get a response soon. Meanwhile, I copied the post here.

This is a continuation of my previous post found here

Peter Blenkinsop, kept insisting that I listen to Prof. Stanislas Dehaene video and educate him on how a child learns to read.

Why Peter, who calls himself a consultant, wants me to explain it to him is beyond me but I shall try and describe what I have understood from the video. 

Peter asked me to listen to minute 14.30 of the video above which says:

Monday, January 15, 2024

Similarities between mosquito exterminators and many educators


Here is a comment dated Sunday October 17, 2010 in one of my blog posts Dyslexia - Spelling Bee

Here is the comment which is hilarious/ outrageous but at the same time exactly depicting what is going on today. 

Sunday, January 14, 2024

YOU ARE BLOCKED by Rebecca (@BeckRSaunders) on 13.1.24.


Rebecca Saunder's profile on Twitter says she is a Professional Learning Coach.

The following is what she tweeted.

I have been screaming this into the void for years - why would kids care about an exam that means nothing to them?

Australian students aren’t trying in the Pisa exams. They should be congratulated for their disdain.

She copied that statement, without thinking, from an article by Van Badham a Guardian Australia columnist.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Musings of a centrist by Dr. Sam Bommarito - Part 2


Here is another extract from Dr. Sam’s post:

There is more than one way to teach phonics. I’ve written about that point many times.

Some students NEED a synthetic phonics approach. This is especially true for dyslexic students. The key place where folks working under the balanced literacy umbrella went off the tracks was their failure to ensure dyslexic students got the synthetic phonics they needed. In some instances, that involved giving them little or no phonics. In other cases, that involved giving them the wrong kind of phonics. The wrong kind of phonics for them is phonics taught using inquiry methods- analytic phonics being the best example of that kind of approach.

The main point I want to make again today is that it is time to try something we’ve never tried in the whole history of the reading wars. That is to adopt a centrist position, using ideas from all sides.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Musings of a centrist by Dr. Sam Bommarito - Part 1


'The question about phonics is not whether to teach phonics but rather what kind of phonics and how much phonics' - Dr. Sam Bommarito

Here are some of Dr. Sam’s key points from his article found here and my comments:

What works with one kid doesn’t always work with another. I make that a prior assumption/observation based on 50-plus years of teaching experience. During that time, I’ve taught every grade from kindergarten through graduate school.

This is what the Western World keeps repeating without understanding what they talk about. As far as decoding is concerned what is it that doesn’t work with one kid but works with another?

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Behind & Beyond Sold a Story with Emily Hanford - Part 3


The following are questions I have for Emily Hanford and APM Reports.

Is there even one study that says that teaching letter sounds wrongly/ teaching consonants with extraneous sounds, is not the cause of kids shutting down/ disengaging from learning to read?

Is there any one study showing schools teach sounds represented by letters wrongly and that this is one of the causes of kids shutting down/ disengaging from learning to read?

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Behind & Beyond Sold a Story with Emily Hanford - Part 2


The podcast host asked Emily:

Do you read criticisms and have a strategy for that?

Here is Emily’s response:

I don’t have a strategy to articulate. I have developed a thick skin over the years. I have never muted anyone or blocked anyone on Twitter. People can criticise you and you don’t have to respond.

I believe she has not muted anyone or blocked anyone as she has not blocked me despite many comments I have made about her. Neither have I blocked or muted anyone unlike many who have muted and blocked me.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Behind & Beyond Sold a Story with Emily Hanford


S2 E1: Behind & Beyond Sold a Story with Emily Hanford

Reading Road Trip

Here is an extract from the podcast above and my comments. LINK

It is a profound misunderstanding of journalism. What role does a journalist play? A journalist hasn’t been the thing they are covering; a white house reporter hasn’t been the president… The point of journalism is to investigate and uncover important stories. Journalists ask questions and explain things and we investigate and we look at the data.

I have referred Emily to my book Shut Down Kids and asked her if she has any idea why many kids shut down/ disengage from learning to read. How do these kids get to grade level and are maintained at grade level after a short intervention period?

What have Emily and APM investigated following my several emails to them beginning in 2017?

What data did they look at?

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Spelling backwards revisited


Many educators such as Dr. Sam Bommarito have asked me as to why kids should memorise the 220 Dolch words. My retort to that question was ‘Why not!’

The same question is repeated by many other 'educators'. LINK.

The same educators insist that phonics does not work with children because many words are not phonetic.

However, my suggestion that these non-phonetic words may be memorised is detested by these educators. 

Donna Lee Fields on openmindedness in LinkedIn.


Here is a post on LinkedIn on 24.12.23 by Donna Lee Fields and our discussion.


Donna Lee Fields's profile on LinkedIn says: 1st International Teacher-Trainer/Podcast Host.

Donna Lee Fields

When I asked Shelly Winterboer to define 'education', these were her first words. How could you expand on them?


For me, education is freedom… education expands my mindset. (Shelly Winterboer)

Note: Shelly Winterboer’s profile states: Providing services Life Coaching, Public Speaking, Team Building, and Interview Preparation.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Expert Book Reviewer - Shawna Pope-Jefferson


A few days ago, a woman in a group on Facebook said she would get a copy of my book Teach Your Child to Read. She bought a Kindle copy and in less than 6 minutes was able to do a book review.

I asked her how she did the review in such a short time and she unfriended me on Facebook.

I would really like to know how some (not all) Americans can do a book review in less than 6 minutes.

I did some research on this woman and found that she is a Speech-Language Pathologist, and Literacy Specialist who believes that all kids who can’t read have a speech-language problem.