18 Sep

london 5.53pm 19C sunny friday 2020

reading is very natural to me, i dont know when i started to read, but it must be very early in my life. and i learn to read from reading books lying around in the house.it is books that i learn to read.

the reason why i am talking of dyslexia is because i came across this article about dyslexia, (which means difficulty in reading) in my wordpress reader feed just now, and reading  that article  was how i found out that not every kid can read, and it seems you have to be taught to read, no one can do it naturally. (i went back to the article trying to find the part where it says kids have to be taught to read, but i cannot find it. so i wonder where i read that, or what i read that made me think that it said everyone cannot read on their own but have to be taught to read. )

i dont remember anyone teaching me to read, in that no one read a book to me as a bedtime thing. so how did i learn to read? the most early thing i can remember is me reading , i dont remember when anyone taught me the alphabet… i dont even know what age i was when i started to read, whether i read before i went to kindergarten or was taught in kindergarten.  plenty of things in my young age i dont remember at all.

so i was surprised to read in that article that people have to be taught to read. and some kids cannot read, even though very intelligent (as tested by IQ tests) so that they label these kids as dyslexic, whilst other kids of lower IQ are dismissed as just slow learners.

now they say there is no way of diagnosing dyslexia, because there is no common sign or symptom amongst all those who cannot read or write. in other words, they found it has nothing to do with intelligence. and would appear that middle class families with money can pay to test their kids and so get them diagnosed as dyslexic and so can get the state to fund them. poor kids from poor families just wont be able to afford that and so they can just be put into the substandard pupil pile. the rest of the article was about how they send some kids, mostly from middle class families to special schools that get state funding to teach them, whilst many poor students are left out to fend for themselves in the rest of the poorly funded school system. 

it makes me wonder what  if i were born  in china, i too would be thrown into the class of pupils who are no good in school work and cannot read or write, because i find i cannot read or write chinese characters. they just look like a jumble of squiggles to me. i know i would be diagnosed as severely handicapped. i am just glad that i can read and write in the english alphabet and was not born in china, or have my parents enrol me in a chinese school in malaysia. it seems to me the ability to read is the ability to recognise the alphabet, or if it were in other languages the ability to recognise the various squiggles. to me when i see arabic, or mandarin, or sanskrit etc or other foreign languages that do not involve the western script , they are just squiggles, and i cannot imagine how anyone can read them. there u really need to be taught. but i wonder if with english, it is possible to be self taught. i think you can, once u are taught the 26 letters in the alphabet, and learn how to form words,  i think u can then go on your own and learn from books how to read them. it then becomes a matter of reading widely, so u can gain a big vocabulary… one thing though, you might not be able to pronouce them well, as i have found out. haha. i mispronounce the words, placing wrong emphasis on the various syllable, so that the word sounds strange to the native speaker. haha. but my vocabulary is extremely wide and my spelling too is very good. i can visualise the word and how it should be spelt.

the article just triggered memories of my childhood reading books. i am very glad i could read books as they opened a huge imaginary world to me and kept me company over a big part of my life. and very glad it was english that i learnt, as there are so many books and fiction written in english. thank goodness for the mission schools and the clerical brothers and lay teachers who taught me in those schools. and the huge english libraries that the english officials have stocked the schools with, when they left our shores after malaya got its independance, and they handed the schools to the local govt and town councils.

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