Perhaps many are aware that children with dyslexia struggle with the English language especially when it comes to reading, spelling and writing. In addition, these children tend to have difficulty with their Mother Tongue languages. It is no wonder many parents are inclined to request the exemption of Mother Tongue as an examination subject. This is to allow their children with dyslexia to concentrate on English, which is also the language used in other subjects such as Mathematics and Science. In fact, having to take a second language may cause added stress to these children as they are required to juggle the demands of both languages.
Claudia Steiner, on the other hand, is unlike other children with dyslexia. She is a student who did not request to be exempted from Mother Tongue and hence, took the subject at the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) last year. Having taught Claudia since she was in Primary 4, I had witnessed the effort that she put in her work during her lessons at the DAS. Ever so diligent and attentive in class, Claudia would attempt tasks presented to her with great focus. Nevertheless, this did not compromise her efforts in other subjects which Claudia’s mother, Mdm Christina Lim, shared with me. Indeed, Claudia would spend extra hours perfecting her skills at Mathematics, Science, Mother Tongue and Art.
In November 2012, like many children who had sat for the PSLE, Claudia waited in anticipation for the results to be released. Finally, after months of hard work preparing for the first major exam of her life, Claudia reaped the rewards of her labours. Claudia had excelled in both languages scoring an ‘A’ in each!
She also did well in her other subjects. The icing on the cake was she was offered a place in the School of the Arts (SOTA) – Claudia’s school of choice for her secondary education. A talented artist, drawing is a passion that Claudia has cultivated since she was young and in this school she will further hone her creative skills.
Congratulations to Claudia! She has proven that having dyslexia does not make one handicapped in languages. In fact, with sheer determination and hard work, acquiring two languages is not insurmountable. What is even more commendable, Claudia comes from a predominantly English speaking family. However, this does not prevent her from learning and acquiring her Mother Tongue language successfully.
In her journey, Claudia’s mother has played a major role supporting Claudia in ways that enhances her learning. I believe Claudia will continue to improve on her language skills as well as sharpen her artistic talent to achieve greater success in life.
Claudia, I am proud of what you have accomplished thus far and wish you the very best in all your future endeavours. Dare to dream and reach for the stars!
About the Author:
Hani Zohra Muhamad
Senior Educational Therapist
Bedok Learning Centre
Learn more about Hani