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Learning to Serve, Serving to Learn

PolyU students help children overcome reading difficulties

Dyslexia can be a tremendous handicap for a child. Until recently, however, many students with reading difficulties could not expect timely help, as existing therapeutic resources were stretched.

Recognising this problem, Dr Leung Man-tak of the Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies developed an intervention programme for local primary students — Accelerating Reading Ability (ARA).

With the assistance of PolyU undergraduates helping to deliver ARA as part of Service-Learning, Dr Leung has been able to serve many more children with reading disabilities, assisting them to get back on track with their studies.

PolyU students help dyslexic children overcome reading difficulties

Dyslexia can be a dreadful handicap for children as they find difficulties in reading despite their normal intelligence. Until recently, however, many students who suffer from dyslexia could not expect timely help due to the fact that the existing therapeutic resources were limited and stretched. In Hong Kong, a lot of dyslexic children are waiting for professional assistance. For the normal speech service, a speech therapist can serve at the most six to seven children with reading difficulties each day. In other words, the waiting list is too long and the existing manpower is not sufficient to cope with the service demand. Recognising this problem, Dr Leung Man-tak of the Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies developed Accelerating Reading Ability (ARA), an intervention programme for primary students with reading difficulties in Hong Kong. The programme involves PolyU students and some of the tasks are executed by them. It aims to inject new blood into the industry so as to relieve the situation. The programme is mutually beneficial to both dyslexic children and PolyU students. Dr Leung provides training to his students and shares his knowledge with them beforehand, and hence they are capable of assisting children with reading difficulties. The programme also equips PolyU students with soft skills, professional knowledge and practical experience which is beyond the curriculum. PolyU students appreciate the practical experience this programme offers. They can have chance to explore the real world and develop a passion for their profession. They can also apply the knowledge from the lessons and join theory with practice.