Dyslexia Among Undergraduates in Malaysian Universities: A Mixed-Method Study of Prevalence, Academic Performances, Academic Difficulties and Coping Strategies

By Puay Hoon Ong, Puay Tee Ong, Puay Liu Ong, Mohd Majid Konting, Shahren Ahmad Zaidi Adruce and Vincent Pang.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Dyslexia is a learning problem which gives rise to difficulties in reading, spelling, and writing. In a survey of 10 universities in Malaysia, there is a projected prevalence rate of 4.43% undergraduates with dyslexia, with a projected prevalence rate of 4.14% in its public universities and 4.82% in the private universities. Students at definite risk for dyslexia reported difficulties in reading, spelling, expressing ideas on writing, are forgetful and have left-right confusion. These difficulties affected their note-taking and organisation of their essays. Many reported being unable to complete their assignments and examinations on time, and a few reported failing and repeating their examinations. Four students had to change their majors to those which have less reading-demands. Despite these difficulties, every affected student perceived themselves as having some specific strengths in different areas such as sports and creative arts. This paper describes the learning difficulties whilst in schools and universities of students affected with dyslexia, their concomitant social-emotional underpinnings, coping strategies and self-perceived strengths. The implications of these findings for provisions of services and resources for students with dyslexia will be discussed.

Keywords: Dyslexia, Learning Difficulty

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp.43-56. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.192MB).

Dr. Puay Hoon Ong

Lecturer, Department of Community Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Malaysia Sarawak, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Currently work as a lecturer in Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UNIMAS. Attached at Teacher Training Institute from year 1983 to 2003. Interested in Early Childhood Education, and Education for Special Needs.

Dr. Puay Tee Ong

Lecturer, Faculty of Law and Business, Universiti Multimedia Malaysia, Melaka, Melaka, Malaysia

Dr. Puay Liu Ong

Deputy Director/Lecturer, Institute of Ethnic Studies, National University of Malaysia, Malaysia

Mohd Majid Konting

Lecturer, Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Mohd. Majid Konting is a master trainer of soft skill initiatives, Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia. He is an Associate Professor at the Department of Foundations of Education, Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia since 1982. He obtained his PhD in Education from the University of Lancaster, England (1995). He has in-depth interest in the area of educational policy, research, measurement, evaluation and planning as well as teacher education and development. He has headed and is involved in more than 50 research and consultancy projects sponsored by various national and international agencies. He was the principal researcher of the Evaluation of Smart School Management System Project sponsored by the Ministry of Education Malaysia in 2003. Among higher education text books authored by him is Methods in Educational Research (DBP, 1990) which has been reprinted 7 times. He has been frequently invited by various public and private agencies to evaluate their programs and give lecture on various issues in education. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Research (INSPEM); Management Council Member, Malaysian Education Association (MAE); Committee Member, Malaysian Educational Research Association (MERA); and Chairman of Education Sector, Malaysian National Forum. He has been the Deputy Director (Policy and Quality), Centre for Academic Development (CADe); Deputy Dean (Academic and International); Head, Department of Foundation of Education; Director, Centre for Policy Research; Chairman, Dengkil-Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC) Steering Committee Project; and Committee Member of Management Science and Operation Research Society of Malaysia (MSORAM). Currently, Mohd. Majid is the Director, Centre for Academic Development (CADe), Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Dr. Shahren Ahmad Zaidi Adruce

Dean, Faculty of Cognitive Sciences and Human Development, University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Shahren graduated from Syracuse University (SU) in 2004 with a Doctoral degree in Information Transfer and a Certificate in University Teaching. Between the year 2000 and 2004, he was engaged by SU as an adjunct lecturer, teaching undergraduate students and later entrusted to teach graduate students at the school of Information Studies. For being active in student’s organization and works on managing diversities, he was awarded with the Best Organizational Leadership award during the 1997 SU night of stars. After a ten years stint in the US, he returned to Malaysia and joined University Malaysia Sarawak as a lecturer and dean of the faculty of Cognitive Science and Human Development. His research interest includes: human factor, user behavior, organizational culture, diversity and integration, digital divide, learning sciences and organizational knowledge Management.

Vincent Pang

Director/Associate Professor, Centre for Academic Development, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia


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