Che Kan Leong
Distinguished Researcher Award - Spring 1995
Dr. Leong's distinguished career began as a secondary school teacher in Hong Kong in 1953. Dr. Leong undertook studies in English Literature and Psychology at the University of Hong Kong (BA 1957) and in Clinical and Educational Psychology at University of Queensland (Dip. Ed. Psych 1960), Hong Kong (MA (Ed) 1964), and the University of Alberta (PhD 1974). Combined with these studies, Dr. Leong lectured and pursued his practical research with the Hong Kong Department of Education. Dr. Leong joined the University of Saskatchewan's Institute of Child Guidance Development in 1969, rising through the ranks to Professor and Head of the Department of Education of Exceptional Children.
The excellence of Dr. Leong's internationally recognized research is demonstrated through his accumulated insights and the development of precise and clear theoretical concepts, tested through a rigorous, empirical, and coherent sequence of investigations. His research on psychological and neuropsychological processes of reading and its difficulties, meta-language awareness, and comparative processes of reading alphabetic (English) and morphemic (Chinese) orthographies, and text-to-speech computer systems to help reading comprehension in older individuals exemplifies a truly inter- and cross-disciplinary approach.
His research contributions extend to graduate teaching, through his books which are used extensively in graduate courses, and through his supervision of PhD and Master's students. Through extension services to Saskatchewan teachers, his theoretical research has practical value for those who teach reading in the elementary and middle school years. Dr. Leong has published six books, more than thirty book chapters, and forty research papers in international journals. He is the associate editor of international and interdisciplinary journals.
In recognition of his research expertise, Dr. Leong was awarded an Honorary Doctorate at the University of Umea in Sweden and the Samuel T. Orton Award for scientific services in the field of dyslexia as a dedicated teacher, persistent student, careful investigator, and appointed as Fellow of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities.