Manual for Alphabet Design through Community Interaction for Papua New Guinea Elementary Teacher Trainers

2nd edition
Date Created:
SIL - Ukarumpa
Publisher Place:
Papua New Guinea
Sponsored By:
Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and Papua New Guinea's Department of Education
120 pages

The Manuel for Alphabet Design through Community Interaction has been designed as a resource to be used by elementary teacher trainers to help them understand the principles of alphabet design (orthography development) in Papua New Guinea. It describes a method of alphabet development that they can use to assist elementary teachers and community members to develop orthographies for their own languages. (Orthography is the linguistic term for the whole writing system. As well as alphabet letters it includes word breaks, spelling rules, punctuation, dialects, tone, stress, etc.) The manual is written for educators who may have little or no linguistic background or knowledge. This process was first developed by SIL-PNG. It was originally applied to single language workshops, but has been used in a variety of settings, including multi-language contexts. This method includes:

  • Facilitating members of a language group to develop a trial alphabet for their own language.
  • Encouraging writers in other languages (Pidgin English, Hiri Motu or English) to write stories in their own language and become active participants in the process of deciding on how to write the sounds of their language.
  • Developing people’s awareness of their language’s letters and sounds in order to assist them in producing elementary school materials in their local language.
  • Completing the Worksheet for Alphabet Design through Community Interaction.
  • Producing a Trial Spelling Guide, through silkscreening wax stencils cut by hand. The Spelling Guide includes stories written in the local language.
Publication Status:
Table of Contents:
Table of Contents Purpose 1 Acknowledgements 1 What is an alphabet? 2 The Alphabet Principle 2 Which sounds need to be written? 2 Types of symbols 3 Our Alphabet Shows Who We Are 4 How people view their own language 4 The influence of other languages 4 The influence of other writing systems and alphabets 4 How these three interact with alphabet choices 4 Dialects – But we speak differently to them! 4 Problem Areas 5 Consonants 5 Types of Consonant Sounds 5 Consonant Chart 7 Alphabet Options for Papua New Guinean Languages – Consonants 9 Vowels 11 Vowels 11 Tone 12 Stress 12 What is an Alphabet Design Workshop? 14 Workshop Planning and Setup Considerations 14 Where do I hold the workshop? How many languages can come? 15 Participants 15 Worksheet for Alphabet Design through Community Interaction 16 Alphabet Design Workshop Supplies 16 Background Information 17 Alphabet Design Workshop Timetable 18 Alphabet Design Workshop – Teaching Ideas (based on sample timetable) 19 Day 1 19 Session 1 – Welcome and Introductions 19 Session 2 – What makes a good alphabet? 19 Session 3 – Story Writing 1 20 Session 4 – Reading and Checking Stories 21 Day 2 21 Spelling Options and Making Choices 21 Session 1 & 2 – Spelling options and making choices 24 Session 3 – Directed Word Lists 26 Session 4 – Directed Word Lists 2 27 Day 3 27 Spelling Test 27 Session 1 & 2 – Directed Word Lists 27 Session 3a – Loan Words 28 Session 3b – Word Breaks (if needed) 28 Session 4 – Story editing 29 Day 4 31 Session 1 – Story Writing 2 31 Session 2 – Preparation for weekend village assignments 32 Day 5 33 Session 1 – Reports from Village Visits 33 Session 2 – Story Editing 2 33 Sessions 3 & 4 – Making a Spelling Guide 33 Day 6 35 Sessions 1 & 2 – Making a Spelling Guide 35 Sessions 3 & 4 – Silk Screening Demonstration and Stencil Cutting 35 Day 7 35 Silkscreening 35 Day 8 36 Session 1 – Collating 36 Session 2 – Testing the Alphabet 36 Alphabet Games 38 List Games 38 Topic Games 38 Alphabet Cards (Scattegories) 38 Feedback 39 List of Appendices Appendix A – Minigir (Táubar, Marmar) Worksheet for Designing Alphabet through Community Interaction Appendix A-1 Appendix B – Minigir (Táubar, Marmar) Language – Example of Trial Spelling Guide (Printed from Computer) Appendix B-1 Appendix C – Aroma Language – Example of Trial Spelling Guide-Stencils Cut by Hand & Silkscreened Appendix C-1 Appendix D – Worksheet for Designing Alphabet through Community Interaction (Blank to be completed at ADW) Appendix D-1 Appendix E – Consonant and Vowel Charts Appendix E-1
Papua New Guinea
Work Type:
Writing systems
teacher training
spelling guides
literacy and education
community participation
community interaction
Nature of Work:
Entry Number: