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

2nd edition
Issue Date:
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 Manual 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:
Purpose -- Acknowledgements -- What is an alphabet? -- The Alphabet Principle -- Which sounds need to be written? -- Types of symbols -- Our Alphabet Shows Who We Are -- How people view their own language -- The influence of other languages -- The influence of other writing systems and alphabets -- How these three interact with alphabet choices -- Dialects – But we speak differently to them! -- Problem Areas -- Consonants -- Types of Consonant Sounds -- Consonant Chart -- Alphabet Options for Papua New Guinean Languages – Consonants -- Vowels -- Vowels -- Tone -- Stress -- What is an Alphabet Design Workshop? -- Workshop Planning and Setup Considerations -- Where do I hold the workshop? How many languages can come? -- Participants -- Worksheet for Alphabet Design through Community Interaction -- Alphabet Design Workshop Supplies -- Background Information -- Alphabet Design Workshop Timetable -- Alphabet Design Workshop – Teaching Ideas (based on sample timetable) -- Day 1 -- Session 1 – Welcome and Introductions -- Session 2 – What makes a good alphabet? -- Session 3 – Story Writing 1 -- Session 4 – Reading and Checking Stories -- Day 2 -- Spelling Options and Making Choices -- Session 1 & 2 – Spelling options and making choices -- Session 3 – Directed Word Lists -- Session 4 – Directed Word Lists 2 -- Day 3 -- Spelling Test -- Session 1 & 2 – Directed Word Lists -- Session 3a – Loan Words -- Session 3b – Word Breaks (if needed) -- Session 4 – Story editing -- Day 4 -- Session 1 – Story Writing 2 -- Session 2 – Preparation for weekend village assignments -- Day 5 -- Session 1 – Reports from Village Visits -- Session 2 – Story Editing 2 -- Sessions 3 & 4 – Making a Spelling Guide -- Day 6 -- Sessions 1 & 2 – Making a Spelling Guide -- Sessions 3 & 4 – Silk Screening Demonstration and Stencil Cutting -- Day 7 -- Silkscreening -- Day 8 -- Session 1 – Collating -- Session 2 – Testing the Alphabet -- Alphabet Games -- List Games -- Topic Games -- Alphabet Cards (Scattegories) -- Feedback -- Appendix A – Minigir (Táubar, Marmar) Worksheet for Designing Alphabet through Community Interaction -- Appendix B – Minigir (Táubar, Marmar) Language – Example of Trial Spelling Guide (Printed from Computer -- Appendix C – Aroma Language – Example of Trial Spelling Guide-Stencils Cut by Hand & Silkscreened -- Appendix D – Worksheet for Designing Alphabet through Community Interaction (Blank to be completed at ADW) -- Appendix E – Consonant and Vowel Charts
Papua New Guinea
Work Type:
writing systems
teacher training
spelling guides
literacy and education
community participation
community interaction
Nature of Work:
Entry Number: