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Knowing the demands


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Last updated 26 October 2012 15:28 by NZTecAdmin

The letters of the Roman alphabet (used for English) can seem quite similar to one another and therefore confusing to some beginning readers.

Typical areas of confusion include:

  • straight-line letters: i, l, t, v, w, x, y, z
  • circle letters and those with curves: o, c, m, n, g and others
  • letters that face either left or right: a, g, j, c, k, p, r and others, and
  • letters that extend below the line: g, j, p, q; or above the middle of the line: l, t, f and others.

The conventions of letter formation are that letters curve anti-clockwise, that strokes move from top to bottom and from left to right, and that most letters can be made without lifting the pen from the page (exceptions include the letters f, i, j, k, t and x, depending on a person’s writing style). The writer can continue with another letter, or lift the pen between letters.

These conventions will be new and different for some adults who are familiar with a language that has a non-alphabetic script, where the order of strokes may be important but there may be many strokes to make one character. For ESOL adults who have never, or rarely, encountered the written form of a language (such as adults from Somalia, with a mainly oral language), it will be entirely new learning.

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