Alphabet 2.0

Questioning Legacy Systems

Simple forms and shapes have been seen throughout prehistoric societies. People have drawn and communicated stories through images and symbols. This a unifying phenomenon as seen in some of the oldest cave paintings around the world such as the Magura Cave, Bulgaria from 6300 BC- 3000 BC and Bhimbhetka Caves, India from 13,000 BC to 12,700 BC.

 

The Latin Alphabet has evolved from the ancient Proto Sinaitic, the Phoenician, and the Greek scripts into its modern form. The alphabets have always been formed from lines and shapes to visually represent the spoken word.

 

The Latin script or ‘Alphabet’ is the most widely used writing system in the world. With the thought of the alphabet, children and early learning comes to mind. Though the sequence of the letters in the alphabet don’t reveal an obvious order, the method in which children are taught to construct letters stroke by stroke is a sensible teaching technique. 

 

When we look at the letter 'B' we don't see its various strokes, we just automatically associate it with a specific sound. But those associations aren't yet embedded in the minds of new learners. Breaking each letter down into basic lines and curves helps children practice the alphabet.

 

Although the alphabet reminds us of children, there are over 5 million ELLS (English Language Learners) including thousands of adolescents and adults  learning English as a second language. As a group, the ELLs speak nearly 150 languages (Baird, 2015). And the scripts they are familiar with like Korean and Arabic are also created in a way where forms evolve and grow from simple shapes to more complex and embellished forms. 

 

In order to make the alphabet more easy to write and learn, a novel sequence of the alphabet can be suggested. This includes structural reordering based on visual similarity or flow for greater ease of learning by writing. In this sequence, the letters seem to grow from simple straight lines to diagonals and curves.

  • Intuitive transition between letters as they flow from one form to another. These links allow learners to get visual cues from the letters before and after. (D - B - P - R)

  • This simple form based system is much like other scripts that ELLS are familiar with and it could help someone attempting to write English for the very first time.  (C - G - O - Q)

  • In this order it will be easier to explain and remember sets of alphabets. (I - L - T - F - E)

 

Literacy is defined as the ability to read and write, and so this sequence is aimed at making learning the alphabet easier by making the writing easier.