Font Alpha L2
Why Alpha L2?
Why Alpha L2?Good handwriting training is fundamental for a succesful learning process. Literacy students who struggle with the mechanics of handwriting will have trouble forming words, phrases and texts. On the other hand, a student who learns to write the letters easily and fluently can give his full attention to analysing words, to spelling and to building sentences. Reading will be easier as well, because the different letters are not confused.
What is the difference between Alpha L2 and other fonts?
Generally, adult literacy students learn to write with printed characters (Century Gothic or Comic Sans MS, for instance), instead of a handwriting font. Computer fonts were developed to be printed and read, not to be written by hand, whereas the shapes of the letters of a handwriting are different and can be formed in one or two fluent movements. Alpha L2 is a computer font, but it approaches handwriting as much as possible and it supports the learning process. The letters have been made as simple as possible and the similarities and the differences between the letters have been made very explicit. This is demonstrated in the examples below.
b or d ?In computer fonts such as Comic and Century Gothic, some letters can be each other's mirror image. This is the case in 'b' and 'd'. This causes problems for many students, because the letters are difficult to distinguish and they cannot see which movement is to be made to write them. So they will just draw a circle and a straight line, which is more difficult and time-consuming than writing fluently.
These letters are each other's exact mirror image (a circle with a vertical line):
The shape and formation of these letters are different and they can both be written in one fluent action. (b: starting point at the top of the extender / d: starting point on the top of the circle, that is made in the opposite direction of the clock):
Fluency in writingWith Alpha L2, Fluency in writing is stimulated in many different ways.
The zones of the lettersIn order to be able to distinguish the letters from each other and to write clearly, it is important to know which part of the letter falls into which zone. Letters have one primary and two secondary zones:
Printed letters have a large primary zone and a narrow secondary zone. When printed letters are to be written by hand, it is difficult for a student to see the differences and similarities between them:
De borders between the zones can be highlighted with lines. The lines are included in the font Alpha L2. There is also the possibility to type a margin on the left. The image of a house can be added, as a tool to explain the difference between the three zones (basement, ground floor and attic representing the primary and the two secondary zones). The lines have been tested extensively in literacy classes. This form (a continuing base line and two dashed lines) was preferred by the students. All lines that are not strictly necessary have been left out, to prevent confusion. With these lines, one can make sure that groups of letters such as h/n, b/p d/a and i/j/l, that have very similar shapes, are not confused. These lines also clearly distinguish the upper and lower case letters. See also the images below (a writing product on normal lined paper and the lines for Alpha L2):