2011 Back to School: Cameron Romney

This post is republished from an entry on the editorial page of www.osakajalt.org

What follows is a summary of the presentation given by Cameron Romney

Typographic best practices for classroom materials

By Cameron Romney

Many teachers make their own classroom materials and one of the basic tools of document creation, and one of the most misunderstood, is typeface (font) choice. In this presentation I talked about why choosing a font is important and offered teachers some “best practice” suggestions for choosing a typeface when creating materials.

I began by outlining a few typography basics, specifically different types of typefaces and the difference between legibility and readability. I then summarized some existing research that shows why choosing a typeface is not merely a case of aesthetics or preference, but affects the readers motivation, comprehension, recall and efficiency.

I then explained some problems that L2 learners have with different typefaces. I gave and example of an activity from my classroom that students had trouble completing because they could not tell the difference between the lowercase l and the uppercase I.

I then shared my five best practices for choosing a typeface for classroom materials. They are:

1.     Use a font that the students are familiar with
2.     Set the typeface at a larger size
3.     Use a font with good legibility
4.     Be aware how the printing and copying effects the typeface
5.     Use fonts with purpose

I ended the presentation by sharing a few fonts that I felt addressed the issues that L2 learns have with typefaces and that followed my suggested best practices.

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