Advantages of learning the UniSkript English alphabet before the traditional English (Roman) alphabet:
UniSkript uses symbols to represent how sounds are made in the mouth, so it’s easy to make the connection between the sound and symbol. The shapes of letters in the Roman alphabet have no connection with the sounds they represent, making it harder to connect the sound and the letter when starting to read.
UniSkript symbols are intuitive so it’s a quick process to learn and remember the alphabet. Starting with the Roman alphabet means memorising arbitrary letters and letter combinations, which is a slower process.
With UniSkript there’s only one symbol for every sound so once you’ve learnt all of the 43 sounds, you can confidently read any word in UniSkript. There are only 26 letters in the Roman alphabet, but most sounds have several different letter combinations to learn, which can be confusing and demotivating.
When learning UniSkript first, each sound has one corresponding keyword and keyword picture so it’s good for visual learners and there’s only 43 keywords to learn for the whole UniSkript alphabet. The Roman alphabet has different letter combinations that can represent the same sound (e.g. so/sew/sow) which makes it harder to use one keyword for one sound. This can result in more memorising during the initial stages of learning.
Each UniSkript symbol has a corresponding hand gesture which demonstrates how and where the sound is made. This helps with remembering the symbol and is particularly beneficial for kinaesthetic learners. The shapes of letters in the Roman alphabet have no connection with the sounds they represent so using hand gestures could be difficult and confusing, especially for different letter combinations that represent the same sound.
UniSkript can be used as a tool to help adults develop awareness of sounds before they learn the English (Roman) alphabet. The logical and intuitive UniSkript symbols allow the learner to ‘decode’ reading so fast that it becomes much easier for them to master another type of alphabet afterwards.
The history and researchers of UniSkript:
UniSkript is inspired by an ancient Korean alphabet created by King Sejong in 1446, from which the current Korean Hangul alphabet comes from. King Sejong’s writing system was studied by Dr. Kim Cho of New York University in Buffalo and presented at the University of the Nations (UofN) in Kona in 2002. The desire of Dr. Cho was to see the UofN using her extensive research to help eradicate illiteracy in the world. David Hamilton, the UofN's President for Innovations, immediately saw the potential of Dr. Cho's findings and started to study the alphabet together with Youngshin Kim, a Korean UofN educator.
In 2006, two Brazilian linguists, Marcia and Edson Suzuki were invited to provide linguistic advice at the UofN and collaborate with Hamilton and Kim’s studies. Because of their specific training and experience of over 20 years developing and revising alphabets for Indigenous languages of the Amazon, the Suzukis were able to further develop the concept. They totally redefined all the shapes for vowels and consonants to make them more accurate in terms of phonological associations.