Te Arapiki Ako
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Knowing the learner

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Last updated 26 October 2012 15:28 by NZTecAdmin

Letter formation is most easily and obviously assessed by looking at the learner’s handwriting. If you suspect learners are struggling with letter formation, observe the learners as they write. Look for any problems they may have with: physically holding a pen; knowing where (on the paper, line and actual letter) to start; knowing what shape a letter should be; size and placement of the letters on the page; or directionality.

If learners are not yet able to write words independently, have them copy words that will give you an indication of the letters they can form well and those with which they are experiencing difficulty.

When you have a clearer idea of what the learners’ needs are, make decisions about what you need to do next to find out more details. These next steps could include:

  • asking learners to write specific letters from sounds (which will indicate if a problem is to do with letter formation or with sound–letter relationships)
  • observing writing, when you provide supports such as paper or exercise books with well spaced lines, or arrows to indicate direction, and/or
  • having learners write all the letters of the alphabet (using both lower and upper case letters) to identify specific letters or forms that cause problems.

Some writers may have an awkward way of making certain letters, especially if they are left-handed. This style may affect the ease and fluency of their writing. It is a matter of professional judgement as to whether such adult learners should be encouraged to change their writing style.



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