Teaching ESL

fonts for worksheets
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Author:  mesmark [ Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:28 pm ]
Post subject:  fonts for worksheets

I generally use Comic Sans MS for my worksheets but I haven't chosen to use it with the worksheet makers. I've been coding them with Georgia as the font. I think it's because I personally like the Georgia font better.

Has anyone noticed this? Do you think it would be better to use Comic Sans? Doesn't make a difference?

(Sorry, but it looks like giving people a choice of which font to use is out of the question. Right now anyway.)

Author:  Olinda Lima [ Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:45 am ]
Post subject: 

hello, Mark
Splendid, super. I loved it all. I haven't tried the dice yet, but all the others went in a glimpse. They are fantastic and you saved me a lot of time. I'm working with animals, for the present, so I made a super handout, a crisscross, a spelling sheet and, obviously a board game. Tomorrow I'm going to begin with the children using your materials. I'm sure they are going to enjoy. They always do.
About the font, I myself prefer the Comic sans, but this one is Ok, too.By the way, it seems to me there is a broken link, in the board games, animals, the first one with text and image.
What about some food and drinks, too? It would be fabulous for my project, if you have the time.
Congratulations, I always say the same, but in fact, your work is a blessing.
You deserve a medal.

Author:  jonmarks [ Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:28 am ]
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My personal opinion is that Comic Sans has become a little overused in ESL. Georgia's nice, and I think my favorite is plain old Arial. But I'm being a font nerd here!

Author:  gunpojoe [ Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:22 pm ]
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As long as the font uses letters that look like the printed letter (small case a and g) come to mind, I don't know if there are others, I like to use it for my worksheets. I believe Comic sans font does, Arial does not. In a country where the roman alphabet is not used, this is important.
I teach about the other shapes for recognition, but for printing I want them to use the comon letter shapes.

Author:  patrick [ Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:49 pm ]
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I would have to agree with gunpojoe. Comic Sans is the only alphabet that looks like people actually wrote the letter. The only letter I don't like in Comic Sans is the uppercase Y. It merely looks like a big lowercase y.

Author:  mesmark [ Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:00 am ]
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Yeah, hard to say. Every printed text has that printed 'a' and native kids don't seem to throw their hands up in the air over it. Also, children will need to get used to it.

I use Comic Sans for all of my worksheets but maybe like Jon, I'm just all Comic Sansed out. (I'm totally a font nerd :P )

Author:  patrick [ Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:55 am ]
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Once again I will have to give a shout out to my friend, Comic Sans! Especially teaching in Japan, a country that has 67% of their official work manuals written in a comic book style, Comic Sans is my friend!

Burnt out on Comic Sans...yeah, I am! But, I still believe it's the most effective font to use in Japan.

**The actual percentages of the manuals has not been researched properly. Actually, not at all...**

Author:  mesmark [ Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:06 pm ]
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Interesting. You've got me digging around.

Most of the textbooks, samples and all, are in something that looks like 'Times New Roman.' But the first 5 units or so of some of the beginner work books start out as a 'print' looking text. Then half way through they change to the 'Times' font, and remains that way through the rest of the books.

I can see the need to get students accustomed to print styles, but Comic Sans is nice ...

Author:  patrick [ Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:14 pm ]
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nah, you missed what I was saying...

I was saying that a lot of semi-official documents in Japan are written in 'comic book style'. Meaning, 'meanings' and 'messages' are protrayed in comic book form, a form which I would argue most of the world would see as a 'childish' form to portray messages to people other than children, but nonetheless, extremely useful when looking at the font's style -- very cartoonish looking.

So, I was drawing a comparison between the fonts effectiveness in Japan and the arguably comic book loving society. :)

Author:  jonmarks [ Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:28 am ]
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This has given me an idea for an activity to get students from non-Roman alphabet-using countries used to reading in non-standard fonts - an essential skill outside the classroom. Type a couple of dozen recently-taught vocab items. Put each into one of the wackiest fonts on computer, then add shadow, outline effects etc. Maybe also use the "Wordart" function in Microsoft word for further effects and stretching/distortion. The more extreme and different to each other you can make the words appear, the better. Then working in pairs/small groups, students have to decipher the words, and rewrite then in "normal" characters.

Going back to Comic Sans, although common to all versions of Windows, it doesn't display properly on all Macs. This is a list of the fonts that are totally "browser safe", ie you can use them in websites and word-processing documents and be sure they'll display pretty much as you intended on any computer.

Arial black
Lucida Sans Unicode
Times New Roman

These will all also be OK on the Mac OS, although some display with a different name (for example, Arial = Helvetica, Tahoma = Geneva.)

The font nerd must die!

Author:  patrick [ Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:29 am ]
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This truely is a brilliant idea! Great job, Jonmarks! The new school year is coming up and new 1st year JHS students are coming in. I'll have to try this out.

Also, thanks for the font heads-up on the MAC. I wasn't aware that all fonts weren't readable on MAC. That sucks that Comic Sans is one of those fonts. :(

Author:  jonmarks [ Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:42 am ]
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Apparently (and I don't have a Mac myself, so haven't tested it), on the Mac's Safari browser Comic sans is mostly OK, except that it won't display in the italic form. Not enough reason to stop using it, I'd say. There's detailed info on this for the fontaholic at http://www.ampsoft.net/webdesign-l/WindowsMacFonts.html.

Author:  Andrea_Cro [ Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:02 am ]
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I personally like Comic Sans very much, but when making my worksheets I prefer to use as much different font styles as possible, just in case I don't become boring to my students. And they like it, they notice the unusual font every time and praise me for being so innovative! :smt004

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