Gallagher and the Language

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The UNIFON Phonetic Alphabet

Spell the Sounds, Part One:
Spell the Sounds, Part Two:


First Graders in Indianapolis wrote their own books in UNIFON to share them with their classmates. About 20 schools participated in this pilot program.

My Fair Language... Do We Need a New Alphabet? by John Malone
Chicago Sunday Sun Times, May 29, 1960


As a result of the changes John R. Malone made in the 1980's,  Ken Anderson's has reprinted his article with the correct character set Article by John Malone 2007


John M. Culkin


"The Day They Changed the Alphabet", article from The Study of Current English originally in Japanese.
Edited version by Ken Anderson

John Culkin, director of the graduate programs in media studies at the New School for Social Research. wrote an article for the The New York Times about UNIFON. It was published on  WEDNESDAY, JULY 20, 1977 see article

John R. Malone turned over the project to John M. Culkin, Executive Director of The Center for Understanding Media.

The Center for Media Literacy includes an article on John Culkin       

John M. Culkin, Executive Director of The Center for Understanding Media  wrote about UNIFON  in this article for the Science Digest, August 1981. (see article at John Culkin)

In an educationally deprived section of South Chicago, 1st graders were reading by Christmas with the UNIFON method. This class continued to have the highest level of reading proficiency of any class. 

Biography of one of the teachers at Howalton Day School (1947-1986), Ethel Darden / Using John R. Malone's UNIFON alphabet and trained by Dr. Margaret Ratz, Howalton, as cited by John Culkin in the New York Times of July 20, 1977 demonstrated the highest first grade reading scores in the Chicago area from 1974 to 1975

 In Conversation with John Culkin - Edited by Ken Anderson

 From Television & Children Journal, summer 1981. Much of this article describes Dr. Culkin’s interests outside of  UNIFON. The entire article is reprinted here to help us understand his philosophical perspective, his wide range  of interests, and how he merged UNIFON into the “big picture” of media study.

 Alfubet for the Computer Age by John Culkin - August 1982, Science Digest


Initiatives: Making the Case for a Single World Alphabet by John Culkin  



Fonts for UNIFON

Several fonts are now available with the most current set of UNIFON characters. Click on an individual font to download it. You may also download a set with the first two fonts here:

The standard UNIFON sans serif font displayed on the site banner, in literature for early childhood, and suggested for teaching purposes. 

A casual font, for correspondence, and children may find it more friendly. 

Originally created by Vic Feiger. This set now contain the newest character set updated by Ken Anderson. This is the first font rendered by an artist and it is an all-purpose font.

Developed by Reed Burch. This is the only serif font. It is intended for formal printing and may be more difficult for children to read, but more pleasing to adults.



Key Board Layout for UNIFON Characters

Download this one-page visual aid to use as a reference for typing in UNIFON.



Try out the Converter
 Type in Standard English and see what UNIFON looks like.

Note: The UNIFON Converter and UNIFON Dictionary below both require Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or greater. Even with high speed Internet access it will take a minute or so for the converter and dictionary to load.

Now a block of text consisting of a couple hundred words can be converted into UNIFON in minutes. Not only does this allow for the possibility of creating lots of reading material for kids to use to learn to read, but it also facilitates standardization of the spelling in UNIFON. Y
ou do not need to install a UNIFON font to use this application.


This Spelling Reform Webring  edit

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