2024 Orthography Workshop

Are you involved in devising or revising an orthography and want some guidance on how to approach the task? Would you like to experience community-based participatory orthography development for yourself?

Join us for a live-in, week-long workshop at SIL Australia.


10-14 June 2024




Philip Swan


$200 per person or $300 per couple. (If finance is an issue for you please contact us)

Language of instruction:



Accommodation is available on site. Apply here.


Sustainable literacy in non-dominant languages is precarious, and relies heavily on whether a language community feels their writing system reflects their identity and will help them achieve their own development goals.

This introduction to community-based orthography design will explore some of the sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic factors which influence a community’s development and acceptance of a written standard. We will also investigate some of the linguistic and practical factors which can make an orthography easier to use.

Morning sessions will cover current orthography design principles which will then be applied through hands-on afternoon participatory sessions designing, testing, documenting and evaluating a new orthography for a community already literate in English.

This workshop will be delivered face to face only. Prior studies in phonology and/or literacy will be relevant but are not prerequisite. Participants are expected to attend both morning and afternoon sessions, and to do some pre-reading and evening homework. There is also space for additional interested observers in the afternoon sessions, who will contribute to the orthography design and testing. (They may attend one or more afternoon session at no charge.)

If you would like to participate in the workshop, please use the button below, specifying the course as Orthography Workshop.