JILetters - Helping children learn the alphabet
20th Nov 2007 - JILetters phonic method now recommended by DCFS
The Department for Children, Families and Schools now recommends that children learn phoics through the method that is reflected by JILetters. This method is where only the phonic is represented in the sound, and nothing else. Children should only be hearing the pure sound that each phonic represents and nothing else. Moreover, these 'pure' phonics can be built up more easily to form whole words. See more at: the letters and sounds website.
25th Sept 2004 - JILetters support mailing list
JILetters now has a support email list, where you can post your support questions or queries. If you feel you need to discuss the program with someone who knows how it works, this is your first port of call.
You can access the list at http://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/jiletters-support, where you can subscribe or read the archives if you are already a member of the list.
19th Aug 2004 - JILetters ported to Python
JILetters has undergone a rewrite using the Python programming language. Python is based on open-source software and is freely available for people to use. This represents a radical shift for JILetters, as it is moving away from the Java language and towards a free language. Development in JILetters will now continue in Python.
If you're really not sure what I'm on about here, don't worry - everything should still work. If you're a python developer and want to get involved, please contact me.To conincide with this news, I will be releasing a binary windows version of JILetters 0.06 for windows and a version for linux (which should run, using your distributions installation of Python and pygame).
The program now uses cursive script to present the letters of the alphabet, and the audio is now phonically based. This reflects the current preferred teaching style in some schools within the UK. If you feel you want to change this, currently, you will need to replace the multi-media files. As long as you use the same format, JILetters shouldn't complain.
Call for assistanceIf you are a programmer or teacher, I'd be interested to hear from you and how you would like to use this software. I'm not going to implement functionality if I'm not aware if people are going to use it. However, if you request some functionality, then I will try and implement it. If you are interested in getting involved, please email me at adamc [AT] linuxmail [DOT] org and propose the role you would like to play.
Why the name JILetters? Plain and simple - the JI stands for the names of my twin sons who I wrote this software for. JILetters is an attempt to emulate and develop further the GTK+ program lletters (http://lln.sourceforge.net/). However, this code does not include any code from this project. I have a background in primary education within the UK and have studied educational psychology. It is my belief that educational software should always be based on sound pedagogical practices. Please feel free to contact me for more information.
Within the UK, children are taught to learn lower case letters before they go on to upper case (or capitals). This program will attempt to emulate that.
19/08/2004: JILetters release 0.0.6
19/08/2004: JILetters ported to Python
22/02/2004: Over 200 downloads
12/12/2003: JILetters release 0.0.4 - now you can choose which letters are displayed.
10/12/2003: JILetters hits 100th download.
28/11/2003: JILetters release 0.0.3 - now with colours and keyboard (accessibility).
24/11/2003: JILetters is now listed on Freshmeat.net
21/11/2003: JILetters now accepts arguments on the command line to only display some letters.
21/11/2003: JILetters nearing release 0.0.2 - code tidied up and arguments being passed.
19/11/2003: JILetters is included on Tucows - http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/jiletters/JILetters-0.0.1.jar?download
7/11/2003: JILetters has just launched
Now you can use the menus to choose the letters that you want displayed. This feature will be enhanced even more in the future.
For the old java version, to only show some letters you can also supply the command line with arguments when running with those letters that you would like to use. For example: java -jar JILetters-0.0.2.jar a b c <enter> will run JILetters with only those three letters. If you specify no letters, you will get all 26. This feature will soon be implemented in the python version.
Linux users normally know how to run applications on their machine. :-)
For version 0.05 and previous versions, the Java Runtime environment 1.4 was used to build this application, but there is no reason why a newer version of java 2 (version 1.2) would not work. You should be able to get it here: http://java.com/en/index.jsp
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ToDo - not exhaustitive, not complete and not coherent - sorry! Please feel free to email me some more if you think I'm missing something major.
You can email me at adamc AT linuxmail.org - I don't check this too often (but at least once a day) so don't expect an immediate response, but I will get back to you as soon as possible. I'm happy to help you set up the software, but not the java runtime environment. You shouldn't have too many problems installing that.
Alternatively, you can use the mailing list, which is kindly provided by http://www.sourceforge.net. You can access the list at: http://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/jiletters-support. By using this list, you will get a quicker response.Back to the top
GPL. For those who don't know about this license it allows you to take the program for free, to have the source for free and to adapt the program in anyway you wish. And, if you really like it, you can give it away for free too!
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