Learning about writing systems at a “Writing Peace” workshop for youth in Almaty

23 August 2018, the first pilot workshop using UNESCO’s unique “Writing Peace Manual” was held in Almaty in the framework of the III Art Academy of Kazakhstan Federation of UNESCO Clubs.

During a two-hours’ workshop, 80 school-children from different regions of Kazakhstan learned five writing systems: Greek, Roman, Georgian, Armenian and Tifinagh and acquired new knowledge about the interconnections of different cultures through writing systems. Learning about the origins and transmissions of these writing systems the participating students realized that different peoples, languages and written systems can appear from the same historical roots. They also came to understand the difference between the notion of language and writing systems.

The format of the workshop

All participants were divided into five groups. Each group was offered an alphabet for study. With the help of a tutor and the “Writing Peace Manual” they were able to learn the necessary data about their written system, solve workshop tasks and independently make a presentation poster.

Having completed the assignment, the five groups presented their alphabets using the new knowledge and creative presentation skills. Thus, other teams were able to learn interesting facts and history about the other writing systems and recognize similarities with the alphabet with which they worked.