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How To Learn English Well


To initiate my process, I focused upon my language difficulties when I first step into a foreign country. For me, as an international student abroad, the biggest initial barrier is always language. Because of the difficult process of language assimilation, I am not the person I used to be.

My design development process resulted in a book structured with illegible, abstract icons and yellow words, a viewer with red transparent film, and a small note inside each page. I chose red film to view through because red is a symbol of Chinese, which is my mother tongue. This book’s content introduces a strategy on how to learn English. If someone wears the red viewer, he will be like me, and he cannot see the yellow alphabet, only the icons.

These icons are my typographic system, each representing one alphabet, based upon a circular, triangular or rectilinear geometry. You can only recognize part of each icon, for example the W, A or M and the rest just makes you feel frustrated and confused. When you try to read page-by-page, you can experience what I felt when I was reading and translating English. These strange icons are very similar to English vocabulary. They were designed to arouse a feeling similar to mine when I first began to learn English---I seemed to know and recognize something (visual form) but I actually understood nothing at all (verbal meaning).

The small notes inside with blue Chinese characters represent my evolving experience of learning English. All these Chinese characters represent the phonetics of English; there is no other meaning within them. They only help me to remember the English pronunciation.

© Copyright Xu Han 2020