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Do you make French resources for your own students? Or for selling on sites like TpT, or even sharing items for free on your teaching blog, or just passing along to your close knit teaching team? Here's a  pro French teacher tip for you. Make sure you only use fonts that have the entire set of necessary diacritics for the French language. You do want to check this early in your design process. It's frustrating and time consuming to design a beautiful resource, and then to have to adjust every single text box because you forgot to pay attention to this little detail in advance. 

Why does it matter? 

If you want to teach FSL students that accents are a necessary and important part of spelling in French (because they are - misuse of accents changes pronunciation, They do have meaning!) then it's important to model this well and consistently. Understanding punctuation helps learners to make meaning when they read text as well. Consistent application of the language strucutres here as well helps to reinforce how they work slightly differently (or not) within each language. 


If you LOVE a font and decide to use it anyway, you could always work around this by adding accents "manually" in one way or another. I have done this, for example by adding short lines and angling them appropriately. So let me share why I will never do this again. Maintaining it becomes a nightmare. It's finicky and tedious, and why bother when there are great font options that properly show respect for the French language, by being inclusive. The same applies for Spanish, or other languages too, of course!

How can I know? 

I offer you this simple, free document to check. Just copy and paste the text from it into whatever tool you are using - PowerPoint, Slides, Docs, Pages, etc. - then select all the text and see how it looks with whichever font you apply.  To me, anyway, those "font substitutions" jump out like a sore thumb. Even if you don't typically notice it yourself so quickly, just examining the text where you're focused on checking that it's all consistent should be easy enough!

Another tip - KG Fonts have been the one source I find works reliably. She has her fonts all available free for personal use. If you plan to use them for resources you share with other teachers, (yes, even for free through social media groups or on your blog) then that means you need a commercial use license, which is quite affordable through this professional graphic artist.  Sometimes, a font artist will claim that their set is complete, but it turns out that some element that I need is missing - or worse - it technically included, but doesn't work correctly. (I've had two font designers on TPT insist they give me a refund for this, rather than actually fix it, which is what I preferred.)

Giving it a quick check ahead of time will save you from redoing a lot of work! I hope this tip helps.

If you have any questions about this, feel free to use my contact form on this site, or to drop me a comment below. 



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