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 Punctuation and Capitals. MS1.

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Number of posts : 95
Age : 63
Location : Ouled-Djellal
Registration date : 2008-09-25

PostSubject: Punctuation and Capitals. MS1.   Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:51 pm

Capital Letters and Punctuation are tormenting me this year. It's the first time in my professional life that I face such a problem. I used to have this gap with many pupils of mine but not at this rate. All the MS1 pupils make capitals and punctuation mistakes. It is a crucial phenomenon that needs urgent remedies. All of them make mistakes, many mistakes and without
exception. It is a scary observation. They seem to have no principle about this task.
Although some review and recycling have been done in File 1 and during daily activities, nothing seems to change. I am really perplexed about this dilemma.
Imagine the top of MS 1 unable to get rid of the weakness of using a small letter when writing his name. Almost 99% don't use the full stop when they finish a sentence. It is a real trouble. The same remark for the comma and question mark.

I am trying these short activities but they mightn't work. I do at least one everyday. I hope they will be of any benefit.
1- I provided each pupil with a punctuation / capital letters correction code:

What would you do in this case?
Let me know. I really need to try any remedies.


Last edited by Mohamed07 on Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:41 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add link)
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Number of posts : 115
Location : BBA
Registration date : 2008-08-14

PostSubject: Re: Punctuation and Capitals. MS1.   Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:56 am

A crucial issue, in fact! Too many thanks for raising such an important point.
This principle should have taken place at early stages. I remember that we were severely punished when making mistakes of this kind, at the primary education.
But this doesn’t mean that no remedy is possible.
Ok, although I have no idea about the procedures taken to remedy with the problem, since I always have problems with the links, I should say, first, that not only the teachers of English should be concerned with this issue; teachers of French should contribute as well.
You say MS1 pps, and I would say excellent MS4 pps don’t have this principle of writing, respecting Punctuation and Capitalisation.
The only thing I could do is telling the pupils that NOT respecting Capitalisation and Punctuation will make them lose marks.
The best thing to do, I think, is to keep on trying with them, even if no immediate result is noticed. Undoubtedly, a result will be seen with some pps however small the number may be.
I can suggest a game-like procedure:
Providing the pps with Capital Letters and Punctuation Marks (full stop, qq mark and comma); I mean, each pp represents one capital letter or punctuation mark, which he/she should ‘protect’ from ‘wrong use’.
First, pps are given the letters, for instance, T. , M …..and punctuation marks: “. Full stop”, “? Question Mark” ….. (Each one is given one letter or punct. Letter).
All along the activities prepared for this respect, and throughout the whole session, all are supposed to protect ‘themselves’ from being put in the wrong place or being completely forgotten. If any one forgets to ‘protect’ himself/herself, they will give in to the mate who notices the bad use of the letter which he/she doesn’t represent. Thus, the latter will represent two letters…till, one or many pps will ‘preserve’ 4 letters for instance or any number that the teacher may choose as a record.
The pp who loses ‘credibility’ should try to recover it through ‘protecting’ other letters whose ‘representative’ may have failed to protect.
The best pp (the one who protects many Capitals or Punctuation Marks) should be rewarded. The reward can be a prize or grade; it’s up to the teacher to decide.
Now through which expression the pp may show that he/she’s wrongly used or that someone else hasn’t protected himself/herself from wrong use, is to be suggested. This way will be relaxing and may give good results.
But it should be done with the help of the teachers of French.
Most important is that one shouldn’t give up. The pps should realise the importance of Capitalisation and Punctuation through the teacher’s insistence and perseverance.
I’d like to know what you think.
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Number of posts : 115
Location : BBA
Registration date : 2008-08-14

PostSubject: Capitalisation and Punctuation Compaign!!!   Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:38 pm

Salam again!!

Today, I started the Capitalisation and Punctuation Compaign.
Though I did it almost in a stressful way, I think that it will bring about positive results.
With the MS4 pps, I wrote on the board the expression above, to show its importance. Pps found it interesting and funny at the same time, though I showed my anger to a certain extent.
The first thing I drew their attention to, is the name "Allah", with a very big "A" telling them that it's really shame and non sense to write it with a "small letter". They felt very concerned, since it's part of their belief.
I took profit from the remedial work session, correcting the second test, containing this 'Word'.
Then, I drew their attention to the difference between French and English, concerning the days of the week, months and nationalities...,which are considered as proper nouns in English but as 'common nouns' in French.
Next, the personal pronoun "I", which is written evenly everywhere in a sentence.
After that, to the semi-colon, which is follwed by a small letter and never by a capital latter, along with the comma.
I also drew their attention to the fact that as a country should have boundaries, the sentences should have similar boundaries (Punctuation Marks) within a text, paragraph...etc. These boundaries are the Full stop, the Question mark and the Exclamation mark.
I told them that while talking we need Intonation whereas while writing we need Punctuation, and that they have a common objective: giving sense to one's reading, speaking or writing.
While reading the text, pps felt very concerned, trying to understand the reason of any punctuation mark or capital letter.
I warned them of 'breaking the rules' again. I advised them to develop their
negative eye and try to discover any mistake, whoever its maker can be.
The first mistake, with one class, which a pp discoverd was my own mistake!!!
I wrote a question on the board ending it with a full stop!!! At once, one pp shouted 'a mistake!'. It was such a funny situation! My duty was just apologising because I had done it unconsciously.

I talked to the teachers of French as a first procedure. I wish they will help!
I'll make use of the game-like procedure for some time to see if it works with MS1pps. I've started the same procedures with them.

I'm sure this will be a success to a certain extent.

Now, I want to tender my endless thanks to Mr.Mohamed who raised this problem! Really, jazaka Allah khairan!!! You're always helpful and generous!

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