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How best to help a learner using capitals randomly throughout sentences?

Discussion in 'English' started by hilaryfishwick1, May 12, 2019.

  1. hilaryfishwick1

    hilaryfishwick1 New commenter

    I would really appreciate any advice on this. I have a learner using capital letters throughout their writing. The learner is 14 years old and informs me that this problem was picked up in primary, but a teacher shouted at them about this issue. The learner's confidence has suffered a little because of this. I reassured the learner by pointing out the positive aspects of their work (very neat handwriting, good spelling, strong punctuation use) and told the learner that we will work on it. The use of capitals is very random through sentences. They are used correctly at the start of the sentence and for names etc., but then randomly in words through each sentence. I am not sure how best to help this learner, but am obviously very keen to. Has anyone had experience of this, please? If so how can I best help?
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Could you encourage them to check through their work after they've finished, and correct their mistakes themselves? More empowering than shouting :)
    hilaryfishwick1 likes this.
  3. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    Yeah - it sounds like more of an awareness-raising issue than anything else. Could they go through their work with a highlighter and notice their use of capitals. If there is any confusion over their usage, this would probably be pretty obvious with a quick conversation.
    Have you noticed that it tends to be the same letters that are capitalised? If so, it may be an automaticity issue that can be reprogrammed by practising the formation of those letters.
    Do let us know how you get on.
    hilaryfishwick1 likes this.
  4. never_expect_anything

    never_expect_anything Occasional commenter

    As @roamingteacher says, automaticity could play a part, as could things like dyslexia (e.g. some students use capitals because it helps avoid confusion over some letters that look similar as lower case but not as upper case). Is it particular letters (especially if not always at the beginning of words), or even a pattern of word types when capitals are used 'randomly' at the start of words (e.g. always for nouns, because of not understanding how to distinguish proper nouns from common nouns)?
    hilaryfishwick1 likes this.
  5. hilaryfishwick1

    hilaryfishwick1 New commenter

    Yes this has really helped. Thank you!
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  6. hilaryfishwick1

    hilaryfishwick1 New commenter

    I need to check tomorrow if it is the same letters throughout. I will let you know. Thank you!
  7. hilaryfishwick1

    hilaryfishwick1 New commenter

    It is always at the beginning of words, not sure if it is just nouns to be honest, but will check tomorrow and will let you know. Thank you!

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