Teaching capital letters without being degrading! Any ideas?

Hi, I teach in a college and keep getting essays back with capital letters used incorrectly; if at all! It's driving me mad and I know I need to broach the subject, however, they are 16 and want to teach it to them without it being 'primary schooly'. Any ideas? Thanks

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9 Responses to “Teaching capital letters without being degrading! Any ideas?”

  1. antolak says:

    It’s the primary schooling I blame…they don’t teach the fundamentals of grammar at all. So, I’d steam in there just as if it were a new topic to them. I’d suggest each one of them brought in a ‘proper grown up book’ and take worked examples of some of them.I’d then get them to write sentences of their own ….(radical). You could go really crazy in the lesson plan and throw in some city names, brand names and titles. Oh the joy of teaching 16 year olds who think gr8 is a real word !Have fun teacher !

  2. hypnology says:

    Well just give them a grammar lesson – a ‘respray’ class. I am on a post doctoral course and we get punctuation refresher classes which are just the basic rules written out and someone goes through them. There’s no Annie the Apple but it is useful to lots of the students who never learnt grammar. Good luck.

  3. preaggravation says:

    if you have to worry about the delicate egos of college students then you have a problem. first of all regular school failed them .if you dont take drastic measures you will have failed them as well.kick some butt. start handing out poor grades based on punctuation grammar and capitalization and get these kids motivated to learn it before they fail. they are so used to the text message format and unless you attach a consequence to the misuse of language it will continue throughout their lives.its not like its that hardhow many options are there? all upper case, all lower case, sentence case, and title casethey are paying a lot of money for you to teach them. how could you possibly justify not doing so?

  4. Sundayfied says:

    You could teach them about “golden sentences”. It is what they use at primary school but it doesn’t have to be patronising to them.You could make up a small game where the class is split into teams and they have to take turns at making a golden sentence. A golden sentence should have a capital letter at the start, a full stop at the end and some interesting words in between. It should be in neat handwriting and contain an “interesting” word.It could get quite competitive if you have teams and they have a time limit to pass the pen relay style and run up to the whiteboard and write a sentence. The team with the most correct golden sentences wins.

  5. arthropterous says:

    if they cant at least Capitalize the First word of a sentence, dont worry about being ‘primary schooly.’It would be easier if you were teaching German.16-year-olds should be able to grasp the concept of proper nouns. If you can get them to pay attention to the beginning of a sentence and to proper nouns, the rest should be easy.txt lang shud b 4bidn – automatic F.

  6. nammad says:

    Why beat around the bush? Most kids are illiterate these days anyway so they shouldn’t feel different.Educate them and don’t worry about what they think of you for doing it. You’re doing them a favour.

  7. unopportunely says:

    Two options1. Tell them like it is and show them what is wrong with their current use of capitals2. Dress it up all nice as a refresher course which is part of your planned curriculumI’d go for 1. myself but I’m not stood in front of the class

  8. pseudosquamate says:

    You just say there are a ,few who might benefit from a revision of basic English protocol, so do a quick run through but ask if any one has a question after.

  9. ZOO-NET says:

    I really admire you for being able to teach these days. I really don’t know how people do it. I know that I couldn’t as it would drive me mad. I left primary school with a solid knowledge of spelling and grammar, and I can’t understand how standards have been allowed to fall so dramatically. There are so many “trendy” subjects taught these days, but how many young people can speak or spell correctly? I think we all need to go back to basics and that the government should address this illiteracy problem. If I were you I’d ask the school to provide some good old-fashioned grammar books!