A Study of the Errors in the Use of Capitalisation Among Junior Secondary School Pupils in Bo District
Writing constitutes one of the main skills that second language learners find difficulty in. One area they find difficult in the process of writing compositions is the correct use of capital letters.
This study is an attempt to describe the common errors that pupils commit in the use of capitalisation in written texts. Since the use of capital letters constitutes an important area in the overall assessment of pupils’ written texts, this study provided necessary information to guide teachers of Language Arts in preparing pupils for writing tasks. The main objective therefore was to categorise and determine the extent to which errors are committed by Junior Secondary School pupils.
In order to obtain data for this study, three Junior Secondary Schools were selected in the Bo Municipality. Fifty pupils were randomly selected from each of the three schools, comprising twenty-five from JSS 2 and twenty-five from JSS 3. This gave a total of one hundred and fifty pupils in all. The pupils were given a task to write a composition of at least one hundred and fifty words under normal examination conditions.
The study revealed that pupils had generally not understood the rule involved in the use of capital letters. The areas where errors were more prominent involved proper nouns, beginning of a sentence, poor background knowledge of letter shapes, overgeneralisation and not capitalising the first word in the closing of a letter.
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