Learning about Punctuation Edited by: Nigel Hall, Anne Robinson

Hardback - 184 pages
14 Mar 1996
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148


For several hundred years critics have been complaining about standards of punctuation. Despite this concern, how people learn to understand punctuation is one of the most neglected topics in the field of literacy. Although there are numerous handbooks detailing the rules of the punctuation system, there have been very few studies about how punctuation is understood by learners. This timely book is the first ever to address the issues associated with how people, and especially children, make sense of punctuation. The first chapter offers a detailed overview of some of the major issues. In Chapters 2, 3 and 4 the authors offer accounts of how children develop understanding of punctuation. Chapter 5 deals with teachers' experiences of, attitudes towards, and beliefs about the teaching and learning of punctuation. Chapter 6 contains a detailed analysis of one lesson in which punctuation was the main feature and explores its consequences for the children's use of punctuation in their writing. In Chapter 7 the author examines how a deaf child learned to punctuate and raises important issues about the relationship between oral language and punctuation. Chapter 8 contains a rare account of how young children use punctuation when reading. Finally, Chapter 9 offers an account of the problems of adult basic writers; difficulties which have a strong relationship with those faced with young writers. Together the chapters represent the first ever attempt to offer a comprehensive account of the issues involved in learning and teaching punctuation.

Author Biography:

Nigel Hall is a Reader in Literacy Education and Anne Robinson is a lecturer in the Didsbury School of Education at the Manchester Metropolitan University. Together they direct `The Punctuation Project' and both authors are known internationally for their books on early literacy, especially early writing.

Book Preview