Why do we need to focus on literacy?
There are too many
adults who lack basic
literacy skills. More
than five million adults
lack functional
literacy, the level
needed to get by in
life and at work.
A 2011 survey of
566 employers
shows 42% are not
satisfied with the
basic use of English
by school and
college leavers.
In Geography, History,
Religious Studies and English
Literature, 5% of marks are
awarded for spelling,
punctuation and grammar.
Approximately 85% of exam
content is tested through
reading and writing.
The Oxford English Dictionary
contains full entries for 171,476
words in current use.
There are only about eight
punctuation marks that are
used regularly in written
Can you think of eight punctuation marks that
you know how to use?
Even though there
are only a few of
marks can easily
overpower words.
An English teacher wrote the words:
‘A woman without her man is nothing’
On the board and asked the students to punctuate
it correctly.
All of the male students in the class wrote:
‘A woman, without her man, is nothing.’
All of the females in the class wrote:
‘A woman: without her, man is nothing.’
Punctuation has the power to change the
meaning of your words.
opened fire
with live
opened fire
with live
Love letters?
* Dear
Mr Macguire, I want a
man who knows what love is
all about. You are generous,
kind, thoughtful. People
who are not like you admit
to being useless. You have
ruined me for other men. I
yearn for you. I have no
feelings whatsoever when we
are apart. I can be forever
happy. Will you let me be
yours? Gloria.
* Dear Mr Macguire, I want a
man who knows what love is.
All about you are generous,
kind, thoughtful people, who
are not like you. Admit to
being useless. You have
ruined me. For other men, I
yearn. For you, I have no
feelings whatsoever. When
we are apart, I can be forever
happy. Will you let me be?
Yours, Gloria.
Why should you care about
literacy and punctuation?
• SWATs (Years 7,8 and 9)
• GCSEs now marked for spelling punctuation
and grammar (Years 9, 10 and 11)
• A level courses depend on your ability to
write clearly (Years 12 and 13)
• Universities and employers remain concerned
about the literacy levels of school leavers
(Years 11, 12 and 13)
Semicolons are easy to use!
You can use them to connect sentences that are closely related.
It’s a fast paced world and nobody has time for semicolons any more.
Can easily become:
It’s a fast paced world
; nobody has time for semicolons any more.
Use semicolons when ‘and’ is banned.

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