Punctuation is the system of symbols (. , ! - : etc) that we use to separate sentences and parts of sentences, and to make their meaning clear. Each symbol is called a "punctuation mark". Learning how to use punctuation marks appropriately and correctly in a sentence is very important. Every punctuation mark has different usage in a sentence. A simple misplace of a comma or an apostrophe can make the sentence grammatically incorrect. Sometimes one sentence would have two different thoughts or meaning depending on the placing or positioning of the punctuation marks. So there need to be knowledge on how and when they are used in the sentence. That’s why we conducted this research to test the proficiency level of the First Year English Majors’ students of West Visayas State University. We gave them questionnaires containing tests about punctuation marks. Underlying skills of the students, which is analyzing skill, would be tested in these tests. In order for them to answer the items correctly, they need to analyze thoroughly the sentences. All languages have symbols that help people make sense of the words they speak and write- Symbols known as punctuations. (Prentice Hall, 2004)
Most often, when we study grammar, we take focus only on the eight parts of speech and tend to neglect the different functions of punctuations. With these students' writing skills and even reading comprehension are affected.
There are ordinarily thirteen marks of punctuations and since elementary these marks are already taught. But to what extent of knowledge and awareness do students really have in the usage of these punctuations until they enter into tertiary level? This is one of the questions we should be aware of.
As English Majors it is expected to have the skills not just in oral communication but also in written wherein the use of punctuations could be very helpful.
It is important to take focus on the proficiency level of 1st Year English Majors to determine their...
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