Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/804

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tion by the pupil, and the formation of strong associations between them and actual experiences.

The correct sounds must receive a degree of attention and reverence that would do credit to a music-master. Inevitable awkwardness in pronunciation should be corrected, not only by repeated efforts to imitate what is heard, but also by careful instruction as to the exact position and movements of the vocal organs in making the difficult sounds. This is of great importance, as it reacts upon the auditory memory and does much toward fixing a clear conception of the correct sound of each word. Probably very few Germans or Frenchmen have a clear conception of the sound of "th" in English; but had they from the first, whenever attempting this sound, been required to place the tip of the tongue between the teeth (which is never done in speaking French or German), there could be but little difficulty in pronouncing or recalling it. And in the same way a clear understanding of the fact that the French u and German Umlauts require the lips to be thrust forward and partially closed, will enable one to acquire these sounds far more readily than he otherwise could.

An objective expression of the meaning of words and sentences should always be sought. Things actually impressing the senses cause a more vigorous action of the brain than any recollection of them; consequently they make associations stronger and meanings more vivid. Although the exhibition of common objects and pictures, in teaching a vocabulary, may to the superficial observer seem childish and wasteful of time, it is in reality wise and economical.

The memorizing of sentences, reading aloud, listening to others read, and writing from dictation should all be employed, in addition to simple conversations between teacher and pupil, as valuable exercises. What is read at first should be carefully graded, so that the ideas may be awakened without having recourse to English, thus avoiding the habit of making a bad translation, which is often injurious to a school-boy's use of his own language.

As a pupil in the first stage of progress is pretty sure to go astray when left to himself, the work should be so arranged that all the time allotted to the language may be spent with the teacher. Tasks for outside preparation should not be assigned until the appreciation of the correct sounds is keen enough to prevent the contraction of vicious habits of pronunciation. Grammar should at first be taught only as it becomes available for immediate use; but, later in the course, it should be taught systematically, and copious outside reading should be assigned.

A student who can neither go abroad nor command the serv-