« PreviousContinue »
In order to remedy these defects, and to ease the teacher, I would ad" vise that several young gentlemen read in a class, each a sentence in this book, (it being divided into small portions for that purpose) as often as convenient: and let him who reads best, be advanced to the head, or have some pecuniary reward; and every inferior one according to his merit; this will create emulation among them, and facilitate their improvement much more than threats or corrections, which stupifies and intimidates them, and often ends in contempt of their teacher and learning in gener. al. This will draw.forth those latent abilities, which otherwise might lie dormant for ever.
It may not be improper for the teacher, or some good rcader, to read a sentence or two first, that the learners may gain the proper emphasis, and read without that monotony so painful to a good car; for they will improve more by imitating a good reader than any rules that can be laid down to them. When they come to read gracefully, let them stand up in the school, read aloud, in order to take off that bashfulness generally attending those who are called upon either to read or speak in public.
The next thing I would recommend, is the English Grammar (the best I know of is Buchanan's Syntax) the knowledge of which is absolutely necessary as it is the solid foundation upon which all other science rests. After they have run over the rules of syntax, the teacher may dictate to them one or more sentences in false English, which they may correct by their grammar rules, and also find out the various significations of each word in the dictionary: by which means they will soon acquire a copious vocabulary, and become acquainted not with words only, but with things themselves. Let them get those sentences by heart to speak extempore; wbich will, in some measure, be delivering their own compositions, and may be repeated as often as convenient." This will soon give the young gentlemen an idea of the force, elegance, and beauty of the English language.
The next thing I would gladly recommend, is that of letter-writing, a branch of education, which seems to me of the utmost utility, and of which most of our youth are deficient at their leaving school; being suffered 10 form their own stile by chance, or imitate the first wretched model that falls in their way, before they know what is faulty, or can relish the beau. ties of a just simplicity.
For their improvement in this particular, the teacher may cause every young gentlemen to have a slate or paper before him, on Saturdays and ihen dictate a letter to them, either of his own composition, or taken out of some book, and turn it into false English, to exercise them in the gram: mar rules if he thinks proper, which they should all write down, and then correct and transcribe it fairly in their books.
After the young gentlemen have been accustomed to this some time, a supposed correspondence may be fixed between every two of them, and write to one another under the inspection of the teacher, who may cor. rect and shew (heir faults, when he sees occasion; by such a method he will soon find them improve in epistolary writing. The same may be ob. served with regard to young ladies, who are very often deficient not only in orthography, but every other part of grammar.
If something similar to this meihod be pursued, it will soon reflect honour on the teacher, give the highest satisfaction to judicious parents, and entail upon the scholar a pleasing and lasting advantage. The Editor.
Intreaty -Jane Shore,