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objects in the classroom, naming them. Then they are pointed out first by the class and then by individuals. Still in the first lesson, he begins action work. He does an action, saying in French that he does it and exaggerating so that the class can not fail to understand. Actions must be so distinct that they can not be mistaken, then the class grows to understand the French words rapidly and readily. By the fifth or sixth lesson the pupils do promptly the actions ordered, saying what they are doing; they are able to write the sounds from dictation with fair correctness, to pronounce well the names of the objects in the classroom and to use with correct pronunciation the verbs taught.

Now in all this oral work there is a distinct method, as there should be in all oral work. Haphazard oral work for which pupils have had no chance to prepare is practically worthless, it is certainly worthless for beginners and a waste of time and strength. From the first lesson, tho the class does not realize it, the teacher is giving them the very expressions they will meet in their phonetic transcription and later in their regular text.

At about the fifth lesson, the phonetic text is opened. The teacher pronounces the sounds of each word, then the word, the class repeating. After a few words, the class readily pronounces the word correctly, the separate sounds having been correctly pronounced. They are the very words they have heard and learned to say, the very sentences expressing action that they have already heard and said over and over. As they read them from the phonetic text, they are surprized and delighted to find that they understand everything they say. The lines read one day are reviewed the next. After a few pages have been read in this way, the teacher assigns as home work a page of regular text corresponding to the phonetic text already prepared. The directions are given to compare one text with the other, linė by line, pronouncing aloud first from the phonetic transcription and then from the regular spelling. Extraordinary success is the reward of students who listen carefully in class, who

practise faithfully at home and who are prompt in asking for help. The rapid improvement in their pronunciation is little short of marvelous: their pleasure in it is a fresh incentive to diligent practise. On that all success depends. From the moment that they open the phonetic text, pupils can study their pronunciation at home. Many pupils who have never heard a French word will read correctly from the phonetic text at the seventh French lesson. Before long, all but the sound-deaf will pronounce decently. I commend this method because of its marvelous effectiveness and because of its possibilities for diligent students. The lazy ones are soon detected. My own experience with all ages of students is that only about two per cent of all students of any age are sound-deaf and language-dumb. In other words, about two per cent of students in a language class have no language sense whatever. I wonder how they ever learned their mother tongue. They will spend hours on a lesson that the ordinary pupil will get in an hour. The pathetic thing is that such pupils are often eager students—laziness is not the cause. They do their best. They simply can not learn a language as a sounddeaf pupil can not learn to sing. Such students should be excused early from all foreign language work and their energies directed toward what they can do successfully. Their really excellent power of application should be turned into channels where it will be fruitful.

The use of oral work, dictation, pronouncing lists of words, reading from transcription, comparing words with their phonetic equivalents give delightful variety to the work. And there should be variety, for every part of these first lessons is a real effort for the pupils, tho an unconscious

They are so interested that they do not realize how hard they are working. The teacher is working hard, too, of course.

It is impossible to do good work with beginners in any foreign language by any method without the exercise on the part of the teacher of energy, ingenuity and skill. Those who love to do it should teach beginners. Here Ruskin's theory holds perfectly. When you do not

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love your work, it loses something it would have had in the hands of another who loved it. The worker of wonders is love.

In spite of the eagerness shown by pupils in learning the sounds of French, and in spite of their rapid progress in correct pronunciation by the use of phonetic transcription, teachers will find that if all drill in sounds and all reading from them is given up too soon, the pronunciation of the class will deteriorate rapidly. Pupils will ask for more practise and are eager for fresh material. It should be supplied to them and they should be encouraged to read aloud at home. Certainly for the first two years some such pronunciation from phonetic transcription should be done often in the classroom. The large majority of pupils are very anxious to pronounce well and are unwilling to have their spoken French incomprehensible. The pity is that correct pronunciation is ever neglected in work with beginners. That is the proper place for constant drill, welcomed and appreciated by pupils. When (and may the gods avert it!), when well-trained classes are invaded in the second year by pupils who pronounce badly, the quickest and the only thoro method of reforming their incorrect pronunciation is to teach the sounds and to have constant reading from phonetic transcription. In more advanced work a correct knowledge of the symbols on the part of the class gives the teacher an opportunity for swift and telling work. All that is needed in the most difficult new words is the correct symbol above the hard sounds.

Does not grammar need to be taught more rapidly in America than abroad? Because we have so short a time for any foreign language we should give power to our pupils as soon as possible. In French we must teach earlier all the tenses of the indicative. Many direct-method teachers put off the past definite until the second year, but should we not teach it earlier? No French not specially prepared can be read without a thoro knowledge of it and ease and pleasure in reading mean that pupils will learn rapidly and willingly. Pupils need constant drill in recognizing the

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infinitive instantly from any part of an irregular verb. The class should know any form at once when listed apart from the text as well as when met in reading.

An American pupil taught grammar by the direct method should be trained to answer any correctly worded question on the work he has completed. For instance, suppose he has been taught the uses of the demonstratives, he should be able to name them, to tell how any form is used quite as readily as to fill in the gaps in sentences or to use any one correctly in a sentence. It is all merely a matter of training.

The direct-method theory is that the reading is the basis of all instruction, that on it should be based the questions to be answered in the foreign language, that it should be the source of the vocabulary, the oral work, the grammar questions. This is a good theory and it works well in prac

. tise; but must we not have much more reading done than can be accomplished in this way? Besides the text thus carefully and thoroly treated, must we not use a text for rapid reading to be done by pupils outside of class as additional work, so much a week being assigned by the teacher? To do the difficulties in five pages and to test the pupils requires only twenty minutes a week in a class of twenty-three.

There is one point to be remembered if this outside reading is to be carried on successfully—the text must not be too difficult and it must be interesting. Let us give them what we know they will like—the best we can find. There is no truer touchstone of the suitability of a text than the attitude of the class toward it.

A pupil's success does not depend half so much on his brains as on the application of his will-power. There are two kinds of teachers. One imposes his will (a strong one, of course) on his forty pupils and gets results. It is like taking a little bit of ground at the point of a bayonet. The other teacher arouses the wills of all the forty to accomplish what he wishes. They know what he wishes is good, for they trust him. And the result is like the irresistible attack of soldiers who respond like one man to the call of a leader they love. Anything in reason that the teacher wants can be done with the help of the pupils. In working against them, their power is not used at all or is used for opposition (as in any other strike). The teacher's strenuous efforts result not in really good work from a modern standpoint but in a spoiled temper and much lost labor.

The classrooms where pupils love their work and where they hate it are as different for the teacher as the boat rowed with the stream and against it. A visit of ten minutes shows the spirit. Now boats have been rowed against streams since boats were made, I suppose. But would you not rather row with it, if you had your choice? It's the same boat, you know, the same oars, the same passengers and the same rower. With the stream or against it? It may be either, it must be one. Which shall it be?

ANNA WOODS BALLARD
TEACHERS COLLEGE
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

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