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O. I. WOODLEY
SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, MENOMINEE, MICHIGAN
M. S. WOODLEY
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., LTD.
All rights reserved
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.
Set up and electrotyped May, 1901. Reprinted July,
Norwood Mass. U.S.A.
TAE object aimed at in the preparation of this book has been to present a series of lessons that will acquaint pupils with the fundamental elements of our language, develop within them some idea of its power and beauty, give them some skill in its use, and cultivate their language sense.
Without the power to appreciate quality in the language itself, pupils will make but little progress in its study. Thus the development of the language sense is of vital importance. This sense may be cultivated by studying the best literature and by exercising the judgment in the choice of the best forms of expression. To provide material that will furnish examples of good descriptions, narratives, and other types of literature, choice selections have been taken from the writings of the best authors. If these are used according to the plans suggested, pupils will not only become familiar with different types of composition, but will acquire a genuine feeling for good language and be filled with a strong impulse to use it.
The subject of Variety of Expression, which occupies so prominent a place in Book I, is continued in Book II, for flexibility, or freedom in the use of language, is of the greatest importance. The lessons on Variety of Expression, together with those on Exactness of Statement and the Correct Use of Words, will teach pupils how they may improve their oral and written composition.
The series of lessons on Comparison is intended to develop the power of observation, and by preparing for an understanding of figuration, to lead to the interpretation and enjoyment of many of the finest selections to be found in literature.
Under the heading, “Sense Training in Literature,” is presented a series of lessons that is intended to enlarge pupils' appreciation and enjoyment of language by showing them that through having the senses trained to recognize the color, sound, odor, and other elements of beauty in nature they can better understand the literary allusions to these elements. These lessons have large culture value, for, by enabling the pupils to get more from the great worlds of nature, literature, and art, they cannot fail to leave an impression on their life and language.
Another feature of these books that is of great importance is the development of the idea that the use and the form of the language depend upon the purpose of the writer. The pupils will discover that language is not used for the sole purpose of giving information, but often to give pleasure, or to arouse the emotions, and that the purpose for which it is used has much to do with the form of expression. The selections that are given for study will prepare pupils for a better understanding of literature.
Letter writing has been treated exhaustively, from the writing of informal friendly letters to orders for goods, applications for positions, and other business forms. While the lessons are mainly given up to the presentation of letter forms,
it is expected that teachers will give many additional exercises that pupils may have different letter forms thoroughly fixed in their minds, and be able to write informal or business letters with readiness and ease. The complaint made by the business world that pupils from public schools cannot write a simple business letter shows the necessity for more practical and thorough work in this branch of composition.
The purpose of the lessons on Grammar is to give the pupils a broader view of language, rather than to enter into a discussion of the laws that govern it. Simple definitions and discussions of the use of words are given, and only such analysis is introduced as will contribute to the main purpose. For this reason parts of speech are presented because of their use, rather than as a grammatical classification, and the analysis given is to enable pupils to understand better the structure of sentences.
If the lessons on grammar are studied with these facts in mind, an understanding of the relations of grammar to language will be gained, and a foundation will be laid for the formal study of grammar in the higher grades. Experience proves that a better understanding of the relation of the elements of a sentence can be gained by oral analysis than by representing these relations, and for this reason no scheme for diagraming is given.
The selections from Longfellow, Whittier, Thaxter, Thoreau, Taylor, Holmes, Burroughs, and Sara Orne Jewett are used by special arrangement with, and permission of, Houghton, Mifflin and Co., authorized publishers of their works.
Grateful acknowledgments are also extended to the follow