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A TEXT BOOK FOR
CORNELIA CARHART WARD, A.M.
HUNTER COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL
NEW YORK CITY
All rights reserved
Set up and eleotrotyped. Published June, 1914
For several years there has been much discussion of the defects in our high school teaching of English. The public and the colleges have inveighed against us, both for what we did, and for what we did not do. We, as teachers, though we knew that we could not expect mature thought from boys and girls, and though we knew that we could not perform the miracle of obtaining one hundred per cent achievement from youth of fifty or seventy-five per cent brain power, have not been satisfied with results. We have recognized the defects in our graduates, and we have seen justice in the demand for more practical instruction. Moreover, realizing that a live, broad-minded teacher is worth more than an overstrained, nervous, narrow one, we have sought relief from theme correction. At any rate, we have said, singly and collectively, "Oral composition will solve the whole problem!"
Granted. But how should we go about it? Strange to say, many were reluctant to try it. Those who did groped their way, often without a definite plan of procedure which should make the work of value. If oral composition is to be a vital part of our English courses in the future, we must cease to think of it as a haphazard experiment and must plan it just as carefully as we have planned the teaching of literature or writing.
The chief purpose of oral composition is to aid in preparing pupils to stand when occasion demands, and say naturally, fearlessly, and agreeably, as well as simply and clearly, whatever they have to say. Since everybody is