The beginner's English book - by Mary E. Nolin - PDF ebook

The beginner's English book for the use of adult students 

The beginner's English book

The object of this book is to present in convenient form matter for teaching adult foreigners the constructions of English sentences and for teaching .them at the same time an English vocabulary of the kind required by beginners.

There is no necessary logical arrangement, the chief usages of English speech are presented in the order that seems best adapted to the requirements of teaching. The matter of the book has been arranged so that each lesson shall introduce only one new feature, apart of course from new words, and at -the same time shall repeat, in forms varying to meet the requirements of the drill, words and constructions previously learned.

The thought expressed by the English sentences used in the first two parts of the book can be readily communicated to the pupils by the use of objects, gestures, motions, and signs, and always should be so communicated when being presented for the first time

. In the early stages of the instruction, many of the most important processes of learning oral and written speech must of necessity take place in the presence of the teacher and under her immediate observation and control. 

While these are going on, however, the teacher need utter no words, and in¬ deed should utter none, except what is required to make the original utterance of the English phrase or sentence that is being taught, and except what is necessary afterwards to repeat it from time to time at the proper moment in order to correct the leaders' pronunciation and to reinforce his new impression.

The teacher, having on the table the objects mentioned in the first lesson, takes a pencil in her hand, and without releasing it, places it successively on the book, into the book, besides the book, and under the book, thus communicating to the pupil without ambig¬ uity very simple and very definite pieces of meaning. 

At the proper moments, as she does so, the teacher utters the appropriate English phrases, ‘on the book,‘into the book," and so on, clearly, distinctly, and so far as is possible with the same voice qualities (such as quantity, stress, and intonation) as though the utterances were parts of continuous discourse. 

The teacher then repeats this performance several times, in order that the pupils may have ample opportunity to listen to the teacher*s utterances and to observe the movements of her speech organs. In repeating the phrases the teacher should be careful to make the utterances the same each time (a difficult thing to do) so as to reinforce the original impressions and not confuse the pupil. 

She then uses other ob¬ jects, but not many, to teach similar phrases, indicat¬ ing the meaning and uttering the phrases as before until the class has had ample opportunity to grasp the general senses that run through all the phrases mentioned in the lesson. 

At this point of the instruction the teacher, returning to the first phrase indicates the meaning and utters the corresponding English phrase as she did at the beginning. 

Then, giving the direction by gesture, she indicates to one of the classes (not to all) that he shall utter the phrase. It is important that the teacher should give the directions by signs, and not orally as by using the word ‘say," because almost invariably the beginner will give back the whole of what he hears. Besides, the variation serves no purpose and comes as a distraction to the beginner. 

Publication date: 1921

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