ο»Ώ Γ… FEW PLAIN HINTS AND SUGGESTIONS ON I TEACHING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN (WELSH) COUNTRY SCHOOLS.|1864-07-09|The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality - Welsh Newspapers Online
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Å FEW PLAIN HINTS AND SUGGESTIONS ON TEACHING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN (WELSH) COUNTRY SCHOOLS. BT JAXES JONES. [Continued.] I CHAPTER IX.—ENGLISH GRAMMAR AND ANALYSIS. These subjects of school instruction appear to have much, attention paid to them in some of our Welsh schools; and they are professedly introduced into our schools with the view of exhibiting, to the young minds, the elements of speech aud the principles of their ar- rangement. As grammar deals with forms of thought which do not admit of visible illustration, it must be looked upon as a very hard subject, even to adults. To render the study pf grammar attractive, it is ne- cessary to raise it from the gloomy region of technicality —to make it a means of cultivating the minds of the children and extending their knowledge of English. In some schools this subject is held ine greatest ab- horence by the pupils; and this must not be wondered at when the course consist almost entirely of the mere getting up of unintelligible rules and definitions. When any subject is abused, an aversion is immediately be- gotten in the children's minds to its further prose- Clition, *??s' now generally admitted that the reading lessons afford to teachers the best facilities for imparting to their pupils a knowledge of the analysis and structure of the English language. Dean Dawes, in his Hints, says—"Grammar is taught here (King's Somborue School) almost entirely through the readiiig-lemoiis; and in this way, far from being the dry subject many have supposed it to be, it becomes one in which .the children take great interest. Any attempt at giving them dry definitions of parts of speech and rules of grammar, is almost sure to fail; for one :that it in- terests, it will disgust ten, and therefore the thing ought not to be attempted in this way." John Amos Comenius, a Moravian teacher, who flou- rished about the middle of the seventeenth century, in reference to the teaching of grammar, states— You that have the care of little children, do not trouble their thoughts and clog their memories with bare grammar rudiments, which to them are harsh in getting, and fluid in retaining; because, indeed, to them they signify no- thing but a mere swimming notion of a general term, which they comprehend not, till they comprehend par- ticulars." An old Roman writer said- Longum est iter per Praecepta, breve et efficax per Exempla." A knowledge of the general features and principles of English is of far greater importance to our children than a parrot-like acquaintance with the technicalities of grammar. As the principles of imitation and frequent repetition possess a great influence w the development of children's minds, examples are of far greater use than rules. These are useful, because the young learners get a notion of partitiilar construction from them. The plan of constructing our pupils through a gram. matical course in connection with the reading lessons is directly calculated to engage their sympathy, arrest their attention, and improve the practical character of their understanding. Our first course comprises—The noun, with its number; adjective; pronouns, with their num- ber; and the verb, with its number and tense, and its agreement with the nominative. The verb being the principal word in a senteuee, requires particular atten- tion, especially in the case of Welsh country schools; Welsh children cannot be too soon initiated in this some. what difficult part of speech. The second course—The revisal of the first, together with observations upon the different moods and tenses; inflextions; adverbs of manner, time, and place; atrmig, weak, and passive verbs; agreement of nominative and verb more fully explained. The third course—The revisal of the second with Mine explanatory hints on those elements which join simple sentences together; government. As soon as the greater difficulties in the language have, to some reasonable extent, been overcome by any set of children, text books may advantageously be given them; but in every case where bare formularies constitute the only course of study in this subject, a cabalistic effect in the children's minds will necessarily follow. The following points may be worthy of attention:- T. Let parsing be so taught as to be made subsidiary to the acquirement of English. 2 Let the study of grammar be pursued in a manner that will enlist the sympathies of the children. 3. Pay greater attention to the more important than the less important parts of speech. 4. Always bear in mind that proficiency in mere tech- nicalities of grammar affords no just criterion to the amount of the lingual acquirementa of any set of children. 6. It should be remembered that this subject, though a most important one when judiciously located, is ca- pable of being so abused as to be productive of very few if any good results. J. Analysis of sentences-L;oneurrenriy,ita me worn 01 parsing, our children should be trained to resolve com- pound sentences, &c., into their simple ones. Like grammar, to which it is closely allied, the process of analysing should be carried on for some time in connec- tion with the reading lessons. A careful perusal of Hunter's and Morell's works on analysis of sentences will tend to arm teachers against the difficulties which they may occasionally meet with whilst engaged in giving their pupils an insight into this subject. The teacher may introduce this subject somewhat in the following manner (Explanations should be interspersed throughout the lessons. ) A sentence is ——— (LetS. S. stand for simple sentence; C. S. for com- pound sentence; and C. Se. for compound sentences. A. S. having one nominative, and one (finite.) Verb is called a Examples. Every S. S. when it stands alone is a —— S. What is meant by a finite verb ? You sometimes find a S having two, or three, or more nominates or agents, and an equal number of finite" verbs. In that case, will the S be a simple or a com- pound one ? Now, let us try and form a C. S. Here is one:— [I.) The man who was working in my garden yes- terday, is at home to-day. How many S. Ss. does it contain! Which are they? Name the connecting word. [2.] In the S.-He came to me this morning and asked me for the loan of my knife, which is the connec- ting word ? (3.) In the S.— He lives where he plemes,-which is the connecting word You will perceive that some sentences are strong and independent, whilst others are weak and unable to stand as unconnected sentences. The man is at home to day, is a ——— And asked me for the loan of my knife, is a ——— What is omitted in the S., and asked me, &c. ? Supply it. Can the nominative be always omitted after' and l' ( Sentences illustrative of this point should be given by the teacher.) What kind of sentences does the conjunction and connect! He lives, is a ——— Where he pleases, is a ——— Is there a complete (independent) thought contained in:- 1.1 Whenever John conducted himself properly  I2.1 Who was wasting his time and money I 3.] How he hkea' It will be observed that sentences are joined together I by a relative pronoun, conjunction, or an adverb. CHAPTER X.—ETYMOLOGY, I The process ef dividing compound words into separate roots and particles proves one of instruction and enter- tainment, to such of our children as have already mas- tered the commoner words. Professor Sullivan, in one of his school works, says-" The easiest and most effec- tual method of acquiring a knowledge of what may be called the different wllrds of our language, is to learn the comparatively few roots from which they are de- rived, and the prefixes and affixes which vary and mo- dify their meanmg. In this way the pupils will learn with greater case, and recollect with greater certainty whole families of words, in less time perhaps than it would take them to learn the meaning of an equal num- ber of (ingle and unconnected terms, which, as they are arot coungoted by ikny principle of usociation, well SA- cape from the memory, even after the labour of much .repetition. In short, under the old way, aa it is called, the pupil fished with the hook, and drew in at most but one word at a time; but under the system here recom- mended he uses a net, and at one cast draws in a whole multitude of words." The meaning of a meaning being very commonly re- quired in the case of our country chilitren, a considerable amount of attraction can be imported to this subject by some of the more difficult words being written in Welsh. Whilst the attention of the pupils is being drawn to the Saxon and Latin prefixes, teachers should not forget to elicit from the class the corresponding Welsh ones. EXERCISE 1. j Annus, a year Annals, records, 4c. Anniversary, a day, or event celebrated, as it re- turns in the course of the year. Annual, yearly. Annuitant, he that receives an annuity. Annuity, a yearly allowance. Millennium, a thousand years of peace, Sc. The children's knowledge of the meanings of the words they have learnt, may be further improved by their being required to give a viva-voce translation of a few sentences in this way: The gentleman has not seen the annals. My mother has had an annuity left her. He who receives an annuity is an annuitant. The anniversary of that society will be celebrated on Monday next. M Some people write and speak much about the Mil- lennium. I EXERCISE 2. I L. E. W. I Prae. Fore. Rhag. Predict, foretell. Forewarn, to warn beforehand. Predecessor, one who was in office before another. Precursor, forerunner. Precaution, preservative caution. He had predicted the change. He had foretold the consequences of the war. The master has forewarned the children not to go too near the river. My prede- cessor was very successful. The quarrel was a precur- sor of evil. They have not used the necessary pre- caution. I KXERCISE 3. In prefixed to nouns, adjectives, or adverbs means not*, or ontrary to. In assumes the following forms for the sake of eu- phony:- ??, tm, ir. Saxon corresponding preb, WeU do., a n. Intemperate, immoderate in food or drink. Illiterate, untaught. Ignorance, want of knowledge. Imprudent, indiscreet. Irreproachable, free from blame. Unbecoming, unseemly. Every illiterate man is not an intemperate man but every intemperate man must be an imprudent man. Indiscreet acts generally result from ignorance. John is acting in a very unbecoming manner. Our friend is a man of irreproachable character. The affixes may be treated in a similar way. Each lesson given should be neatly written out by the pupils for future reference. (To be continued.)










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