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hem, Nazareth, etc. With its mountains are associated many of the most remarkable events in the life of Christ presenting to us the scenes of His transfiguration, His death and His ascension. This will aid in rendering the study of Bible history real to the pupils, and will remove one of the greatest difficulties which we encounter in our attempts at intelligent reading and study of the Bible.

Since a religious spirit should be the distinguishing trait of the Catholic parochial school, and since that spirit should permeate all our work, no matter how distinctly profåne the branch in itself may be, it becomes self-evident that, in the geographical treatment of the different countries, most especially our own, Catholic features should be made an item of interest. Hence, in the proper place, touch briefly on the work of our early missionaries, Catholic explorers and pioneer settlers, the establishment of our Catholic institutions of learning-the Catholic University, seminaries, colleges, the various charitable institutions, etc. Mention the residential city of the Papal Delegate, Cardinal, Archbishop, Bishop, etc.

In all stages of geographical instructions, the teacher should endeavor to introduce some thoughts of a religious character, which will lead the pupils to behold God in nature and its marvels, for all things created are but a feeble image of the majesty and beauty of the all-wise Designer and Author. No study, except religion, is so admirably adapted to train the intellect and to cultivate the heart as the study of geography. It brings us in closest contact with nature and nature's God, whose divine hand moulds the phenomena of nature as well as the destiny of man.



A new importance, is being attached to all problems connected with the teaching of English in the various stages of educational work, the outcome of which can be but the organization of that branch of instruction with something like foresight and method.

Text-books on English are published in great numbers; articles in educational journals and periodicals report new methods and new experiments; special school editions of the English classics are published and sold at low prices; the subject is discussed at the meetings of educational associations. This movement for the furtherance of English studies, which has taken place principally outside the schoolroom, has now turned to it and pointed out its responsibility in the matter.

No lengthy argument is necessary to induce us Catholic teachers to unite our efforts with those that are made in all the other schools of our country, towards using the best methods of teaching English in elementary schools. We are fully conscious of the excellence of a study, which, after religion, comes first as an enduring and cultural subject, the medium through which all instruction is imparted, even religion itself. Nor are we unfamiliar with the criticisms of the day, attacking the efficiency of elementary and secondary schools on the score of poorly laying the foundations of the study of the vernacular in their respective grades.

The claim is that students upon entering high schools and colleges are unable to express themselves correctly, that they are inaccurate in spelling and deficient in even the simplest forms of composition. Universities have found it necessary to establish an English language period in the freshman year of college work to remedy this deficiency. Business men also complain that they want school graduates who can write well and spell correctly and that they find it hard to get them. Parents say their children, upon graduating, cannot write an ordinary letter without mistakes in form and contents. It may be that these complaints are over-colored, yet we have to acknowledge that, at least in part, they are well founded. It is encouraging for our teachers in Catholic schools that the public criticisms against prevailing methods in English work were directed mainly against State schools, and that, in certain cases, a contrasting eulogy was paid to the Catholic parochial school for its conservatism and its efficiency in English language work. Certain it is, however, that we are willing to look at the question face to face and assume our share of the burden of reforming inefficient methods,


All the responsibility in language deficiency must not be placed upon the school alone, for the home, the street and social surroundings in many cases have a strong and attractive influence upon the early education of the child. In no subject of studies do these forces of environment make themselves felt so continuously as they do in English. "A child born of educated and refined parents, who has been accustomed to hearing the language spoken correctly and with good taste and who has been acquainted from infancy with good literature, must of necessity need instruction in the native language far less than a child from a family of wholly different surroundings, whose parents have been too busy or unable to supervise its early education." The city child and the country child have different experiences and a different heritage of ideas, so have the native-born child and the immigrant child. To the last, English is a foreign language instead of the vernacular.

Another difficulty in the path of the English teacher is at times found within the classroom and generally in the lower grades of the school. I refer to overcrowded conditions where systematic work and individual attention become well-nigh impossible. Allowing, therefore, a margin for these inevitable conditions, I will proceed to follow the child's English work throughout the school in the reading, composition and grammar classes.

Whilst the education of the child does not begin with its first day in school, yet we may safely say that upon entering he possesses a very meagre outfit as far as formal English is concerneda most limited vocabulary, defective, childish pronunciation and unopened intellect. Thus equipped, it is put into the teacher's hands, a bundle of inconsequences, irritabilities, inconstancies, tricks, cries and smiles; a frivolous, whimsical, fanciful little thing, possessing withal the germs of all that is good, beautiful and true; a most responsive little mind to the varied impressions and influences of its teacher. Let it fall into the hands of a sympathetic and suggestive teacher with aptitude for training the young and this living shoot, full of sap, will produce excellent fruit.

In dealing with the young, especially with the very youngest, many educators have recognized that one sure method of implanting in their minds the ideas which one wishes to make dominant

is by arousing their curiosity and stimulating their interest. This has led to the method of education by play in the kindergartenthe child's garden. Play should be employed, but interest should be the core of the method used. The child's interest should be aroused, suggested and stimulated. Dr. Shields, in a recent article on primary methods, published in the Catholic University Bulletin, forcibly illustrates the power of stimulating interest in the young child's mind. He says: "In suggestiveness there is opened up a whole field of psychology that is bristling with interest for the primary teacher."

Another idea that should be foremost in the mind of the teacher of the young is that the child is a great imitator. He sees, listens and copies. Because this imitative tendency plays such an important part in linguistic work, it becomes the supreme instrument in the teacher's power. In the interest of the young a severest sort of censorship should be placed over the selection of the teacher for the first years of school. Women alone are fitted by their motherly instincts and refinement of character for the work of teaching the children of our first grades. Through her, more than through any other agency, the child learns to lisp and speak, to use language properly, to admire and fathom the tales and songs of the masters. Her very tone of mind, the expressive magnetism of her character, the quality of her voice, and her habits of speech are so many influences that affect the child and shape for good or ill the character of the education he is receiving through the school. The words of the poet Whitman illustrate this doctrine of imitation:

"There was a child went forth every day,

And the first object he looked upon, that object he became
And that object became part of him for the day or a certain
part of the day

Or for years or stretching cycles of years.
The early lilacs became part of this child."

The teacher's language is the text-book of the child, his model and his resource. It must be ideal child's speech, without being childish; pictured and suggestive, a trifle in advance of the child's resources, having in view the enlargement of the child's vocabu

lary. Class talks, conversations, word and sentence building, story telling and story reproduction are now in order. Young children, as we know, are delighted with stories. In the lower grades they are intensely in the story-loving period. A simple story that can be understood by the child can be reproduced by him; and in the child's reproduction, the teacher has the opportunity to correct his faults of language and to teach what is right and what is wrong in speech. In thus correcting the child the teacher's first device is again her example. She must make beautiful speech so attractive that it will find an echoing response through the life of the child. In all elementary work it is well to confine one's attention to certain selected faults, to attack a few bad habits of speech unweariedly and to leave the rest for later on.

Together with the child's awakened interest in oral expression the opportunity has come to teach the A. B. C.'s, the combination of letters into words, and words into sentences, etc. Let us hope that the child may be spared the drudgery of poring over the elements through months and years, an ordeal which some of us may remember with sadness. I doubt the reasonableness of that method of language work that has crept into the lower classes, of perpetual, simultaneous repetition of c-a-t, cat; b-a-t, bat; r-a-t, rat; through the live-long day. It may be effective, for even parrots learn that way.

On the other hand, we ought not to underestimate the value of drilling in elementary English work. It is the ever ready instrument in the hands of the teacher, and when not abused, it produces excellent results. Let the exercise be of frequent recurrence at stated periods. When once the correct oral or written forms of expression have been made plain to the minds of the pupils, an accompanying exercise is in order. Make the drill concrete. Failure in this will tend to promote vagueness, meaningless iterations and all the faults of merely formal instruction, from which we are all trying to free ourselves. With the very youngest pupils the drill should precede the rule, or better, supplant it. It is easier, for instance, to make clear the essential nature of certain elements of language by picking them out of model sentences than by abstract definitions; it is so with other forms of expression


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