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This book is intended for the upper grammar grades or junior high school. It represents the middle ground between the old-time formal grammar and the language lessons of to-day. The author is fully convinced, that, while the language books are pedagogical, they are inadequate for the purposes of grammar. Treating grammar only incidentally, they cannot do more than present the mere rudiments of the subject. The result is that the great majority of children are deprived of technical training in the fundamentals of their own language and find this deficiency a serious handicap in their future work.
With the end in view of adapting the subject of grammar to the capacities of children in the grades and in junior high schools, this text has been prepared. Though primarily a text-book in grammar, it emphasizes grammar in application, and incidentally furnishes abundant exercises in composition and literature to serve all the purposes of a language book.
There are two main divisions. Part I treats the sentence in its various relations. Part II treats the parts of speech in detail.
The inductive and laboratory methods are employed. The order of development is: to begin with an apt and familiar example, followed by the necessary comment or generalization reduced to the simplest and most direct terms; then, while this is still fresh in the pupil's mind, to conclude with exercises in application of the rule or principle involved.
Thus, as in arithmetic, the pupil is taught by the natural and interesting process of doing.
Care has been taken that illustrative and exercise matter shall be pleasing and inspiring as well as concrete and practical. Formal exercises are employed only when they are deemed essential to the understanding of important principles. At the end of each chapter are exercises reviewing all information of practical importance. Parsing has been omitted; in its place, exercises of a less mechanical and more practical nature have been substituted.
As to terminology, the author is in full sympathy with the efforts of the National Education Association to secure a uniform system, and, for that reason, has followed the recommendations of The Joint Committee on Grammatical Nomenclature, with reservations only in favor of terms already in common use. Wherever a reservation has been made, however, the term recommended by the Joint Committee has been given also, so that it may be employed if the teacher prefers.
A simple system of diagrams is presented for convenience in the preparation of written analysis. The occasional graphing of sentence relations may also prove a helpful device in stimulating the interest of the class and leading to a better understanding of obscure constructions. Such a device, however, is only an incident and is not to be employed to the extent of losing sight of the purpose of grammar.
In offering this text to the public the author wishes to state that the work is the outgrowth of many years' experience in teaching language and literature. Years have been spent in the actual composition of the book, every detail receiving the most careful study and research.
The author acknowledges his indebtedness to his colleagues Professors C. Hodge Mathes and Willis B. Bible, and to the former President of the East Tennessee State Teachers College, Sidney G. Gilbreath, for helpful suggestions and criticisms; also to the beloved English teacher of his youth, Mrs. S. E. L. Hopwood, who gave to him his first interest in the subject of grammar.