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A COURSE IN THE READING AND STUDY
THIS “Course in the Reading and Study of Literature” has been arranged on the supposition that the entire course in English shall be four years, and that during the fourth year the time shall be given to the reading and study of selections from the list of requirements for colleges and to the study of the history of English literature. The selections suggested for the three years' reading include those specified in the requirements recommended by the conference of the colleges and the preparatory schools. In many cases teachers will doubtless find it desirable to make changes and substitutions in order to provide for the needs and conditions of their classes.
The Text. — The amount of the text to be used each year' in connection with the course in literature will depend upon the needs of the class. In cases where four years are given to the study of English, teachers may find that it will suit their plans during the first year to cover Part I, thus affording opportunity for necessary practice in enunciation, pronunciation, punctuation, letter writing, and the writing of simple themes. The relation of the paragraph to the whole composition and the grammatical structure of the sentence should be considered, and a thorough drill in the analysis of sentences be given. To this may be added such review of the principles of grammar and their application to composition as the needs of each class make necessary. During the second year, while emphasis is being given in the literature
course to exposition and argument, Part II may be studied for an understanding of the function of paragraphs, sentences, and words in composition; and for acquiring a knowledge of the principles which govern paragraph and sentence structure and the correct and effective use of the elements of composition. This will leave Part III, which treats of the means for making language effective, to be studied in connection with the reading of the third year. Frequent reviews should be given to broaden and deepen the pupil's knowledge, so that there may be a continuous growth in his understanding and use of good English. In case, however, that only two years can be given to the study of the text, a different distribution of the work will be necessary in order to give more time to the text each week; and this may be made according to the judgment of the teacher to suit the needs of her class.
Literature. - It has been the purpose in choosing material for this course to use selections that will be of interest to young pupils, and which will arouse their language sense, thus rendering them sensitive to literary excellences. The other studies and the general reading of pupils afford ample opportunity for developing the power to read for information. In fact, there is so much reading for information that both teachers and pupils often think of this as the sole purpose of reading.
Since literature should be judged, not by the amount of information which it furnishes, but by its power to call forth a response in the emotional nature of the reader, the chief aim of the teacher of literature should be to direct the development of the pupil's literary sense so that it will be responsive to the influence of literature. This development will manifest itself in some expression of the pupil's inner self rather than in answers to questions calling for information. The teacher should determine the purpose of the author, whether it be to give pleasure, to stir the emotions, or whatever it may be, and then strive to make her pupils respond to it. Unless this is done, the whole effort will be directed toward securing information, and the real benefit to be derived from the study of literature will be lost.
It is not expected that all the selections suggested will be read; some of them may not be available in all cases, and others may have already been read by certain classes. The purpose has been to offer a suggestive list which teachers may change or add to, according to the needs of their classes and the material available. These selections, covering as they do the whole range of human emotion, if properly treated, furnish the means through which permanent results of real value may be obtained. The proper development of the literary taste and the emotional nature requires much thought and effort on the part of the teacher; but it is a work that brings rich returns to her pupils and to herself.
Composition. — The work in composition, in connection with the “Course in the Reading and Study of Literature,” should deal with the form of discourse that is being studied, and should be of such character as is suggested naturally by the reading. Many definite exercises in theme writing are given in the text in connection with the subjects treated, and these may be supplemented by others which the reading suggests. Each teacher should determine the amount of time to be devoted to composition, to the study of the text, and to literature, according to the requirements of her class; but a system should be adopted, allotting a definite time to each, and this system strictly followed. Some teachers consider it a good distribution of time to give two days each week to the study of the text, two to literature, and one to composition; others think three days should be given to literature and one each to the text and to written composition. In any case, it is always best, during the first two years, to allow one day of each week for writing during the class hour, in order that the teacher may give such immediate help and suggestions as are needed.
Narration and Description Short Stories
The Great Stone Face, The Gray Cham
pion, and Other Stories
The Man without a Country
The Lady of the Lake, Marmion
Incident of the
The Old Manse, Tanglewood Tales
Pepacton and Sharp Eyes