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WITH NUMEROUS EXERCISES.
HENRY DUNN SMITH, A.M.
"Speech is morning to the mind."
T. NELSON AND SONS, PATERNOSTER ROW ;
EDINBURGH ; AND NEW YORK.
This little work is submitted to the Profession, and to the Public generally, as an attempt to set forth the main facts and principles of Grammar by a process of induction. Instead of laying down a set of hard and fast lines to be learned by rote, the opposite course has been adopted. From the observation of certain well-known usages of language, which are easily discernible by means of examples taken from ordinary discourse, the Pupil is in each instance gradually led up to the general principle or rule evolved. Thus, explanation or definition, illustrated where necessary by númerous examples, precedes what may be termed the nomenclature of Grammar ; that is, not till the learner has got firm hold of some fact or principle, is he asked to note the name, term, or formula by which it is thenceforth to be distinguished. By this plan, which is at once natural and simple, it is believed that much of the diversity that at present prevails in grammatical teaching may be avoided; while experience has shown that excellent results are obtainable thereby at a great saving of labour both to the teacher and the learner.
Copious exercises at every stage necessarily form a prominent feature of this treatise. They have been constructed with much care, due regard being had to the progressive character of the work, as well as to the strictly inductive principles on which it proceeds—each lesson, moreover, having, before its final adoption, been subjected to the test of practical use in the class
The experienced teacher will at once see the value of these exercises, both as aids to instruction and as tests of progress.
Numerous though these exercises are, and chiefly intended to be done in writing, it is not intended that they should altogether supersede oral practice in the class. For example, Exercise III., page 9, will naturally be supplemented by the judicious instructor with such as the following :-(1.) Tell (or
write down) six names of trees—six names of birds—six names of trades—six names of games—the names of six things that you like—six things you don't like, &c. ; (2.) Tell six things you have seen people doing—six things you like to do—six things you don't like to do, &c. Exercise VI., page 11, may be similarly supplemented by asking the class to name things and put a word of KIND before each.
As a means of intellectual training, it is scarcely necessary to remark on the great superiority of the word-by-word mode of Parsing over the Composite mode. Yet it is not so very long since that simpler and more philosophic method became generally known-having been first introduced in the northern counties of Scotland by that indefatigable educationist, the Rev. James Largue, A.M., of the Fordyce Academy, to whose professional labours directly and indirectly several generations throughout a wide district of the kingdom owe so much.
The mode of dealing with Syntax adopted in this work will, it is believed, recommend itself from its naturalness and spontaneity.
The Analysis of Sentences has been given comprehensively enough, it is hoped, for all ordinary purposes ; more minute detail, with relative exercises in imitative and original composition, being reserved for a companion treatise, entitled, “English Composition Simplified.” With the same view also, constructive exercises have been introduced but sparingly throughout the present work. Of course, the teacher does not require to be told that lessons in Analysis should be freely introduced at suitable stages of the pupils' progress with Part III.
Those who noted the interesting series of experiments conducted some years ago by the late Dr. Woodford, in working out his principles of "Natural Grammar," will observe that in the following pages advantage has been largely taken of the system thus developed and applied. The author also has to acknowledge the valuable assistance he has received from the Publisher of the work (Mr. Thomas Nelson), as well as from a number of friends and former pupils.
Suggestions from practical educationists are respectfully invited.