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prepare the necessary instructions that might serve as a beginning. The classes progressed and fuller instructions became necessary. So a new pamphlet of instructions, or syllabus, was prepared by three district superintendents, two of whom had served on the first committee. In this syllabus a fuller exposition of the teaching of C classes was made, and there were model lessons which might serve as a guide in conducting the work of instruction. Teachers began to study the subject of instruction with great interest, and to make a specialty of such instruction. The second syllabus has been outgrown. There has been a demand for it throughout the country, and there are now many books treating of the subject of teaching English to foreigners. None of these books has been written by any of the three superintendents of this city who have been engaged in the formulation of the instruction, because these three men have kept steadily in mind the purpose of the C classes to get the children into the regular grades as soon as they can profit by that instruction.
Teachers are conservative, and putting a new plan or system into operation is attended with many difficulties; hence the number of C classes is relatively small. In Manhattan there are 62 of them, 2 in the Bronx, and 17 in Brooklyn. There are no C classes in Queens or Richmond.
It must not be supposed that the instruction of the immigrant child is disregarded where there are no C classes. Fortunately, the pupil-teachers of the training schools spend a term of five months in practice of teaching in various schools. Such pupil-teachers are usually assigned for a full term to a school: and while they take a regular class, the teacher who is relieved often takes charge of a group of child immigrants. Such instruction is not as efficient as that in the regular C class, but it serves its purpose fairly well when the number of pupils is too small for a class.
The course of study for C classes is left entirely to the principal of the school, and the greatest freedom is allowed in the selection of the material for instruction. Language is the main subject, and spoken language receives the greater part of the time. The teacher naturally divides her class into groups, and some written work must be done. Then the other forms of expression are employed, such as drawing and music. Every employment has its vocabulary. Physical exercise is not neglected. All the instruction is not limited to groups. The conversational exercises are usually general exercises, with the idea that the children learn much from their companions: The life and interest of the conversational exercises are generally striking and convincing.
In addition to the general conversational exercises there is theme work, which consists in a series of actions performed and described, leading to a final action known as the "theme." Teachers are expected to devise themes that may be developed in the classroom, and great ingenuity is frequently shown. The purpose of the theme is, of course, to illustrate actions and to give exercise in the use of verbs. Apart from the practice in this difficult part of our language, the theme work is a part of the objective teaching of language.
III.—By Cecil A. Kidd,
The teaching of the English language to the pupils in the C classes can be made effective and interesting, first, by concrete objects and pictures; second, by phonics; third, ear training; fourth, singing, memory gems; fifth, seat work.
The first necessity for the successful treatment of the C pupil is to inspire him with confidence and from the very first moment have him feel that he is learning something which fits him for his new surroundings. In order to do this, there must be an abundance of concrete material at hand—a storehouse, as it were, of objects and pictures. The objects may be only toys, but they serve the purpose.
These objects should be arranged so that things belonging together should be placed near each other:
A cow, a milk pail, a farmer, a rake, a hoe, a shovel, a horse, a wagon; sheep, grass, wool; birds' nests, twigs; cups, saucers, plates, knives, forks, spoons; various fabrics; weights and measures; a broom, a dustpan, a dustbrush.
The various domestic animals can be cut from children's picture books and mounted on oak tag and hung around the room. The fruits and vegetables in their natural colorings, from advertising catalogues, if cut out and mounted, are helpful. The children know the names of these objects and pictures in their native tongue and are anxious to hear the English word for the same and thus recognize an old friend in a new dress. They have something to talk about, and the timidity which prevents the children from trying to speak is in a great measure obviated when they know they have something to say.
The parts of the body are pointed to and named. Then followed up with " This is my hand " or " my head," as the case may be.
One of the early lessons to be taught in the C class is the replying to the following questions: What is your name? Where do you live? How old are you? What is your father's name? Where do you go to school? What is the name of your class? What is your teacher's name? What is the number of your room?
Insist on a full statement every time. This gives the necessary drill in repeating in the proper form.
The teachers at frequent intervals should repeat also, for the purpose of a correct model of tone. Commands should be given and children obey the command. This takes some time before all understand what is wanted. The teacher should perform the act with the child at first, and in fact many times. After a command is obeyed, several children should be called upon to tell what they did. What did he do? Have the children repeat the act and ask what he is doing, thus getting the various forms of the verb.
Phonics.—From the very first day there must be phonic work and plenty of exercise in ear training. The phonic work is by far the most important work in' the C class. Much time must be spent on the phonograms which do not occur in the mother tongue of the pupils.
Seat work.—Seat work must be prepared and used to supplement the oral work according to the varying abilities of the C pupils.
No matter what degree of advancement has been made in their own tongue, all that has thus far been attempted is necessary for all in the oral work.
Seat work may consist of matching colors, laying sticks, piecing out words from cut-up material, putting in the blank space the proper word—is or are, selecting from their cut-up work all the words belonging to the same family and arranging them in columns or piles. Pages from magazines may be distributed and the children told to underline all the words they know.
Children should not be taken out of a C class as soon as they know a few words of English. In the long run, they do better by remaining with the same teacher until they are well equipped with the numberless little things that the teacher of a regular class can not take time for.
Arithmetic receives little attention in a C class until the last six weeks of the term, and then the children are all eagerness about it, and do so much better than if they have to struggle along with it before they have English enough at their command to understand what the teacher wants or words enough to tell what they want to say themselves. Counting, however, is used from the beginning. Civics and local geography are taught with great advantage in the C class. The children are always much interested. The teacher of a C class must be very resourceful to make the work a success.
IV.—By Joseph H. Wade,
There are three types of problems to be met with in the education of the immigrant child—the purely educational, the civic, and the moral.
Many of the children seem to be lawless, but it is not because they are really lawless, but because they do not know what the law is. Also, many of these children are seemingly ungoverned; they are excitable, nervous, and very tenacious of what they consider their rights; but if placed in the class of a good disciplinarian, the children in the C classes are the easiest children in the school.
When large numbers of immigrant children are placed in the same school, they should be segregated if possible, the Jewish children being placed in one C class, and the Italian in another, for they differ radically. The Jewish child is more ambitious than the Italian child for learning. The teacher can get more assistance from the parents of the Jewish child than from the parents of the Italian child. The Jewish children show results in a very short time, but with the Italian children it takes longer.
The second type of problem, the civic, seems very well developed, but we know as teachers that it is not always so. We need the active cooperation, first of all, of the other civic departments; secondly, of the business people of the city; and thirdly, of the general public. What is the use of teaching these children about city ordinances if these children see them violated day after day without any punishment? The only way in which we can train the immigrant child to a realization of what he owes to the city is to make him feel that these laws passed for the good of the city must be obeyed, and that if not obeyed, sooner or later there must come a punishment.
The third type is the moral type. We must put before the children whenever possible that the greatest thing we are doing for them is not in teaching them English or in teaching them how to make a livelihood, but in teaching them to respect their fathers and their mothers, and to have the right kind of reverence for home. We must continually bring this before the immigrant child. The board of education aims to do it by three methods: First, by the evening public school; second, by the parents' meetings; and third, by the public lectures. I find that the parents' meetings are probably the most valuable means. We have in our district the Parents' League, which has spread all over the city. During the past two years I have spoken to 22 meetings of Italian parents in English, and I have always been surprised to find how closely the Italians will follow a person who speaks in English, and how seemingly they will understand what he is saying when he is speaking to them of their duties to their children and of their children's duties to them. At these parents' meetings we should always have some speakers who can speak in the language of the parents, and these people should present to them always in the strongest language the highest type of civic duty to the city.
RECREATION FOR THE IMMIGRANT.
Edward W. Stitt,
An ideal community can come only from individual improvement. When therefore it happens that the community is a metropolis containing a population of over five millions, the efforts toward social progress and regeneration to a better civic life become a great problem. It is further complicated when we remember that last year immigrants arrived in our city from 98 different countries and that within the boundaries of our five boroughs 66 languages are spoken.
Why is play a necessity?
First in importance are the evil or dangerous influences of the street. By these I do not mdan only the physical dangers, but also the great danger to the morals of our children and young people caused by low vaudeville theaters, supersensational moving-picture shows, and the degrading tendencies of many public dance halls.
A second important question is, Where shall the play be carried on? In reply I must urge that a larger use of our school buildings be permitted. At nights parents and adults should have club privileges. The playgrounds used during the day are equipped as gymnasiums at night, and thousands of working people who are too tired to attend evening school are finding wholesome advantages in attending the recreation centers now open in 56 school buildings. Quiet game and library rooms are provided, and chess, checkers, dominos, authors, and other such games prove very attractive. Once a week classes in social dancing are held, and the young men and women who have no opportunity at home for social enjoyment are being reclaimed from the commercial dance hall. Mayor Gaynor recently wrote:
All young people want to dance, and, mark my words, they will dance. Therefore It becomes the duty of every city to see that its young people dance In the right places. The gymnasiums of the public-school buildings are safe places. It is to be regretted that, owing to the failure of the board of estimate to appropriate sufficient funds, the board of education has been unable to open additional buildings as recreation centers.
Our public-school buildings are usually located in the most congested parts of our city and in the various centers of the population, and therefore easily reached. It is absurd to have the vast amount of property included under the care of the board of education only used for five hours of the usual school day.
The following are some reasons which may be advanced for publicschool playgrounds:
1. To keep the children and young people from the dangers of city streets.