Higher Lessons in English: 1886 (American Linguistics, 1700-1900)
Author: Alonzo Reed, Brainerd Kellogg
Format: Kindle Edition
Excerpt from Higher Lessons in English: A Work on English Grammar and Composition, in Which the Science of the Language Is Made Tributary to the Art of Expression; A Course of Practical Lessons Carefully Graded, and Adopted to Every Day Use in the School-Room
The plan of "Higher Lessons" will perhaps be better understood if we first speak of two classes of text-books with which this work is brought into competition.
Method of One Class of Text-books. - In one class are those that aim chiefly to present a course of technical grammar in the order of Orthography, Etymology, Syntax, and Prosody. These books give large space to grammatical Etymology, and demand much memorizing of definitions, rules, declensions, and conjugations, and much formal word parsing, - work of which a considerable portion is merely the invention of grammarians, and has little value in determining the pupils use of language or in developing his reasoning faculties. This is a revival of the long-endured, unfruitful, old-time method.
Method of Another Class of Text-hooks. - In another class are those that present a miscellaneous collection of lessons in Composition, Spelling, Pronunciation, Sentence-analysis, Technical Grammar, and General Information, without unity or continuity. The pupil who completes these books will have gained something by practice and will have picked up some scraps of knowledge; but his information will be vague and disconnected, and he will have missed that mental training which it is the aim of a good text-book to afford. A text-book is of value just so far as it presents a clear, logical development of its subject. It must present its science or its art as a natural growth, otherwise there is no apology for its being.
The Study of the Sentence for the Proper Use of Words.
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