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The distinguishing feature of this book is that, instead of trying to teach spelling by requiring children to learn by heart, and afterwards rehearse long columns of words, it offers a series of passages, gradually increasing in difficulty, with the words of which, by slow and repeated reading, the sight may be so impressed that the pupils may be able to write them correctly from dictation. And the further object of the book is that, by a course of such discipline, the eye may gradually acquire the power of retaining the orthography of words as it passes over them in ordinary reading. The author's experience gives him confidence in asserting that this method will prove greatly advantageous both in making the thorough acquisition of words easy and interesting to the pupils, and in curtailing the labour of the teacher.
The great difficulty in preparing the work consisted in selecting passages which should contain a sufficient variety of words to effect this object. This, however, has been accomplished, the number of words in the book being at least equal to the number found in ordinary spelling books.
As the object of teaching spelling is simply to effect accuracy in writing the forms of words, the division of words according to sound, which may be of advantage in teaching reading, has been abandoned ; and derivation, as far as possible, has regulated the syllabification. There appeared no sufficient reason for retaining a division which obscures the derivation, and frequently the meanings of words.
For suggestions as to the method of using the book the teacher may refer to page 10 of the following
TEACHING OF SPELLING & THE MEANINGS OF WORDS.
“KNOWLEDGE THAT IS DELIVERED, AS A THREAD TO BE SPUN ON, OUGHT TO BE DELIVERED AND INTIMATED, IF IT WERE POSSIBLE, IN THE SAME METHOD WHEREIN IT WAS INVENTED."-Bacon.
WHEN We meet with a word mis-spelled, the eye instantly detects the error. The erroneous form before the eye does not correspond with the impression which the word correctly spelled has previously made upon the mind. But if we meet with a word we have never seen before, and it be mis-spelled, it cannot be doubted but that we should accept the error, and reproduce it, whenever we might have occasion to use the word.
This reflection will at once serve to show that we learn spelling by the eye, and that there is danger in accustoming the sight to mis-spelled words. Wherefore in teaching spelling we must endeavour to impress the memory with the forms of words by means of the eye, and to avoid offering to the sight, as far as possible, any incorrect spelling.
The object in teaching spelling is to effect orthographic writing, and it is evident that causing children to rehearse columns of words, letter by letter, conduces