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1. As correct pronunciation is an essential of good reading, it is important that pupils should acquire at the outset a thorough knowledge of the elementary sounds of the English language, and that they should be trained to a ready command of the organs of speech.

2. The melody of our mother-tongue depends in a great measure on the fullness and purity with which the vowel sounds are given. The most marked provincialisms in our country consist chiefly in the peculiar shades of sound given to certain vowels.

3. In high schools and normal schools, if anywhere, critical attention ought to be given to pronunciation. It is desirable that pupils should become familiar with the diacritical marks of the dictionary in order that they may be able to find, by themselves, the correct pronunciation of any word.

4. It is the object of the following lessons to train (1) the ear to the correct sound; (2) the voice to distinct enunciation; and (3) the eye to the use of diacritical marks.

I. HINTS TO TEACHERS. 1. In all short concert drill exercises, require pupils to stand, and to stand erect. Let the concert drill be preceded by a breathing exercise.

2. Insist upon it that pupils hold the book properly in the left hand, high enough to bring the head erect.

3. In the more difficult drill exercises, the teacher should first read the examples, requiring pupils to repeat in concert. To some extent, elocution must be taught by imitation.

4. The true economy of time in vocal culture, as in vocal music, consists in training large numbers together. The concert drill lessons may be given to two or three hundred pupils in the assembly hall as effectively as to a single class in the recitation room.

5. The concert drill in phonic spelling is designed to give pupils the full command of their vocal organs, and also to secure accurate articulation, enunciation, and pronunciation. At first, it may be desirable for the teacher to lead the class, giving every sound clearly, forcibly, and distinctly.

6. The grouped lists of words illustrating the vowel sounds should be pronounced distinctly and forcibly by the teacher, then by the class in concert, and finally, by individual pupils. The monosyllables in these lists should be spelled by sound, first by the teacher, next by the class in concert, and, finally, by individual pupils.

7. Insist upon it that pupils practice every lesson, after it has been read in school, at home, by themselves.

8. Impress upon pupils the fact that good reading, like vocal music, requires long-continued practice.

9. Insist upon it that pupils, when reading, shall raise their eyes from the book when approaching the end of a sentence, and repeat the last five or ten words looking directly at the teacher or the class.


1. Stand erect when you read, and hold the book in your left hand, high enough to bring the head erect.

2. By frequent inhalations, keep your lungs well filled with air.

3. Read loud enough to be easily heard by every member of your class. If possible, look over the advance lesson before the hour of class drill.

4. After the class drill at school, read each lesson by yourself at home. You can become a good reader only by patient and persevering practice.

5. If you have any marked faults in reading, you must endeavor to correct them by self-culture out of school.

6. Enter into the spirit of whatever you read, and read it so as to convey that spirit to those who listen.

7. Think about the meaning of what you read. Refer to the dictionary for the definition of any word you do not fully comprehend, or for the pronunciation of any word with which you are not familiar.

8. Listen attentively to the reading of your teacher, or of the best readers in the class, and try to imitate their style of reading.

9. Train yourself to the habit of raising your eyes from the book to look at the teacher or the class. It is a matter of politeness to look at those to whom you speak, or to whom you read. As you approach the end of a sentence, glance your eye along the words in advance of the tongue, and then complete the sentence without looking on the book. It is a good plan to practice this by yourself before a mirror.

10. Endeavor to become so familiar with the diacritical marks that you can find out, for yourself, from the dictionary, the pronunciation of any word without referring to the key, the table of sounds, or the teacher.

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