READING

1590

READING

write a line of it, writing first for the stage — about 1 % dramas, which nobody would play." Apart from his numerous quarrels and. lawsuits, his life after 1852 is a record of the production of plays and novels By the former he generally lost money, and by the latter secured both money and fame; for, in spite of all his peculiarities and defects, he showed himself a storyteller of rare gifts and powers. Among his novels are Hard Cash, Never Too Late to Mend, Put Yourself in His Place and The Cloister and the Hearth. He died at Shepherd's Bush, London, April 11 1884, his last years clouded by sorrow and ill-health. See Memoir by Compton Reade.

Read'ing is a subject of the elementary school, sometimes called reading and literature. From the standpoint of the aspects emphasized, reading sometimes is classified as beginning reading, thought-reading and appreciative reading. All three aspects of reading are present through the school course, but each is usually emphasized at a different time, about in the order given.

Beginning Reading is the title given to the process of teaching children to read for the first time. Usually it is applied to the subject in the first schoolyear, where the main difficulty of the child is in mastering the mechanics of reading, i. e., associating (1) the new and strange printed forms with (2) oral words and (3) experiences already within his command. Printed words, standing for experiences the child has not had, are preferably omitted at this stage. The main effort is to get the child to recognize the visual forms which are the equivalents of the spoken words and experiences he knows. There are two general types of approach in getting the child to master the visual symbol. (I) The thought - methods teach thought - wholes, which involve teaching (a) a word (dog) or (b) a group of words {to the door) or a whole sentence (/ can run) as a unit without attempting to break the unit into parts. The experience, the spoken words and the printed word or group of words are presented together until the child associates the three elements so perfectly that the presentation of any one will immediately recall the other two. Attention to the mechanical and phonetic structure of words is minimized or completely omitted. The main reliance is upon interesting reading matter, which gives the child a motive for associating the printed symbols. (II) The phonetic methods teach the child to get the pronunciation of printed words by getting him to master the pronunciation-units (letters, syllables or phonograms) which make words. If the child can get the sound out of a printed word, that sound will correspond to a spoken word which already means something, so that the meaning of the printed word becomes

suggested. Care has to be taken here that the printed word already is within the child's vocabulary. The theory is that, when the fundamental sounds and the letters which stand for them are mastered, the child will be abie to give the sound to any word he finds. When the word does not happen to be within his experience, the meaning has to be given, else the child will be merely calling sounds which have no meaning for him. Phonetic methods are more artificial, and the first work is mechanical and barren of interest, so that repetition must to some degree be substituted for the interest lost. The main phonetic methods which have been used in this country are (a) the alphabetic (b-u-1-l-i-o-n), (b) phonetic-alphabetic (b-ų-ý-1-v-o-n), (c) syllabicating (bul'lion) and (d) phono-gramic (b-ull-ion) methods. The first and the last method use no diacritical marks. The alphabetic method of reading-by-spell-ing-the-same was used in this country through the colonial period. It was supplemented by work with syllables (a-b, ab; b-a, ba; etc.) The prevalent phonetic methods represent a mixed use of the phonetic-alphabet and the phonogramic method.

Most teachers are abandoning diacritical marks (ā) and using a system of beginning-reading which combines the phonogram-method with the thought-method. (1) The teacher begins with a whole sentence which is of interest to the child (Can you throw the ball?). Another sentence with a varied portion is also taught (Can you catch the ball?). The meaning is made clear by acting out the sentence. Pictures, objects, conversation are also used to insure the meaning, as the case demands. (2) The difference in the meaning and appearance of the two sentences at once gives specialxmeaning to the words "throw" and "Catch.'1 "The ball" probably is first known as a group, "the" being isolated later. (3) When each word is given its own special meaning, the phonogram or natural sound-unit is developed where the regularity of the word lends itself easily, as in "ball" (b-all). A more complex word, as "you," would not be divided but would be kept as a whole continuously. (4) The phonograms known would be reblended into new words. Knowing "c-an," "b-all and "c-atch," the child could, by sound and sight analogy, read "c-all," "b-atch" etc., thus quite rapidly extending his vocabulary. (5) These new words would be made into sentences, along with the old words, and given to the child to read so that they would give him thought. Generally speaking, an irregular word (through) or one containing a phonogram not yet developed for the child (J-eague) would be given to the child as a sight-word to be learned as a whole, if it should