Common sense in teaching modern languages: An address read before the School-masters' association of New York and vicinity, Dec. 13, 1894

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W. A. Baker, 1895 - Languages, Modern - 23 pages
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Page 3 - It is a condition and not a theory which confronts us." In ninety-nine out of a hundred of the problems of actual life, it is a condition and not a theory which confronts us...
Page 10 - Or, along another line, it lies in the scientific study of the language itself, in the consequent training of the reason, of the powers of observation, comparison, and synthesis; in short in the up-building and strengthening of the scientific intellect.
Page 20 - He should be thoroughly in touch with the mental life of his pupils, and able not only to follow, but to lead their thoughts in their own language. 4. A modern language teacher should know intimately the language he is to teach; every word and turn of thought should mean to him something actual ; he ought to be able to think in the language, to dream in it, to crack jokes in it; must have, in short, such a knowledge ńs ia only possible to a person who has lived in the country where the language...
Page 18 - German on the page, and he can work cheerfully with grammar and dictionary as many hours a day as he needs, and the result is only a question of his own talent and industry. But the understanding of the spoken language is something which, in ordinary cases, he can practise only in the class-room; you cannot test his progress except by indirect means, and he does not feel that he has anything definite to do when he is at work by himself. I should therefore give predominance to translation as a practical...
Page 20 - ... is only possible to a person who has lived in the country where the language is spoken. 5. He must have sound and serious scholarly training in his special field; must know the history and literature of the language he teaches and of the languages related to it, and must keep abreast of the times in his scholarship.
Page 11 - German books with; and it would not take an exorbitant price to but it either. But, on the other hand, what I have got from my ability to read German, that is, my debt to the German genius through the German language, I would no more part with than I would part with my memories of the past, my hopes for the future, or any other integral portion of my soul."4 4 Professor Calvin Thomas, op.
Page 22 - Aside from the reading of the German text, and even that is not always done, the student hears and speaks nothing but English ; in other words, for about ten minutes 'out of a possible fifty he learns German, the remaining forty minutes he learns facts about German." Epigrammatic and plausible; but you see the implications: the only German is that which is heard ; hearing German is learning German, and you are not learning it unless you are hearing it ; facts about German discussed in English do...
Page 19 - 1. Every teacher, in whatever department, should be a Professional educator, who is in the work from choice, and in it to stay. He should teach his subject with reference to its educational effect, and should be able to see its relations to the more general problem of the training of mind. 2. He should be a man of broad general culture. 3. He should be thoroughly in touch with the mental life of his pupils, and able not only to follow, but to lead their thoughts in their own language. 4. A modern...
Page 20 - ... person who has lived in the country where the language is spoken. 5. He must have sound and serious scholarly training in his special field ; must know the history and literature of the language he teaches and of the languages related to it, and must keep abreast of the times in his scholarship. " I believe that no teacher can be notably deficient in any of these five lines without impairing seriously his professional usefulness — so seriously as to shut him out from the very foremost rank...
Page 21 - ... snug-harbor" after failure in something else. I am hostile to anyone who sets a lower for a higher aim in any field of instruction. I am hostile to anyone who undertakes any work of instruction without a thorough fitness for it. Now there are some classes of foreigners who are likely to incur my hostility for some of these reasons. First, the Sprachnuister, who are and should be foreigners.

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