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ASTOR. LENOX AND
Entered, according to act of Congress, in the year 1836,
By Gould, KENDALL & LINCOLN,
GEO. A. & J. CURTIS,
The following work is designed to promote the general adoption of a systematic course of instruction in our own language. Its author, during the time he was engaged in the avocation of teaching, having, at first, adopted the usual method of requiring the pupil to commit to memory the definitions of words in course, soon became convinced that it was a burdensome tax upon the memory, while the nobler powers of the mind were not required to coöperate in the exercise. He therefore adopted, as far as practicable, a plan similar to that which is herein reduced to a systematic form. Nor was he alone in his views in relation to this subject; for, from conversing with several experienced and
intelligent teachers, he found that they also had adopted various C-methods, to the rejection of the old plan. While several branches
of education have been so advantageously illustrated and system. atized in text-books for schools, it is somewhat surprising that no work has been prepared to render the study of words in our language subservient to the general discipline of the mind; an object C
of paramount importance in the study of any elementary branch Chf education. To train the mind to habits of thinking and in
vention ought to be the leading object of every writer of a school book, and the constant aim of the teacher. That the study of definitions, as herein proposed, may be conducive to this result, is a matter of experimental proof, and that, too, even in cases in which it has been conducted without the aid of any text-book. It is believed that this work is adapted to render the teacher all the aid that is requisite in introducing into his school a regular course of instruction in definitions, by which the minds of his pupils may be successfully disciplined, a ready, free, and correct use of words may be formed, and considerable advancement in the art of composing be acquired.
The following is the general plan of the work.
1. The words are arranged in syllabic order, and so far as the classification of the vowel sounds admits, in alphabetical order.
2. The vowel sounds of the monosyllables and accented syllahles, are indicated by a word, instead of a figure, placed over each class. The sounds of the unaccented syllables are left to the decision of the ear, which will as accurately distinguish them without figures as with them.
3. The words are selected and defined with a special view to their being used in classes of various ages and capacities.
4. The orthography and pronunciation are in accordance with the best standard authors.
Those pages which are appropriated to illustrations, consist principally of quotations from various authors. They are designed to show more fully, by their connection in sentences or phrases, the signification of some of those words defined in the three preceding pages. Those words, which are illustrated, are printed in Italic letters, and are to be again defined, and the pupil is not to be allowed to refer back to the defining columns, during the time of recitation. He should read the whole sentence, and when he comes to the Italicised word, he should give it such a definition as its connection with the sentence may require. They are also designed as a review of the preceding lessons, and to give the pupil a sufficient number of models to enable him to form a part or all of the other words, at the option of the teacher, into sentences, in a similar manner. These exercises are to be prepared on the slate or paper, previously to the time of recitation. After a little practice, they will become not only easy, but highly interesting to the pupil. But those teachers who may prefer to teach this branch on the plan usually adopted, will find that they can use this work as advantageously as any other, without adopting its peculiar method.