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A METHOD OF IMPROVING SPEECH AND READ-
CAUSES IN THINKING AND FEELING
S. S. CURRY, PH.D., LITT. D.
308 Pierce Bldg., Copley Square
AN INITIATORY WORD
During recent years greater interest than ever before has been awakened to the importance of Written English. Spoken English, however, for the most part, is still either entirely neglected or else taught by mechanical, imitative and artificial methods.
Dr. Charles W. Eliot once remarked: “The primary characteristic of an educated man is his ability to speak and to write his own language with efficiency." We learn to speak before we learn to write, and the way we speak in every-day conversation is the basis of our style in writing. Hence, when rightly considered, correct speaking is at least as necessary to the proper use of our own language as writing, and must be ever regarded as a fundamental part of education.
This book is an endeavor to furnish such methods for the development of Spoken English as will parallel the work of Written English during the last years of the Grammar or the first years of the High School or Normal School; and to furnish hints upon the problem of teaching reading and of improving the voice.
The teaching of the right use of the voice and of all phases of spoken English demands primarily insight into mental and emotional conditions. In writing there is something objective for the teacher to mark, something external that the student himself can see, and well-settled rules of grammar to be obeyed. In spoken English, however, rules cannot be laid down except for such mere grammatical aspects as are common to both writing and speaking.
Spoken English is a psychological problem. To regard reading and speaking as a mere matter of correct pronunciation or obedience to certain rules of grammar is to misconceive the nature of expression.
The problem primarily concerns thinking; in fact, right vocal expression requires imagination and feeling, and the harmonious awakening of all man's power and the unity of his experiences.
The modulations of the voice perform a distinct function.