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IN TWO PARTS :
I. PRONUNCIATION AND ACCIDENCE.
WITH EXERCISES ON A PLAN PECULIARLY CONDUCIVE TO
THE SPEAKING OF THE FRENCH LANGUAGE.
THE EXAMPLES ARE SELECTED FROM THE PUREST WRITERS OF PRANCE, AND THE
RULES FOUNDED ON THE RECENT DECISIONS OF THE FRENCH ACADEMY
AND TIE BEST GRAMMARIANS OF THE PRESENT DAY.
By C.-J. DELILLE,
(Membre de l'Athénée des Arts, de la Société Grammaticale, et de l'Institut Historique de Paris.)
the City of London Literary and Scientific Institution,
the Western Proprietary Grammar School, and
WHITTAKER AND CO., AVE-MARIA-LANE.
(Price Ss. 6.]
In the study of languages, the pupil's progress depends on a variety of individual characteristics and circumstances, “ l'âge de l'élève, ses goûts, ses habitudes, ses connaissances actuelles, son genre particulier d'occupation *.” Classes, it is well known, supply the valuable stimulus of emulation, and possess this great advantage, that they are benefited, not only by what is addressed to them collectively, but also by the various and reiterated observations made to each of the members. Rollin justly observes, that a master who has a numerous class is much more animated than when en tête-à-tête with a single pupilt, and he is therefore more likely to impress upon the minds of his pupils the instruction which he wishes to convey. The efficient direction of learners in classes, with the view to shorten as much as possible the time necessary to be devoted to the study of a language, is a subject of paramount
† This observation is not intended to discourage those who, from a natural timidity, shrink from the publicity of a class. A certain amount of acquirement is of course the fruit of industry, however applied ; but, in the study of a living language, practice in conversation is an invaluable help towards the object in view, and therefore every private pupil should avail himself of the advantages which a class affords of communion with others, as soon as he feels sufficient confidence.
consideration. The use of the French tongue in this country having become so general within the last few years, the opportunities now afforded for practice render it much easier of acquisition than formerly; so that a person who can daily devote an hour to the study of it, and attend a class twice weekly, will be able at the end of a year to speak the language fluently, provided his application has been earnest and uninterrupted.
Respecting the proper management and arrangement of classes, I will here take the liberty of stating the mode of conducting those for a long time past established at the City of London Literary and Scientific Institution. The annual course of study is divided into two equal portions, the pupil attending successively the elementary and senior classes, which are severally renewed every six months, about the 1st of February and the 1st of August. A pupil who regularly attends the course and studies assiduously, gradually acquires a sufficient acquaintance with the language to enable him to join a third class, called the Conversation Class*, where he has the opportunity of practising and ultimately acquiring that idiomatic phraseology and colloquial style which could otherwise be obtained only by the most persevering attention and constant intercourse with the natives of France. Attendance at a conversation class like
* At the City of London Literary and Scientific Institution the members have also formed a class for the practice of French recitation, “ Classe d'élocution française," the remarkable success of which may be adduced in evidence of its utility. Many a student who commenced the study of French in this excellent Institution has been heard to recite extracts from the chefs-d'ouvre of Corneille, Racine, etc., in a manner which would have done honour to a Parisian soirée littéraire.
wise offers other advantages, as tending to destroy the mauvaise honte of the more juvenile students, and also to dispel the timidity of those who, having in early life attained some knowledge of the language, yet have not the courage to join in conversation.
For the method of teaching in classes to which I have alluded, the present work is particularly designed: the grammatical principles which it contains, together with the examples and exercises, will be found especially conducive to the acquirement of that which every student has so anxiously in view, namely, a good style of composition both colloquial and epistolary.
The beautiful language of FÉNELON, RACINE, BosSUET, MASSILLON, LA FONTAINE, BUFFON, BERNARDIN DE ST.-PIERRE, CHÂTEAUBRIAND, and other distinguished writers of France has been selected for illustration, as affording the most appropriate examples for imitation and at the same time inculcating principles of the purest morality. With the same view, and as offering the best language for the purpose of translation into French, the English extracts are taken from the works of Addison, Johnson, GOLDSMITH, PALEY, and other authors equally celebrated. The dialogues interspersed in various parts of the Grammar are intended to facilitate the practice and acquisition of that rapid utterance in familiar conversation, the comprehension of which proves so difficult to English persons on their first arrival in France.