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The Aural System Being the Most Direct, the Straight-Line Method for the Simultaneous Fourfold Mastery of a Foreign Language.   By:

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[ENTERED AT STATIONER’S HALL.]

THE AURAL SYSTEM;

BEING

THE MOST DIRECT,

THE STRAIGHT LINE METHOD

FOR THE

SIMULTANEOUS FOURFOLD MASTERY

OF A

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

TEACHING SIMULTANEOUSLY TO

SPEAK, UNDERSTAND, READ, AND WRITE,

BY

A Linguist of nearly 40 years standing, and nearly 20 years resident abroad.

BRADFORD: THOS. BROWN, PRINTER, 311, MANCHESTER ROAD. 1895.

Respecting the time required to learn a language , the writer ventures to recommend the way he himself took when a boy to solve this question . Having made choice of a known grammar , the exercises of which promise a satisfactory degree of proficiency , let the student affix to each and all of the lessons at the outset , the dates when they are to be done and observe them . Some weeks a little perseverance and determination may be necessary , but let him be inflexible with himself , curtail his indulgences if required and his task will be done with ease .

Subsequent studies are pleasant and easy .

Some time ago, a Mr. Wm. Rodger came down from Glasgow for the purpose of showing how foreign languages should be taught. He brought on a gentleman, a clergyman from Leeds, who had gone through Otto’s German Grammar without being able either to speak or understand German; this gentleman was able to bear testimony to the merit of Mr. Rodger’s system because by it he had learnt to do both. Of course his testimony rested on one assumption. It assumed that having gone through Otto’s Grammar all learnt from it had been forgotten, and that the whole merit of his success was due to Mr. Rodger’s method.

Mr. Rodger was of opinion, that foreign languages should be learnt as a child learns its mother tongue. It seemed to me a strange use to make of the reason and intelligence of the adult, to cast it aside as useless and to ask the youth and man to become a child again. It appeared to me the most wasteful of methods. Is language a science, and if so, what would be thought of a similar proposal for acquiring any other science? But are the cases parallel? Is there any similarity of circumstance? Can the youth and man again place themselves in the circumstances of the child?

The child is constantly hearing the language spoken, everyone around it is teaching it to speak, everything around it stimulates it to do so. Nearly everything it learns, comes to it through its mother tongue; at play it hears, it speaks. At five years of age it begins to go to school, and from that time until its fourteenth or sixteenth year, whatever else it studies, it must study its mother tongue. All other knowledge reaches it through this medium. Every other study compels the study and practice of its mother tongue and allowing ten hours per day for sleep, by the time it is fourteen years of age seventy one thousand six hundred hours have been spent in such study and practice.

Let us take the case of the youth or man who commences the study of a foreign language. He has found that a foreign language will be of use to him or has become necessary to him in his work. He begins to study it and takes the usual one lesson per week of one hour’s duration. In a year he has spent fifty hours with the teacher; if he devoted two or three hours weekly to the preparation of each lesson, he will have spent 150 to 200 hours per annum upon it, or, less absences and omissions, perhaps 140 or 180 hours upon its study... Continue reading book >>




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