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unless strongly appealed to when each combination was held up. This lapsing, moreover, occurred in schools where the spelling had been taught almost wholly by appealing to the eye. So strong a tendency as this is significant and suggests that it be turned to use in learning to spell; not that it be repressed, thus making, I believe, additional difficulties not only for the pupil, but also for the teacher.

Spelling is a very arbitrary matter, and yields to but slight extent to the logical and causal helps which are employed in teaching other subjects. Motor elements, it is well known, are important elements in association, and with so arbitrary a subject as English spelling, every aid in strengthening the association should be employed. From the experiments made, and the verification of the conclusions in actual school application, I am convinced that the motor apparatus used in speech should be employed, to a large extent, in teaching spelling. All preparation of words to be written should be oral preparation, and very careful preparation at that; particularly in the second, third, fourth, and fifth school years. Writing should be the final test, but only after careful preparation orally. And in that preparation the letters should be grouped into syllables, and the syllables pronounced according to the method of a generation ago. The poor results, now so common in spelling, would thereby be greatly bettered. In the end, time would be gained, and the pupil rendered better to help himself.

The method of leading the pupil to grasp the word as a whole through the eye has made confused spellers of large numbers of children. With some, however, it has produced excellent results. The tests show, that in the employment of this method many children seize the first and the last letters of the word, but leave out some of the middle letters or mix them. The naming of the three, four, or five letters, as the case may be, that constitute a syllable, and then attaching a name to these grouped letters, thus binding them into a small unity, aids the pupil to a remarkable degree in remembering the combination. And the putting of these small unities together into the larger word-unity gives the pupil a synthetic power to this end, and makes his progress more rapid and easy on the long road he must traverse in learning to spell. There is very little, if any, value in oral spelling which consists in naming one letter after another throughout the word; as, for instance, super

intendent. The very demand in such practice inherently presupposes that the child can visualize the word. Such practice, therefore, affords little aid in strengthening the association of letters. "Shall we turn the hands back on the pedagogical clock?" it will be asked. Yes, if the hands have got ahead, and have been keeping false time.

It is surely a wonder that we have so long, so diligently and so unsuccessfully tried to repress the use of the lips, and have never thought to ask if it has any significance. Have we not been making the mistake here that we have made in so much of our teaching and discipline-inhibiting the motor activities, where we might regulate them, direct them to useful ends, and making them one of our strongest aids? Dr. F. Tracy, in his excellent work the Psychology of Childhood," says:

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"A very interesting question in this connection (memory in children) is this: Which of the senses furnishes the most vivid and lasting memory-images? The first impulse would probably be to attribute the preeminence to sight, but in so doing we might make a mistake. It is probable, as M. Queyrat seems to think, that the muscular sense is of paramount importance here. Children are full of aetion, and their psychic life is bound up with movement. If they are to develop they must do something, and they remember what they do a thousand times better than what is told or shown to them. This is also true of adult life. Many persons study out loud. We remember what we write better than what we simply read. Pedagogy is now recognizing this as a great principle in education, and the whole kindergarten system is based upon it."*

A complete analysis of the powers employed in learning to spell would, I think, be (1) the eye, (2) the ear, (3) the speech apparatus, and (4) the muscular resistance of writing. The eye visualizes the general form of the word and the individual letters in their order, the ear also retains the succession of letters and forms, the sound image the voice and writing associate the mental image with muscular movement. It is necessary to establish not only an eye or ear image but a muscle image as well. It is here that we have the real argument for written spelling. The reason why pupils who are good oral spellers fail in the writing

*The Psychology of Childhood, p. 68.)

test is not that the ear is at fault but that the association of the letters with the muscular movement of writing has not been made. Spelling must be committed not only to the eye or ear but to the hand. "Let any one watch himself in writing slowly, and he will perceive that the words flow from the pen under the suggestive influence of a series of mental images. He will either hear the words mentally recited, or he will see them mentally in print or writing. Let him write more rapidly, and these images fade to mere suggestions of themselves, yet some clew remains, by means of which an automatic series of muscle memories is aroused, and the hand is guided in the correct motion. Knowing that the muscle images are linked to eye and ear images, we trace the maintenance of the sense images to physiological retentiveness, and their origin to the act of perception; while we find the results of this act determined by the way in which the attention is directed and by the conditions of sensation."

Even if English ortography were purely phonetic, mistakes in writing would still occur if continued practice were not given. Nor would, in this case, the argument for sight spelling entirely disappear. The eye would be subordinate to the ear, but visualization would still be a very important aid.

Oral spelling as a final test of preparation may be of little value, but as a means of learning it should not, I am convinced, be neglected, especially with young children. Oral spelling gives life and movement to a subject of little inherent interest, and in such a difficult matter as English ortography the strongest possible complication of sensory elements" should be produced. Place yourself, as far as possible, in the position of the child. For you no combination of letters that spell a word is quite unfamiliar. Have a nonsense series of letters placed before you and observe yourself as you commit them to memory. You have learned to inhibit the motion of the lips, but do you not, unless you make an effort to check yourself, silently repeat, probably with slight motion of the head or tongue, the series? Even if you are sure you simply visualize, the question still remains, Is not pure visualization, like the inhibition


Miss Wyckhoff, Constitutional Bad Spellers, Pedagogical Seminary, vol. II,



of the motor, as, indeed, conditioned thereby, a power of the mature mind rather than of the child's? And if it be said that studying aloud is a bad habit, the reply is that education is progressive in the matter of motor inhibition as in everything else. Pupils in the higher grades may well be required to study silently. The forms of words have become familiar to them, their mental grasp has enlarged, the motor has become subordinate to the reflective. Indeed thought may be regarded as in a sense repressed muscle-action.

I have for some time been collecting and attempting to classify pupils' mistakes, my aim being to make myself familiar with the difficulties children experience, and also to discover, if possible, to what cause these mistakes might be attributed, and what, if any, remedy they suggested. The following groups are selected as the most suggestive :(1) Fisition (physician) flem, buro, nabour.

(2) Skolars, peaseful; docter, seperate; plesant, parliment; ballance, emmigrant, excelent, oportunity; fascade, exspatiale. (3) Examation, profiency, threating; prodiagious, prosodody.

(4) Slodier, fruniture, phropet, smoe (some), panio (piano). (5) Decieve, beleive; conceed, excede; bundel, brakefast. Group (1) represents a class of words in which the sound is of little help. As between sight and sound these are preeminently eye-words. Group (2) represents a class of words which contain only one or two unnatural letters. Here again the sound cannot be followed. A strong visual impression of the unphonetic parts needs to be made. The mistakes of group (3) clearly suggest syllabication. They represent a large class of words which are difficult to visualize, because of their length, but which are easily spelled with the aid of syllabication and sound.

My attention was first drawn to this error by a pupil who almost invariably committed it. I found that he had good powers of visualization, but was very defective in soundimaging. He was a stumbling reader. He had little idea of taking a word in parts and following the sound, and his powers of visualization did not seem equal to grasping the whole word. Dull in syllabication and sound greatly helped him. Mr. T. L. Bolton, in a study of the growth of memory in school children, which he made by dictating

number series, found that the memory span is strictly limited, the limit for pupils în the Public Schools being six. Some tests of my own, with nonsense combinations of letters exposed for a moment to the eye, indicate that the visual span is quite as limited as the auditory. Nine letters seemed to be the maximum number which pupils in the High School grades could span, when urged not to group. Nor does it necessarily follow, as Miss Wyckoff's tests seemed to show, that those who have the best visual grasp are the best spellers, but rather those who individualize the letters, take them in groups, recognize and pigeon-hole the fact that certain letters spell a word.

The errors of group (4) consist in a transposition of the order of letters. This transposition may occur when a word is quite well known for the reason that in writing the attention runs ahead of the hand. The fourth or fifth letter may be present in mind when the second or third is about to be written and may be put in its place. Then the omitted letter is recalled and is put in the wrong place. But these errors are probably due more frequently to defective mental image. How does this transposition of order occur? The explanation seems to be that the eye, in looking at a word, is not confined to one order, but may pass both backwards and forwards. It should, therefore, be carefully checked by the ear. It may be said that the pupil inevitably follows the sound, silently pronouncing the word as he spells, but this is by no means certain. This habit cannot be left to chance. The fact that so many pupils in our schools to-day have so little idea of aiding themselves by sound can only be attributed to the theory that spelling should be learned by sight and transcription and tested only in writing.

The errors of group (5) resemble those of group (4) in that they consist in a transposition of order; they differ in that the pronunciation is unchanged. They seem at first. sight to be clearly the fault of the eye, but on closer examination this is by no means certain. They are probably due to an overlapping of visual images. The words have been seen in juxtaposition and confusion has arisen. The retina is like a photographic plate, and if a number of objects, differing only slightly in details, is presented in succession, the result is a blurred image or a composite photograph. Once this confusion has arisen it is very difficult

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