eBook: Speaking and Writing English
"A Course of Study for the Eight Grades of the Elementary School, with Practical Suggestions for Teaching Composition and a Full Set of Composition Standards"
eBook online at: http://www.archive.org/ details/speaking writinge00sher and at google books at: http://books.google.com /books?id=avkAAAAAYAAJ
I've made several references from the ebook "Speaking and Writing English". The book was first published in the year 1915 and was written by the Superintendent of Schools in Lawrence Massachusetts, Bernard M. Sheridan. The title of the book "Speaking and Writing English" indicates that the book is also about speaking. The author bemoans the state of children's spoken English. He wants children to be able to talk well.
He also comments on the formalism in schools that kills composition.
"18. SPEAKING AND WRITING ENGLISH
The Topics in the left hand column might have been copied from a composition book of forty years ago when formalism ruled all school work, and when writing compositions was a question of "having to say something" instead of "having something to say." It was that sort of thing that killed composition then, and it will kill it now just as surely as it killed it then."
This is his checklist for "An effective course in oral composition should include the following essential things:"
- Much opportunity for free self-expression.
- Constant attention to matters of voice, enunciation, pronunciation, and inflection.
- The training of children, by constant practice, to compose oral paragraphs upon simple themes, and the development, through these, of some elementary skill in selecting, arranging, and expressing their ideas.
- Unremitting efforts in all grades to eliminate the common errors of speech.
Go to one of the links above if you want to see the book. Both links allow you to download the book free. I printed the google version of the book because it has the best black and white version.