This is from Watson's Speller, but many of the instructions here can apply to any program teaching reading and spelling.
CHEERFULNESS should characterize all the exercises of this book. Means fit, opportune, and ample, are supplied to encourage, direct, and satisfy the natural desire of youth to draw, write, and compose; and to train the eye, the band, the organs of speech, and the voice, in pronunciation and spelling. The lessons are consecutive, progressive, and sufficiently short, if wisely used, to avoid even the symptoms of weariness.
THE INTRODUCTION is not designed to be learned wholly by rote, nor for consecutive use. The instruction and the exercises at first should be chiefly oral; and a practical knowledge of the facts, from the body of the book, should precede or accompany the rules. Special suggestions for Drawing and Writing will be found on Pages 24 and 30.
IN CLASS RECITATION remember that telling is not training. And still as few pupils know how to study to advantage, give the necessary aid, daily in advance, and teach them how to instruct themselves. Many exercises may be made amusing, and all interesting. Pronounciation is the first exercise of spelling. Pupils who can write should copy the words of the lesson and pronounce and spell them from the copy: all others should read and spell the words from the book.
IN ORAL SPELLING, the teacher should pronounce the words correctly, without regard to their orthography; and pupils, in general, should merely name the letters of words, make a marked pause at the end of each syllable. and imitate the teacher in their pronunciation. Pupils who misspell words should be required to write them on the blackboard, as misspelled, and to correct them in writing, before the class. All should be trained daily in spelling by the powers of the letters, and in the use of diacritical marks.
DICTATION Reviews.--After pupils have pronounced, the words in the columns, and spelled them orally, they will read the corresponding Dictation Reviews with great care, thus testing their pronunciation and recalling their attention to the form of the words. The teacher will read the sentences slowly and distinctly, while the pupils write them. Blackboard exercises are preferred for class use. When slates are used, they may be expeditiously examined by requiring pupils to exchange, so that each one shall become the inspector of his neighbor's work, while the teacher spells the several words. A record of the words misspelled or mispronounced should be kept by the pupils, for reviews and special drill. Plain and inexpensive blank books, of good material and moderate size, are preferable for this purpose.
THE: LANGUAGE LESSONS add greatly to the interest and practical value of the speller. They are designed mainly for readings, oral instruction, and slate and blackboard work. Their success must depend chiefly upon the intelligence, tact, and enthusiasm of the teacher. Special suggestions accompany the exercises. Though the Appendix should be mastered at no distant day, at first it should be used only as needed in the daily lessons. The instructor should exercise a constant and wise supervision, encourage the pupils to do their own work, and only give the needed aid.
LET IT BE NOTED that pages 51, 53, 55, 57, and 59 should be used only for Reading Lessons, until pupils master the 20 pages of writing commencing on page 3I, when they also should be used for general
Exercises in Writing; that all columns of words should be read down; and that teaching the lessons generally in the exact order of the book will insure the most satisfactory results in systematic word training. Though adapted to precede "Watson's Complete Speller," and a fit introduction to all the higher spelling-books, this work is not simply a primary speller. It supplies a course of graded lessons in drawing and writing, and in English pronunciation, spelling, and composition, adequate for the brief schooling of the numerous youth who engage in business at an early age.