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Journal of Education.—"Mr. Siepmann says in his preface that the present volume is an attempt to apply the principles of the Neuere Richtung to the teaching of German in public schools, as far as this is feasible under existing circumstances. The attempt is successful, and we have hero a book which, in the hands of a competent teacher, will prove a most satisfactory introduction to German.
“The Primer contains several novel features. Most important, perhaps, is the arrangement by which reader, grammar, and exercises are all in one, and closely dependent on each other, though each is assigned a separate part of the book. First, there is the reader: a series of extracts, many of them written for the special purpose of leading up to some section of the grammar, which is, in the first place, to be deduced from the text. It may be noted in passing that Mr. Siepmann has shown great skill in writing these pieces, and that they are by no means as artificial as one might expect. At the end of each Lesestück are a number of questions which the pupils are to answer from the text; this will be found to encourage them in the colloquial use of the language. The grammar is clearly expressed. As a rule, the left-hand page contains the paradigms, &c., and remarks suggested by them are given on the opposite page. The pupil is not confused by long lists of exceptions : Mr. Siepmann has rightly considered it more important to dwell on leading principles and rules. The third section consists of exercises. Most of these are in three parts, drill (bearing on the section of the grammar which has been learnt), detached sentences (based on the reader), and a reproduction' (an English paraphrase of the Lesestück). The translation into German is to be done viva voce in form before being written as part of the home work.
"Mr. Siepmann has had the happy thought of giving a complete duplicate set of passages for reading, and of corresponding exercises. This will give a little variety to the teacher, and be very useful in the case of pupils who, through illness or idleness, have not been moved up.
“We recommend this book very warmly, as boing, indeed, the first attempt to introduce in our public schools some of the more important results arrived at by the German reformers in modern language teaching. The ‘Parallel Grammar Series' embodies some of these ; but the idea that all languages, whether dead or living, can best be learnt according to one particular scheme is by no means beyond dispute. It is, further, an undoubted advantage to have the three sections united in one book, and the same vocabulary serving for them all.
“ This book is well printed, the German type being large and clear ; the proofs have been read with care, and the new orthography is carried through We have noticed very few slips, and those of slight importance."
School Board Chronicle.—“Mr. Siepmann's Primer has qualities which lead us to commend it with emphasis to the attention of class teachers of German Without rushing to any extreme, the author has produced what we think will commend itself to experienced and openminded teachers as a very practical and attractive modification of methods that are becoming antiquated, and one uniting in a very large
degree the force of imitation, with those of reasoning and of memory. It is well enough, no doubt, to speak of learning a foreign language as one learns the mother tongue. But, as Mr. Siepmann very reasonably points out, the English student of German is generally something more than a little child when he begins his task. At fourteen or fifteen years of age and upwards there are other faculties than those of imitation which can be brought to bear. The aim of this · Primer,' as the author, with studied moderation, terms it, appears to be to unite all the available faculties of the mind in obtaining a knowledge of the language, which shall be serviceable at an early stage, and at the same time sound and capable of progressive improvement. The work is in three parts. But these are wholly interdependent, and the progress made in each is simultaneous.
"The Reader is the nucleus of the book. It is intended to form an introduction to the German language for boys or girls of about fourteen, and aims at gradually evolving the more elementary points of accidence and those rules of syntax which are indispensable even to beginners. The Grammar collects and systematises the phenomena of accidence and syntax so evolved. The Exercises apply to what has been learnt in the Reader and in the Grammar. This is done partly by Drill in accidence, partly in the shape of separate sentences. But as a language is acquired not merely by a process of logical reasoning but also by imitation, a continuous passage has been added to each exercise, with the object of developing what is called in German ‘Sprachgefuhl.'
“That is the author's own statement of the plan, in general, of the work. Its purpose as a Primer is, however, served very appreciably also by the introductory section on German sounds, letters, characters, and other primary elements. Quite of a piece with the careful and practical character of the whole, are the interesting and useful explanations of the preface, which may be regarded as addressed primarily to teachers, but also to practical educationists at large. The points which the author has held chiefly in mind, in building up this elementary course, are summed up into five. These are41) The close interdependence of Grammar, Reader, and Exercises ; (2) The inductive method of working up from example to rule before formulating the rules themselves, and descending again from rule to example; (3) The comparatively elementary character of the Grammar, and the comparatively advanced character of the Reader, as contrasted with most school books now in use ; (4) The attention paid to pronunciation, and the endeavour to treat German as a spoken language, without reducing it to a mere vehicle of light conversation ; (5) The dual system on which the passages in the Reader have been arranged, so that a boy may remain more than one term in a form or set without having to re-tread his steps. Not less for the purposes of Evening Continuation Schools and the higher standards of Elementary Schools, than for the Public Schools which the author had especially in mind, is such a work of practical interest at the present time.”
Education.—“Mr. Siepmann's German Primer deserves more than a passing notice. It is a deliberate attempt to introduce into English schools, as far as possible, the principles of the Neuere Richtung, which have on the Continent revolutionised the teaching of modern languages. Type, arrangement, and references are all good and accurate. We have tested them in several ways. This is the only complete book on the new system that we have seen, and we hope its publication will do much to make the early study of the German language more thorough.”
The Modern Language T'eachers' Guide.—“Every page of this book shows unmistakably that it is the work of a singularly able practical teacher. It is the only book for public school use which consistently carries out the principles of the new method. It will undoubtedly achieve very great success.
Educational News.—"The assistant master at Clifton College has not only formed a satisfactory Lehrplan, but has made it possible to carry out his plan practically and livingly. The vocabulary is not a mere lexicon of words and their synonyms. The words are annotated where requisite with historical, geographical, as well as linguistic explana. tions. This single, useful, and wisely-arranged book contains all that is required for an average school year.”
School Guardian.—"The system suggested in the above volume is eminently practical. The book is clear and well arranged, and any teacher who follows Mr. Siepmann's advice should experience no difficulty in giving his pupils a thoroughly sound and practical knowledge of German."
Schoolmaster.—“Mr. Siepmann's book is a useful combination of Reader, Grammar and Exercises. The Reading Lessons begin with very simple sentences and by careful graduation arrive at fairly difficult passages in prose and verse.'
Phonetic Journal.-" The plan of duplicating each lesson, for the benefit of dullards who need to be taken twice over the same ground without being nauseated by the same old material, is excellent.
“The Grammar, which covers the usual ground, is much more helpful than most grammars in the matter of declensions."
Western Daily Press.—“Mr. Siepmann's Primer is constructed on different lines to the Primers generally in use and will arouse genuine interest.
“The Reader contains simple, but intelligent sentences, short and easy stories, etc., and poetry. The Grammar is concise, and the points to be specially remembered are lucidly explained. In the Exercises the pupil will find not only scope to exercise his knowledge of the language, but much information of a useful kind."
Scotsman.-—“It is a thoroughgoing work. It has a good 'Reader' Grammar, Exercises, and Vocabularies, thus being complete in itself."
Glasgow Herald.—"The system is undoubtedly a good one, it has been carefully worked out, and ought to produce good results."
Oxford Magazine.—“The appearance of this book marks an epoch in the study of modern languages in England. It represents the first serious attempt to introduce into this country, in a form likely to be acceptable, the principles of the Marburg School, whose influence on the continent has been so far-reaching. The author's aim is 'to treat
the language as a living thing and at the same time draw from it some mental discipline and general outline, to impart ease in pronunciation and speech without degrading instruction to lessons in small talk and conversation.' The Primer is divided into three parts—Reader, Grammar, and Exercises—and these divisions stand in close intor. dependence with a coincident vocabulary. Practice precedes abstract rules. On a passage of the Reader are based conversation, grammar, and exercises, and endless variation suggests itself to a competent teacher. We fear, however, that the Englishman who hears a German lesson' and deems that to be instruction in the German tongue, will curse Vietor, Bréal, Siepmann, and all their works.
“ We have here a rational method. The adoption of this system would speedily effect an incredible change in the attainments of the British schoolboy, and aid in the solution of the problem which is constantly forced upon our attention, viz., how to induce the young hopeful to learn something of and in a foreign language.
. We hope that a second year's Course will soon be published.” Educational Review.—“As regards the grammar we heartily agree with Mr. Siepmann's statement that most German Courses are overcrowded with rules ; he, himself, has avoided the mistake, though dealing fully with essentials.
“ The Primer seems highly practical, and is carefully worked out.”
Saturday Review.--"Mr. Otto Siepmann has skilfully combined a scientific and educational grammar (not mere reference tables) with a German ‘Reader.' To this ' Reader’are appended English exercises, to be used chiefly for the reproduction of German sentences which have previously been read in the ' Reader'-a highly commendable method, because à boy's mind is thus saturated with the form of German sentences before be is set to translate English sentences into German. Another point in Mr. Siepmann's method strikes us as worthy of imitation-namely, his oral drill. At the end of every passage in the * Reader' he prints a set of German questions to be answered in the full German sentences which can be constructed from the passage just studied. This is the way to the tongue, for the ear, make the language live, and lead boys as much as possible into the habit of thinking in German. Moreover, the constant repetition of sentences is better than the learning of unapplied grammar.
Athenæum. —“Mr. Siepmann's Public School German Primer is an excellent book. The Reader is rightly made the chief feature of the work; the Grammar is intended to explain the passages included in the Reader; and the Exercises are designed to afford practice in the knowledge acquired in the Grammar. The system is sound and has been carefully carried out."
Guardian.—"This Primer consists of three parts—Reader, Grammar, and Exercises-all of which are interdependent. Thus, the Reader aims at evolving the elementary points of accidence and rules of syntax, the Grammar collects and systematises the ‘phenomena’of accidence and syntax so evolved, whilst the Exercises apply what has been learnt in the Reader and in the Grammar. This part of the work seems to us admirably carried out, and the pieces selected for the Reader are
particularly well chosen for their purpose. Mr. Siepmann lays great stress upon reading aloud and pronunciation, and has prefaced the book with quite an elaborate series of examples of letters and sounds, with directions how they should and also how they should not be pronounced. This chapter should be of great use to an English teacher of German.”
Daily Chronicle. -“ Englishmen before Coleridge and Carlyle bothered their heads but very little with the language of Lessing and Goethe ; but now they are endeavouring to make up for their past indifference to this language, which is taught in most of our schools. The Germans themselves are great hands as well as at the learning as at the teaching of tongues, and this Grammar of Mr. Siepmann aims at enabling his pupils to do more than 'bandy light prattle deftly at a railway station or a dinner-table.' His Reader,' which forms the nucleus of the book, ' is intended to form an introduction to the German language for boys or girls of about fourteen,' and aims at gradually evolving the more elementary points of accidence which are indispensable even to beginners. The Grammar collects and systematises the phenomena of accidence and syntax so evolved.'
Secondary Education.—“There are various points about this book which seem likely to be useful in the hands of a good teacher. It is a simple thing to write an easy Grammar, one that shall be popular with careless and lazy pupils. It is far more difficult to write a text-book that shall be properly graduated, and present a requisite amount of resistance to the pupil as he proceeds with his studies. The work before us is scarcely intended for very young pupils, but it would be useful to those who begin to study about the age of thirteen or so.
University Correspondent. —"This seems to be a very clear and careful grammar well adapted for use in schools. The first part, or reader,' is well selected and graduated. The arrangement of the grammatical section is good. Besides the exercises there are easy pieces of continuous prose for translation into German.”
The Modern Language Quarterly.—“It contains a reader, grammar, and writer, the exercises in the reader and writer being in duplicate, só that boys who are not moved up to a higher form need not necessarily be taken over familiar ground again. The system of the book is satisfactory, and a careful examination of it leads us to believe that pupils should be able to attain a sound knowledge of the elements of German within a year or so, if the teacher follows out the instructions of Mr. Siepmann. Reading, writing, speaking form part of each lesson, and every extract for translation or retranslation is illustrative of some part of the grammar of the language.
“ The extracts for translation into English are carefully graduated, and lead up to some pieces from standard authors, such as Lessing and Heine. The grammar is complete in itself. Beginners will derive their grammatical training from it, and it is, therefore, important that in method and arrangement it should reach a high standard of excellence. We may say at once that we should find it hard to instance another outline of German Grammar of equal merit.
“ We recommend the book to the attention of Teachers of Modern Languages, who have not yet become acquainted with it.”