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ORAL READING &
PUBLIC SPEAKING

BY

JOHN R. PELSMA, PH.M.
Professor of Public Speaking, Oklahoma A. & M. College

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PREFACE

This book is a fundamental treatise covering the whole field of oral expression except dramatics. It is intended as a text-book for high schools, academies, normal schools, and also for elementary college courses. The entire manuscript was completed four years ago. Most of it has stood the class room test for twelve years. Part I deals with oral reading and the technique of expression, Part II treats of the various forms of public speaking, and Part III contains selections for reading and speaking. The text is complete in itself; no supplementary books need be purchased by the student. The book will thus prove invaluable to teachers who do not have access to a large public speaking library.

There is a growing conviction on the part of educators that in most of the preparatory schools our methods of teaching English need revision, and that in all the schools the class-work in English needs vitalizing; that since we speak hundreds of times where we write once, relatively more attention should be given to oral English than has been the case in the past two decades.

In 1913 the Illinois Teachers' Association carried on an experiment which proved that classes in English devoting an hour a week to oral expression were, at the end of the year, not only more proficient in writing English than the parallel classes devoting all their time to written composition, but at the same time acquired the ability to speak effectively before an audience.

To meet this need the present volume has been prepared. It is intended not alone for teachers who are conducting separate classes in public speaking, but for all teachers of English. When used as a text in connection with the regu

lar class-work in English, all parts of the book would not necessarily be used by a single teacher with a particular class; but since the text is a complete treatise, teachers may use it for all the work in oral English that should be incorporated in the regular four years of a high school course in English. The best results are secured when the technique in Part I is assigned simultaneously with the practical speaking as outlined in Part II. When students make extempore speeches they more readily appreciate the value of the drill in technique. When the book is used with separate classes in oral expression, the whole text would naturally be covered in one semester or in a whole year's course.

The author feels very grateful to the many publishers and authors who have so generously given permission to use selections and quotations from their productions. Special acknowledgment is due Houghton, Mifflin Co. (Longfellow, Whittier, Lowell, Emerson, Holmes, Hay, Coolbrith, Taylor, Thaxter); Charles Scribner's Sons (Lanier, Field, Stevenson, Holland); D. Appleton & Co. (Bryant, Halleck); P. J. Kennedy & Co. (Ryan); Whitaker & Ray-Wiggin Co. (Miller); W. B. Conkley Co. (Wilcox); Mitchell Kennerley (Whitman); and Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co. (Foss).

The author also wishes to express his indebtedness to the many excellent books on public speaking now on the market; to Professor E. D. Shurter for his valuable criticism; to his worthy instructors, including Professors H. B. Gough of DePauw, S. S. Curry, School of Expression, S. H. Clark and F. M. Blanchard of Chicago, I. L. Winter of Harvard, and Miss G. E. Johnson of Wisconsin; to his many interesting students for valuable suggestions, and to his wife for her encouragement and assistance.

J. R. P.

Stillwater, Oklahoma,
February 1, 1918.

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