Answer/Quote: “The most important question, and probably the most difficult one, that a teacher of English faces is, simply, ‘What is English?’ The question is important because in its answer lies the beginning of a philosophy or theory of teaching English that can suggest methods, assist in the selection of literary works to be studied, determine where emphases should be placed in the curriculum, and generally help bring order to the seeming chaos of all of the things that could possibly be considered English. A textbook on English methods should be the starting place for a teacher’s career-long search for the answer, and, in my way of thinking, the quality and usefulness of a methods text depend in large measure on how well the book presents a coherent answer to the question and on the extent to which the teaching techniques suggested in the book reflect a consistent attempt to put the answer into practice.” P. 66.
Comment: What is English? Reading; composition, including writing and various media; grammar as a way of producing smooth, clear and correct English that does not distract the reader; speaking—formal speech, communication in small groups, debate, drama activities and interviewing; vocabulary; spelling; teaching English as a second language.
Methods for teaching English include the directed reading assignment, ten-minute essays and independent study (research). Would my readers care to make additions to my list? RayS.
Title: “English, How To.” Ed. Charles Suhor. Book reviewed by Edward Deluzain. English Journal (December 1976), 66—70.