Excerpt from A Manual of the German Language
The best method of learning a foreign language is that by which we learned our own mother tongue. The principle may be expressed in three words: Practice before Theory.
An American child speaks English long before it becom... es acquainted with the principles of the English language or knows as much as the meaning of the word grammar, and language forms at first no more the subject of theoretical instruction than eating or walking.
In the same natural way an American, a child or a grown person, may acquire a foreign language. We no longer commence by teaching grammatical forms before we use them in practice, but we transform the class-room into a scene of practical life, and by the aid of objects and pictures we pass through its different phases as if we were actually living in the country whose language we wish to learn. Reading and writing must, of course, accompany the oral exercises.
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