|List of Illustrations||vii|
|Introduction by Yuzuru Katagiri||ix|
|The Chinese Renaissance||3|
|Chinese Personal Nomenclature :||15|
|Bentham's Theory of Fictions||21|
|Preface to a Dictionary|
|Basic English and Its Applications|
|Six Sides of a Word :||75|
|Introduction to Semantics||81|
|Basic English in the Teaching of Reading||86|
|Basic English : The Forerunner||93|
|From Teacher's Guide for Learning the English Language|
|The Plan of the Course||131|
|Details of Teaching Procedure||141|
|Responsibilities in the Teaching of English||161|
|English Language Teaching Films and Their Use in Teacher Training||174|
|The Eye and the Ear||182|
|Notes on the Use of "Language Through Pictures"||189|
|Learning to Read||207|
|Mechanical aids in Language Teaching||216|
|Design and Control in Language Teaching||224|
|From Criticism to Education||227|
|Why Generative Grammar Does Not Help||242|
|C.K. Ogden's Opposition||256|
|Design for Escape||260|
|The Future of Reading||286|
|Every Man's English||344|
|Examples of Basic Restatements||368|
|English Through Pictures Lesson Outline||373|
|Basic English Word List||398|
|Specialized Quotation Marks||400|
|LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS|
|. . . (more) . . .|
In the course of the composition of this book I have incurred many debts.
. . . (more) . . .
I.A. Richards (1893-1979) was one of the greatest teachers of literature, the air of language, in the 20th Century. In the 1920s and 1930s, he was noted for his books, Principles of Literary Criticism (1924), Science and Poetry (1926), Practical Criticism (1929) ad Coleridge on Imagination (1934), and was seen as the guide of the new writers.
The Meaning of Means (1923), which he did with C. K. Ogden, is taken to be one of the most important early works in semantics, the science of signs. Out of the process of writing this book came the idea of Basic English, a limited form of English which made it possible to say almost anything with 850 words. Making use of Basic English, Richards did a great amount of work in teaching English as a second language at Harvard University between the years 1939 and 1973.
At one time there were more copies of his English Through Pictures (first named The Pocket Book of basic English, 1945) than any other book but the Bible. But Richards' work in this field seems to be undervalued by those whose mother tongue is English. It is impossible for fish to see the water, and, in the same way, the value of Basic English is very hard to see for those who have English as their natural language. Now it is our turn to say what important work Richards did in the field of teaching English as an international language, because we, the users of English as a second language, see English from a very different angle.
As one of those who got so much out of the teaching materials from Richards' Language research and Ogden's Orthological Institute. I have the idea that I am responsible for getting those who are interested in language to see the value of this work as a teacher of English as a second language.
In this book, I am putting together some of Richards' papers on teaching the English language. About half of the writings here have never been printed in book form. some others are from books which are now out of print. The others are from Language Research materials int he process of development, and are printed here for the first time. They are so important in the history of language teaching, but this is not common knowledge. something has to be done. In order to give help to serious teachers at schools, numbers of examples and detailed suggestions are offered, though they may seem uninteresting to outsiders. By taking into account the need of teachers, and the interest of the theory and history of language education, this book became 400 pages long.
Though I have great respect for Ann Berthoff's selection of Richards' writing, Richards on Rhetoric(Oxford University Press, 1991), the organization of my book is the opposite of hers. to make Richards' points clear, she took away what seemed to give unnecessary trouble to the reader. But I have kept everything as it was put down on paper by Richards. The reader will see that Richards said the same things over and over again, but, as a writer myself, it seems to me that taking words out may do some damage to his special way of saying things.
In this book, I have put Richards' works in four parts, starting with an account of his experience in China in 1930, and ending with his ideas of "Every Man's English", a development from Basic English. Part I is made from papers done in the years 1930-39, before he went to the United States. Part II is to do the years 1940-45, with Learning the English Language, (LEL, 1942-5) as the most important fruit of these years. Part III is to do with the making of English Through Pictures (EP, 1945), and its relations with language teaching films. Part IV is the work of his later years, 1966-74.
In the opening page of The Philosophy of Rhetoric (1936), Richards says that he kept that book very near to the words as they were given in a talk at Bryn Mawr college in 1936. . . . (more) . . .
Almost no other man of letters or teachers of language took . . . (more) . . .
In The Philosophy of Rhetoric Richards say that metaphor, . . . (more) . . .
Richards' hope of teaching Basic English in all Chinese middle schools . . . (more) . . .
When the Germans were attacking England in 1939, Richards had the idea of teaching mountain fighting . . .(more) . . . the three books of Learning the English Language (LEL, 1942-43). Some things about these books are surprising. The teaching of the question form, for example, comes as late as Book Two, when the word order of the statement form is firmly fixed in the learner's mind. For ten years in Canada, the use of LEL, was publicly supported for teaching English to newcomers from other countries.
In war time it was necessary for the teaching of English to be done in groups of great size, sometimes 100, sometimes 500, the greatest number being 1000 Chinese seamen at Miami in 1945. Together with the use of films for this purpose, the Pocket book of Basic English was produced in 1945. Later its name was changed to English Through Pictures (EP). At first this book was designed as a self-help book to be used with the films. It is different from LEL in that the three time-forms of verbs, present, future and past, come in at the same time, and the question form comes much earlier, while in the LEL, these are teaching points to be given in Book Two. Richards said that EP was a development out of the Basic English teaching films. His idea of using "film-strips" and tape-recorders together to make teaching simpler in schoolrooms was later taken up at CREDIF in the development of their teaching materials which are highly valued as a "breakthrough in language teaching technology". Basic English seems to have a strong effect on the selection of words in Le Francais Fondamental, which was the base of CREDIF material.
In 1950 Language Research, Inc. was formed to make teaching materials, and do the business side of things. Christine Gibson became the first President. Based on EP, other "Language through Pictures" books came out : French and Spanish in 1950, German in 1953, Hebrew in 1954, Italian in 1955, and Russian in 1961. More than 3 million copies of "Through Pictures" books were printed by Pocket Books, and about 20,000 copies are still on the market every year all over the earth.
French through Television was given the Ohio State Award for. . . (more) . . .
In 1961 a group of sixty Israeli teacher of English were trained in the "Graded Direct Method" using EP, and comparisons were made with other ways of teaching English by Professor Morris Eson from the Psychology Department, State University of New York at Albany. He made observation of the groups learning in the Graded Direct Method and of "control" groups who were learning in other ways of teaching. His opinion was that learners with EP got used to the sounds of English while almost half the learners in the control group did not, that learners with EP were using two times more words in talking, and in more complex forms and with less errors than the control learners, and that these facts were "statistically significant".
In the Delmar Project (1958-65) some first year learners near Albany,. . . (more) . . .
In his later years, Richards became more interested in teaching the start of reading. In the first pages of First Steps in Reading English (1957) only seven letters of the alphabet, a, h, i, m, n, s, and t were used, making simple statements like : "That is a man. This is his hat." Their senses were clearly seen in the pictures on the same pages. Then other letters were given one by one until all the twenty-six letters were learned in 149 pages. . . . (more) . . .
Richards is different from other language teachers in that he sees the greatest driving power for learning to be the learner's own self-rewarding sense of his or her increasing power and knowledge. This comes when the learner is conscious of how he or she has been learning, and makes use of what was learned as an instrument for going farther. This process is name by Richards "feed-forward" and is an important idea in EP2 (1958), where the number of words used is increased from the five hundred words of EP1 to one thousand. The writing of EP2 itself gave Richards a great sense of reward for the hard times he had since he got gripped by the idea of "sequencing", "of putting a before b before c . . .", in Tientsin in 1938 (letter to D.E.Richards, 12 Oct 1956). In his talk with B.A. Boucher and J.P. Russo in 1968, he says that his "program would be for (1) teaching English very, very soothly and easily and (2) at the earliest possible point, not teaching it as English, but teaching it as the necessary vehicle of modern world view !" Maybe Richards' desire to make use of language teaching as a way of teaching thought is what makes the narrow "experts" of the schoolroom away from his work.
In learning English as a second language, I have been greatly helped by Basic English. This writing itself is in Basic English.
Kyoto, February 1993
The texts of these essays have been reproduced almost exactly as found in the originals, so the book contains a mixture of American and English spellings, depending on the place of publication. Richards was himself inconsistent about such things and there seemed no good reason to give a uniformly British or American appearance to a book published in Japan. Obviously typographical error have been corrected, and any that you may find are our responsibility.
Our aim in choosing pieces for this gathering has been to represent Richards as a live force in language teaching today, and we therefore much regret that Yuzuru Katagiri was unable to see specimens of Richards' seminal "English Through Television" before the selection of material for this volume was completed. The book would doubtless have turned out rather differently had he done so. As it is, he is now planning a further collection of writings, Richards on Television.