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At the same time that this slow-progress class was started, a more general experiment in segregation was attempted. All pupils who were failing at the end of last June in first, second, and third terms in French and Spanish were promoted to slow-progress classes and given one-half of the regular school credit. The examination upon which these promotions were based was not arranged to show a percentage grade. It was based on the syllabus for the three terms, so that all the pupils were rated against the same scale. Norms were worked out for each term to be used in making up the grades for the school records. Pupils promoted to slow classes were given passing grades marked with the letter "Z," which is our official designation for slow classes.
This procedure has rid the regular classes of the left-back problem. With the exception of one class, these slow pupils are prospering in the "Z" classes as they never have before. In one class the teacher attempted to ply the lash to his charges and has come to grief.
Whether or not we are ever able to do with tests of mental ability all the things that enthusiasts foresee remains to be discovered. Their reliability as a basis for the rough classification of our pupils has been amply proved, and it cannot be gainsaid that they have already had a remarkable effect upon teachers. They are analyzing their classes, giving attention to individual differences, and cultivating an entirely different and much more helpful attitude toward their students.
My own experience leads me to believe that the low I.Q.'s can profit from foreign language study. Few of them will become linguists, but that cannot be the chief aim of our work with such pupils. The psychologists tell us that a child is not only responding "focally" to the elements in the situation narrowly considered, but if the enterprise be sufficiently extended, he responds in addition "marginally" in many attendant ways. Ours is an extended enterprise. It touches life at many angles. The overtones are hard to measure and evaluate, but they must be taken into account in estimating the place our subject is to occupy in the curriculum.
If modern language study succeeds in getting scientifically reliable answers to a few of its very numerous problems, we shall see many things much more clearly than we do now. The future looks bright, or at least brighter, for we are beginning to deal with facts rather than opinions. Our cards are on the table.
CURTIS HIGH SCHOOL,
WILLIAM M. BARLOW
THE NINTH ANNUAL MEETING
Under the auspices of the Columbus Chapter, the ninth annual meeting of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish was held in the administration building of Ohio State University on December 28 and 29, 1925. Professor W. S. Hendrix, president of the Columbus Chapter, presided. Dean W. E. Henderson, of the College of Arts, Philosophy and Science, Ohio State University, welcomed the Association by an address in which he stressed certain facts relating to the teaching of Spanish.
All modern languages, he said, like other studies and arts difficult of attainment, were struggling against the present trend of the youthful mind. The youth of the day desires only those studies that are easy of accomplishment, with a large and immediate monetary return. Modern languages are not easy or speedy of accomplishment and they do not promise a large and immediate pecuniary reward. In this attitude of neglect for cultural values too many so-called scientific educators are abetting our youth.
Mr. W. M. Barlow, president of the Association, in his reply pointed out in detail some of the difficulties confronting high-school teachers. Especially noteworthy and difficult of solution are those problems arising from the entry into the high school of pupils from lower social strata than those which were formerly represented in the high school. Mr. Barlow's address will appear in full.
The next speaker, Professor J. P. W. Crawford, of the University of Pennsylvania, pleaded for wide co-operation in the modern language survey. Mr. Carleton Wheeler seconded his remarks and discussed a new questionnaire which will shortly be distributed.
Dr. A. W. Dunn, national director of the American Junior Red Cross, gave an informal account of what that organization is doing to further the exchange of correspondence and of school work between the schools of the United States and those of foreign countries. Dr. Dunn has promised to supply HISPANIA with an article on this topic.
Papers were read by various persons as follows: "Woman in Don Quixote," by Miss Edith Cameron, Robert Waller High School, Chicago; "Brogue-free Spanish Pronunciation," by Professor G. O. Russell, Ohio State University, Columbus; "Mexican Mementos," by George W. Shield, acting director of modern languages, Los An
geles; "An Interesting Episode in the Life of Sor Juana de la Cruz,” by Miss Dorothy Schons, University of Texas; "The Study of Spanish as an Aid to Better International Understanding," by Miss Maud Canniff, Scott High School, Toledo; "The Cleveland Plan of Teaching Modern Languages," by Miss Vesta E. Condon, East High School, Cleveland; "Mexican Character as Revealed in Their Literature," Miss Brita L. Horner, Dickenson High School, Jersey City. Many of these papers, if not all, will be printed in HISPANIA.
Professor Catherine L. Haymaker, of Adelphi College, Brooklyn, gave in Spanish an informal talk on the textiles produced by the natives of Guatemala, especially those used for women's apparel. Having brought with her several of these bright-colored and beautifully embroidered articles of clothing, she illustrated her talk by showing how the native women adjusted and wore their dresses and headgear.
Professor Henry G. Doyle, of George Washington University, read a paper, "Building for the Future," which led to much discussion and the final adoption of certain resolutions. After pointing out the different propositions contained in the paper, Professor Alfred Coester, secretary-treasurer of the association, moved that Professor Doyle embody his suggestions in written resolutions, which he did, as follows:
Resolved, That the American Association of Teachers of Spanish protest against the unfair attitude toward the teaching of Spanish of Dr. William R. Price, state inspector of modern languages of the state of New York, as shown in his public utterances; and that copies of this resolution be sent to the Governor of New York, the State Commissioner of Education, the Board of Regents of the University of New York, the Superintendent of Schools of New York City, and to Dr. Price.
Inquiry and discussion by Professors Fitz-Gerald, Crawford, and others brought testimony from several teachers from New York that Dr. Price frequently made inquiries of individuals why they had left the teaching of German for that of Spanish and that, in public meetings and in private classes where there was nobody to answer him, he declared the teaching of Spanish of the same value to American pupils as Choctaw and Hottentot, and that Dr. Price eludes all efforts to bring him into public discussion with anyone competent to answer his slurs.
The resolution was acted on favorably and the secretary directed to send copies of the resolution to the persons named.
Professor Doyle's other resolutions were:
Resolved, That this Association establish a personnel bureau which shall maintain records of teachers of Spanish of foreign birth, advise such persons as are desirious of teaching here of opportunities, receive and file copies of the educational and other credentials of such teachers for consultation by appointing officers.
Resolved, That this Association create a Committee on Foreign Travel with the following aims: (1) To foster foreign travel and study by teachers of Spanish by bringing about the establishment of systems of leaves of absence with pay by city and county educational systems, and by college administrators; (2) To raise and administer a loan fund, available to members of this Association to meet the expenses of foreign travel under proper restrictions as to repayment; (3) To issue a white list of tours and conductors approved by the committee in order to guard our members from being cheated and deceived, as in cases which have recently occurred.
Resolved, That this Association establish a bureau of information and publicity under the direction of a committee appointed by the President, which shall prepare and distribute news articles dealing with Spanish topics, the expenses of the bureau to be met by voluntary contributions of members of the Association and others, under a policy formulated by the committee in charge of the bureau.
The resolutions regarding foreign travel and the establishment of a personnel bureau were laid on the table, though it was suggested that Professor Doyle take up the matter of teachers of Spanish of foreign birth with the American Bureau of Education, since that bureau has an office force and facilities for handling the business.
The fourth resolution was acted upon by the approval of a motion that the President appoint a committee to formulate fuller plans and report at the next annual meeting.
A letter was next read from Professor E. C. Hills, expressing his very sincere regret at being unable to attend the meeting on account of personal illness.
A letter came also from the Denver Chapter, expressing their ๕ cordial wishes for an excellent meeting and their regret at not being financially able to send a delegate.
In this connection mention was made that the New York Chapter had this year financed the visit to Columbus of three of its members. The desirability of a wide representation of chapters at the annual meetings was stressed and the hope expressed that more chapters would find some means to raise funds for such a purpose.
The annual banquet of the Association was held at the Elks' Home. The Elks' kitchen, being expert at dispensing good cheer, provided a very excellent feast. Mrs. Earhart sang two songs. The Spanish Club of Ohio State University gave a presentation of Benevente's Lecciones de buen amor, for which the students taking part had been trained by Professor Santiago Gutierrez. The evening's entertainment ended with an exhibition of some Spanish dances by Miss Helen Wolf.
ANNUAL Report of SECRETARY-TREASURER
The year 1925 shows a gratifying increase in membership; one thousand four hundred and forty-one persons paid annual dues. Adding thirty-nine life members gives a total of 1,480 members. This is an increase of more than a hundred, the result of the campaign in the autumn of 1924 for new members. Such a campaign is incumbent on the Association because so many persons are constantly leaving the profession and others taking their places that we who remain must call the attention of our new colleagues to the advantages of membership.
The financial results for the year are equally gratifying. previous year closed with a deficit; but by reason of the additional income from new members, of no large expenses such as the purchase of medals and printing of booklets or directories, and of economies especially in the publication of HISPANIA, the year yields a respectable credit balance.
Dues, sales of HISPANIA and reprints.................
Committee on information.
Sale of medals.
Deficit from 1924..
Annual meeting, 1924..
HISPANIA addressing and mailing..