I now proceed to give practical instructions as to the teaching of a Gouin Series, reserving any further remarks I have to make as to the principles of this method of teaching for the present.
My class being ready, I announce to them in English the title of the lesson for the evening which will describe some homely experience with which they are all familiar. Let us suppose it to be I SHUT THE DOOR, and I at once proceed to teach them the Irish for this sentence. Say the Irish word for shut is druid. I repeat clearly, distinctly, and loudly, two or three times druid, druid, druid.. But if you want to say I shut, say druidim, druidim, druidim, druidim, druidim, druidim. And what do I druidim? The door. Door in Irish is doras. The Irish for the is an, an, an, hence Druidim an doras. (Repeat and explain until pupils know and can say the sentence). Now how do I shut the door ? What are the actions involved ? Attend to me !
1. I stand up.
Now the most important words in these sentences are those describing the actions, so please note separately what these are, so I will teach these first.
1. Stand up.
The word I use for stand up is éirigh, arise. éirigh, éirigh, éirigh. Who stand up or arises? That is expressed by saying éirghim, éirghim, éirghim, éirghim, éirghim. The Irish word for walk is suibhal, suibhal, suibhal, and I walk is suidhlaim, suidhlaim, suidhlaim, suidhlaim. . The word for stretch is sín, sín, sín; but I stretch is sínim, sínim, sínim, sínim.. Out = amach, sínim amach, sínim amach. The word for take hold, is beir, to seize of grasp, beir, beir, beir. I take hold = beirim, beirim, beirim, beirim. I shut has been already given: you remember it: druidim, druidim, druidim. Return is fill, fill, fill; I return, fillim, fillim, fillim, fillim, fillim. Sit down is suidh, sit, and síos, down, suidh síos,suidh síos,suidh síos, but I sit down is suidhim síos, suidhim síos, suidhim síos.
Having brought my pupils successfully over the verbs, I give them a little rest, so that they may assimilate what they have just heard. Relaxation is afforded by change as much as by idleness, so I utilise the pause by introducing a tew sentences of another sort, very few at a time, but these will be constantly used thereafter.
éist liom! éist liom, a cailín. Táim ag éisteacht. Tá go maith; maith an cailín thú.
These sentences I explain to the class and repeat
until they can be spoken by each member. I also
write them on the blackboard, and thereafter they
pass into our ordinary language, so that we have
already begun to teach the subjective and abstract
language. I now return to the verbs and teach them
Pronunciation! It is as easy as child's play under this system. Why, I have taken a class of raw recruits from a London suburg, to whom the sound of r was unknown except in a wrong situation, and in three lessons they could pronounce all the words they had been taught; startling even their teacher with the fidelity with which they reproduced his Donegal pronunciation.
Having taught the verbs a second time, I again make some remarks to the class—those already taught, with perhaps a phrase or two thrown in, as an tuigeann tú sin? Tuighim. Ní thuigim. Abair arís é. I now repeat the verbs a third time more quickly, and then i examine the class as to their pronunciation and knowledge of the meaning. This will usually call for fresh reptition on my part and I never shrink from repetition until it is no longer required.
Having satisfied myself on this point, I proceed to teach the sentences somewhat as follows:—
"Attend to me. (This would be said in Irish after the first lesson) You remember the lesson we are at, druidim and doras, and you remember the actions involved.
1. "éirighim. Now this word expresses the whole idea, but is somewhat indefinite, and the Irish define it by the idiomatic expression. I arise in my standing, that is in the standing position or state. Standing is expressed by the irish word seasamh, seasamh, seasamh; but in my standing—the Irish word for in, in this case is in, as in English, and my is mo. This would make in mo seasamh, but by a peculiar principle, which I will explain to you later, when you are prepared for it, this mo has the power of modifying or altering, aspirating, we call it, the first letter of the following word, so that seasamh becomes sheasamh—in mo sheasamh; éirighim in mo sheasamh' (repeat three or four times slowly and distinctly)
2. "Suibhlaim, where? how? A step. Step in Irish is coiscéim--made of up of céim, a step or degree, and cos, the foot. coiscéim, coiscéim , coiscéim. Suibhlaim coiscéim.,for we do not translate the article 'a' into Irish. There is no indefinite article in Irish. If there is noa rticle the word is indefinite. Hence Suibhlaim coiscéim is exactly equivealnt to "I walk a step". Look! We express in two words what requires four in English! Good! Suibhlaim coiscéim! (Repeat).
3. "Suibhlaim another step. We put the qualifying word after the noun in Irish, hence Suibhlaim coiscéim another, and another is expressed by eile, eile, eile, eile. Suibhlaim coiscéim eile." (Repeat)
4. Suibhlaim to the door. Now the word for door you have already had. doras, an doras, and to is do; do an doras. It is usual to shorten do an into one word, do'n, hence do'n doras, suibhlaim do'n doras." (Repeat).
5. "Sínim amach. What do I sín amach? My hand. Hand in Irish is lámh, lámh, lámh, and mo, my: mo lámh. Sínim amach mo lámh" (repeat).
6. "Beirim. We say in Irisn I seize on the door, and the word for on is ar, ar an doras. Beirim ar an doras" (Repeat).
7. "Druidim an doras. This sentence has been taught in the title of our lesson, so you already now it." (Repeat, nevertheless, as they probably do not know it.)
9. "Fillim back. Back, in the sense of backwards is rendered by arais, arais, arais. Fillim arais" (Repeat)
10. "Suidhim síos again. Arís is the Irish equivalent for again. Arís, arís, arís. Suidhim síos arís. " (Repeat).