THE preparation of this Handbook of teaching was begun under a feeling that such a work was much wanted, and without reference to Oireachtas requirements. That the book secured a prize at the Oireachtas was chiefly valuable as a means of getting it published and circulated. The aim of the work is not wide. being merely to supply a method of class teaching. Many questions of pedagogic value and interest, such as the frequency of classes, their proper organisation, the qualifications of teachers, etc., are not touched upon. These questions are left to practical teachers.
The work that Gaelic Leaguers have set themselves is a gigantic one, being no less than to teach a new language to a whole nation. That we shall succeed there can be, now, no question. Even with the very faulty methods of teaching that have hitherto prevailed, numerous Irish speakers and writers have been made. The need, however, for improved methods becomes every day more claimant ; we cannot afford to neglect any improvement that tends to lighten our work. This little handbook is a first step on the road of improvement, and will likely be followed by many others. We will hail with joy every advance made, whether on the lines here suggested or on any other lines.
The writer has to apologise for the frequent use in
the following pages of the pronoun " I." It is used
for the sake of clearness in expounding the method
of teaching, and also to mark his responsibility for
certain developments of the Gouin method not found
Peadar mac Fhionnlaoich
áth Cliath, Duibhlinne
18 mí Meadhon-Fhoghmhair, 1902