It is a revelation in some courses where a certain amount of reading aloud is necessary, to hear the baiting, inarticulate efforts of many of the students. In fact, in some literature courses the instructor is obliged to read every word of the text aloud himself, because the men in the class are so incapable in this respect that the sense is completely obliterated. This inability to read aloud is not only to be found among undergraduates, but is conspicuously present among people in almost all walks of life. Why this part of a man's education should be so utterly neglected, unless it be the expense of capable instructors, is hard to say, but neglected it certainly is.
Some years ago, a course in reading was given which did not count for a degree, but like all of these, it gradually dwindled and disappeared. A course counting for a degree would undoubtedly be well attended and would materially benefit those who took it, but as it could not, from its very nature, be made compulsory, it would naturally fail to reach the entire student body. There are two methods, however, by which all students could be reached,--through English A, or by an entrance test in reading. The former method seems perhaps the more feasible, and there is considerable spare time in the recitations in English A, which might very properly be devoted to practice in reading. But whether through a special course, by an entrance requirement, or through English A, some facility in reading should be demanded of every student before graduation. No man can be called well educated who is incapable of reading aloud for the pleasure of a friend.