The desire on the part of the undergraduate for more personal contact with the faculty than the present unwieldy size of Harvard can offer is constantly voiced. Unfortunately, the materialization of such an ambition is an impossibility in the larger and more advanced lecture courses.
The extension of the idea of personal supervision to English A is peculiarly happy in that the nature of the course offers a particularly fertile opportunity. The teaching of elementary composition can make little effective use of the lecture system. In abolishing the midyear examinations the men in charge have furthered those advantages accruing from the practice of doing away with the finals. In their place, the semi-tutorial groups not only herald the private conference of the upperclassmen with their tutors, but give more direct aid in the immediate problem of improving expression than is possible in a year of three-a-week lectures. The plan which the English Department has instituted in English A could easily be extended to such advanced composition courses, as English 22 and 31. As these now stand, they offer all the disadvantages and none of the too-evident advantages of their younger brother.