The Association of New England Teachers of Public Speaking and Oral English will hold a convention here on Wednesday and Thursday, December 31 and January 1. The association will hold four sessions, each of which will be devoted to some aspect of oral English. Professors from all the more important colleges of New England, and some teachers in secondary schools, will be present to read papers or to take part in the discussion of the subjects treated.
Professor I. L. Winter '86 initiated this movement for a reorganization in the present methods of teaching and practicing public speaking. For the purpose of discussing the most advisable course to follow in effecting any changes in this matter, a meeting of professors and teachers from different colleges and schools was held last spring. It is the aim of those comprising this forum to promote and increase interest in the subject of public speaking and to bring about an improvement in teaching the subject. It is generally agreed that there should be systematic instruction in oral English and public speaking throughout the whole period of school and college training.
One of the questions to be discussed is whether it is not better rather to discourage than promote the public exhibition. As a rule, debating, prize speaking, and declamation are not based on and made subservient to a prolonged systematic training, but are generally spasmodic exhibitions by which a school or other organization is brought into the lime-light.
Speakers at the Sessions.
At the first session on the evening of December 31, there will be a dinner in the Union and Professor Winter, the present president of the body, will give the opening address. President Eliot will give a general talk which will be followed by a discussion of the subject "Oral English." The first paper will be read by Professor E. Charlton Black, of Boston University, followed by another paper by Mr. F. W. C. Hersey on "Oral English for College Freshmen." A number of men representing secondary schools will take part in the discussion. The Thursday morning session will take place at 9.30 o'clock and will be devoted to public speaking in general. The principal paper will be read by Professor Hoyt of Clark College, Worcester, and representatives of Technology, Exeter, Andover, and Amherst will give their opinions on the subject. At 11.30 o'clock on Thursday morning, Professor G. P. Baker will read a paper on "The Relation of Dramatic Training to Instruction in English," followed by a discussion by teachers from Brown, Wellesley, and Boston University. The last session will be held at 2 o'clock on Thursday afternoon, and Professor H. B. Huntington of Brown, and Judge A. P. Stone will lead in discussing the subject of debating.