Learning to Read and Write in Colonial America

Learning to Read and Write in Colonial America

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An experienced teacher of reading and writing and an award-winning historian, E. Jennifer Monaghan brings to vibrant life the process of learning to read and write in colonial America. Ranging throughout the colonies from New Hampshire to Georgia, she examines the instruction of girls and boys, Native Americans and enslaved Africans, the privileged and the poor, revealing the sometimes wrenching impact of literacy acquisition on the lives of learners. For the most part, religious motives underlay reading instruction in colonial America, while secular motives led to writing instruction. Monaghan illuminates the history of these activities through a series of deeply researched and readable case studies. An Anglican missionary battles mosquitoes and loneliness to teach the New York Mohawks to write in their own tongue. Puritan fathers model scriptural reading for their children as they struggle with bereavement. Boys in writing schools, preparing for careers in counting houses, wield their quill pens in the difficult task of mastering a qgood hand.q Benjamin Franklin learns how to compose essays with no teacher but himself. Young orphans in Georgia write precocious letters to their benefactor, George Whitefield, while schools in South Carolina teach enslaved black children to read but never to write.University teacher-training courses were similarly silent. ... spelling system, such as the effect of a final silent e on a preceding c and g, or on the variant pronunciations of the letter-combination gh (in ... (Today such texts are called aquot; decodable.

Title:Learning to Read and Write in Colonial America
Author:E. Jennifer Monaghan
Publisher:Univ of Massachusetts Press - 2007-03-01


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