THE MECHANISM* OF WRITING 271 But this most important question deserves a separate chapter. All the mechanism of writing is prepared for. Turning now directly to the method for teaching writing, we notice that it is already included in the two stages described, since the child is given by these exercises the opportunity of learning and fixing the muscular mechanism necessary for holding the pen and for making the graphic symbols. After the child has had long practice in these methods he will be potentially ready to write all the letters of the alphabet and simple words, without ever having taken pen or chalk in his hand for the purpose of writing. READING AND WRITING ARE FUSED FROM THE BEGINNING By this method, the teaching of reading goes on at the same time as that of writing. When a letter is presented to the child and its name is pronounced, the child fixes the image of it with the visual and with the tactile-muscular senses, and associates the sound with the symbol without fail; that is, it makes acquaintance with written language. When it sees and recognizes, it reads; when it touches, it writes; thus it begins its acquaintance with two actions which later on, as they develop, are separated to form the two diverse processes of reading and writing. The contemporary character of the teaching, or better, the fusion of the two initial actions, presents the child therefore with a new form of language, without it being decided which of the two constituent acts will take precedence. We must not trouble ourselves as to whether the child., as the process goes on, learns reading first or writing first, as to whether the one way or the other will be the easier for him. We should learn this from experience keeping our minds free from prejudices, waiting for the appearance of probable individual differences in the prevalent development of either of the two actions. That gives an opportunity for a very interesting study in individual psycho- logy, and for. a continuation of the practical direction of our method which is based :on the free expansion of individuality.