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words. The children translated phonetically these words after
having heard them only once. As soon as they had been
pronounced clearly they were translated into alphabetic signs on
their table.

It is very interesting to watch the child at this work; he stands
looking at the box most intently, his lips moving slightly, then he
takes the required letters one by one, without making any errors
in spelling (if they are phonetical). The movement of the lips is
due to the fact that the child is repeating to himself an infinite
number of times the word, the sound of which he is translating
into signs.

Many people came to witness this fact, especially inspectors
of schools who know how difficult dictation is in elementary
schools, where the teacher has to repeat many times the word she
dictates so that it may not be forgotten.

Here children of four years of age remember it exactly, and
yet they had to do a work quite liable to distract their attention
and to exhaust the energy necessary to finish the word. They
have in fact to look for the letters of the alphabet in the boxes by
means of their eyes, to take those they need with their hands and
so on until the word is finished.

During the first period of this marvellous experiment an
inspector of schools came to visit us and wished to dictate a word
that seemed to him very difficult. He pronounced it clearly, laying
stress, in his Italian pronunciation, on the two last letters so similar
in sound: Darmstadt. The child composed the word as he heard
it pronounced. Another time an official in the Ministry of Public
Instruction dictated: * Sangi accato di Novibazar' to a child of
four and a half years of age, who translated it on his table and
produced the word composed of the letters of the movable

Then there is the anecdote of the Chief Inspector of Schools
of Rome who wished to do a simple and serious experiment. He
dictated only his own name * Di Donato *. The child began to
compose it, but he had not clearly heard all the sounds, because