310 THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD
The analysis of that which is transient cannot be made.
It is necessary to materialize and stabilize language; hence the
necessity for the written word, represented by graphic signs.
In the third factor involved in writing which I consider in my
method, namely the composition of the word, there is included the
analysis of the word by means of objects and alphabetic sign.
The child breaks up the word heard, which he perceives in its
entirety as a word knowing also its meaning, into sounds and
syllables, and then translates it into the word composed with the
Whilst in the development of spoken language the component
sounds of the word may be imperfectly perceived, now in teaching
the graphic sign corresponding to the sound—and this consists in
presenting a sandpaper letter, naming it clearly, having it seen and
touched—not only is there fixed clearly the perception of the sound
heard, but this perception is connected with two others, the motor
and the visual perceptions of the written sign, which permit external
influences to affect the auditory images of words.
The following diagrams explain, stage by stage the sequence
of events referred to above.
Let us consider, stage by stage, the three-stage lesson in its
application to the first teaching of the alphabet.
The mistress, showing a letter of the alphabet, says: " This is
A9 A, A" Then at once the mistress says a word which begins
with A—"A" as in 4Mda," adding some other words which
have this sound and not necessarily as the first'sound. When a
consonant is being taught, the same thing is done, but by pro-
nouncing the word which begins with that sound there is made a
syllable, " This is M, M, M9" as in " Jlfama ". Then the teacher
turning to the child adds, "Touch A," or "Touch AT". The
child traces the letter chosen as if writing it. Thus the motor
image of the letter touched is associated with the auditory image