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Stories from Tagore

by Rabindranath Tagore

Every experienced teacher must have noticed the difficulty of instructing Indian children out of books that are specially intended for use in English schools. It is not merely that the subjects are unfamiliar, but almost every phrase has English associations that are strange to Indian ears. The environment in which they are written is unknown to the Indian school boy and his mind becomes overburdened with its details which he fails to understand. He cannot give his whole attention to the language and thus master it quickly.

The present Indian story-book avoids some at least of these impediments. The surroundings described in it are those of the students' everyday life; the sentiments and characters are familiar. The stories are simply told, and the notes at the end will be sufficient to explain obscure passages. It should be possible for the Indian student to follow the pages of the book easily and intelligently. Those students who have read the stories in the original will have the further advantage of knowing beforehand the whole trend of the narrative and thus they will be able to concentrate their thoughts on the English language itself.

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