“From the first, stress must be laid upon distinct and sustained enunciation, both in speaking and and in reading. But at the same time utterance must be perfectly natural; if affected or exaggerated the effect is unpleasing. The foundation of education must be laid in Grammar. Unless this be thoroughly learnt subsequent progress is uncertain–a house built upon treacherous ground. Hence let the knowledge of nouns and verbs be secured early, as the starting point for the rest. The master will employ the devices of repetition, examination, and the correction of erroneous inflexions purposely introduced.” Battista Guarino, “On the Means of Teaching and Learning,” in The Civilization of the Italian Renaissance, ed. Kenneth R. Bartlett, 2nd edition (Toronto 2011), 191. [Emphasis Added]
Guarino followed ancient and medieval tradition in this emphasis on the importance of grammar for elementary students.