We memorized poems. We recited them. We read aloud. And the teachers actually critiqued us on whether we could be understood.
Such a simple thing — memorization, reading and intelligibility of speech. But our society has evolved to despise such things.
Raw memorization — one of the few markers of intelligence which can be improved with practice — is now treated as cruelty to children instead of mind-stretching exercise.
When it comes to reading aloud or reciting, it would be shockingly wrong for a modern teacher to criticize the way a student talks. That might lead to low self-esteem.