The Silent Way

Teaching Methodology

Overview

Originally created by Caleb Gattegno, this method may not be widely used in its original form. However, the concept behind it is popularly embraced. One of the major features of this method is the learner autonomy.

This method highly encourages active student participation. The teacher literally adopts the silent way while ensuring that they elicit a response from the learners and allowing the learners to try and correct their own mistakes. A lot of time is allotted to the pronunciation.

Another important feature of this method is the use of Cuisenaire rods. These rods are used by the teacher to introduce and help the learners understand basic commands. These can also be used to represent objects. Moreover, in this method, the colour association is used to help teach pronunciation. Some of the basic principles of this method suggest that the teacher’s primary concentration should be on how the students learn.

This method also believes in trial and error. When such a method is adopted, the learner draws upon everything that they know in their own native language. This method allows the students to look at the language learning process as a problem-solving activity. To ensure the success of this method, it is crucial that the teacher does not interfere with the learning process.

The ultimate aim of this method is to ensure that the students gain basic fluency and their pronunciation develops in an excellent manner. This method allows students to take control. The teacher should only interfere as long as it is strictly necessary. The teacher has to ensure that the student learns self-reliance. Throughout the process, the teachers have to make sure that the students do the majority of the talking because the basis of this method suggests that the students come to the classroom with some experience and knowledge.

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