The Silent WayTell me and I forgetTeach me and I rememberInvolve me and I learnBenjamin Franklin
IntroductionLearning theories and educationalphilosophiesTeaching materials and demosTeaching principlesConclusion
Caleb Gattegno and the Silent wayThe silent way(SW), a method of languageteaching, originated in the early 1970s andintroduced by Caleb Gattegno, who, anEurope educator, is well known for the useof colored sticks called cuisenaire rods andfor his approach to the teaching of initialreading in which sounds are taught bycolors.
Basic Premises for SWThe method is based on the premise thatteacher should be silent as much as possibleand the learners should be encouraged toproduce language as much as possible.The SW assumes that learners work withresources and nothing else, as they aresolely responsible for what they learn.
Basic Premises for SW“Teaching should be subordinated tolearning.”Silence makes students to concentrate onwhat is to be learned.
Learning HypothesesLearning is facilitated if the learnerdiscovers or creates rather than remembersand repeats what is to be learnedLearning is facilitated by accompanying(mediating) physical objectsLearning is facilitated by problem solvinginvolving the material to be learned.
Theory of LearningA successful learning involves commitment ofthe self to language acquisition through the useof silent awareness and then active trial.Silent Way learners acquire “inner criteria”.The Silent Way student is expected to becomeindependent, autonomous and responsible.
Independent LearnersIndependent learners are aware that theymust depend on their own resources andrealize that they can use the knowledge oftheir own language to open up some thingsin a new language.
Autonomous LearnersAutonomous learners chooseproper expressions in a given set ofcircumstances and situations.
Responsible LearnersResponsible learners know thatthey have free will to chooseamong any set of linguisticchoices, the ability to chooseintelligently and carefully is said tobe evidence of responsibility.
Goals of the Silent Way TeacherStudents are able to use the language for self-expression.They need to develop independence from theteacher, to develop their own criteria forcorrectness.They become independent by relying onthemselves.The teacher should give them only what theyabsolutely need to promote their learning.
Characteristics of the Teaching ProcessThe teacher sets up situations thatfocus on the structures of thelanguage. These are introducedthrough a language-specific sound-color chart.
Characteristics of the Learning ProcessStudent begin their study of the languagethrough its sounds.The students receive a great deal of practicewith a given target language structure withoutrepetition for its own sake.
Nature of Student-teacher InteractionThe teacher is silent. He is still very active,however-setting up situations to”forceawareness,” listening attentionally to students’speech, and silently working with them on theirproduction through the use of nonverbalgestures and the tools he has available.
Nature of Student-Student InteractionStudent-student verbalinteraction is desirable (studentscan learn from one another) andis therefore encouraged.
How to Deal with Feeling of Students?When their feelings interfere, the teacher triesto find ways for the students to overcome them.Through feedback sessions at the end of thelessons, students have an opportunity to expresshow they feel.It is hoped that a relaxed, enjoyable learningenvironment will be created.
How to Accomplish Evaluation?Although the teacher may never give aformal test, he assesses student learning allthe time.Since “teaching is subordinated to learning,”the teacher must be responsive to immediatelearning needs.The teacher’s silence frees him to attend tohis students and to be aware of these needs.
The learning hypothesesLearning is facilitated if the learnerdiscovers or creates rather than remembersand repeats what is to be learned.Learning is facilitated by accompanying(mediating) physical objects.Learning is facilitated by problem solvinginvolving the material to be learned.
Theory of learningA successful learning involves commitmentof the self to language acquisition throughthe use of silent awareness and then activetrial.Silent Way learners acquire “inner criteria”.The Silent Way student is expected tobecome independent, autonomous andresponsible.
Independent learnersIndependent learners are aware that theymust depend on their own resources andrealize that they can use the knowledge oftheir own language to open up some thingsin a new language.
Autonomous learnerAutonomous learners choose properexpressions in a given set of circumstancesand situations.
Responsible learnersResponsible learners know that they havefree will to choose among any set oflinguistic choices, the ability to chooseintelligently and carefully is said to beevidence of responsibility.
The syllabusStructural syllabusLanguage itemsThe imperativeNumeration and prepositions of locationVocabulary
Types of learning & teachingactivitiesThe teacher models a word, phrase, or sentenceand then elicits learner responses.Learners then go on to create their own utterancesby putting together old and new information.Charts, rods, and other aids may be used to elicitlearner responses.Teacher modeling is minimal, although much ofthe activity may be teacher directed.
The principlesSilence is a tool. It helps to foster autonomy, orthe exercise of initiative. The teacher should giveonly what help is necessary.Students need to develop their own inner criteriafor correctness.Students should rely on each other andthemselves. The teacher’s silence encouragesgroup cooperation.
The teacher works with the students while thestudents work on the language.The teacher isresponsible for creating an environment thatencourages student risk taking and that facilitatinglearning. He is a neutral observer, neither pleased bycorrect performance nor discouraged by error.Errors are important and necessary to learning.They show the teacher where things are unclear.At the beginning, the teacher needs to look forprogress, not perfection. Learning takes place intime. Students learn at different rates.The principlesThe principles
Students should receive a great deal withoutrepetition.The elements of the language are introducedlogically, expanding upon what students alreadyknow.The teacher can gain valuable information fromstudent feedback. Students learn how to acceptresponsibility for their own learning.The principlesThe principles
Some learning takes place naturally as we sleep.Students will naturally work on the day’s lessonthen.The syllabus is composed of linguisticstructures.The skills of speaking, reading, and writingreinforce one another.The principlesThe principles
3. Students need to develop their owninner criteria for correctness.The teacher should give only whathelp is necessary.to observe their students at work in order to learnhow to work with themto evaluate progress from moment to momentto provide non-repetitive and motivating practiceto provide meaning through direct perception, notthrough translationto create a relaxed atmosphere of mutualcooperationto take into account students individual needs andvarying levels of competence
The Silent Way respectsThe learners and their learning processes -Because students have already mastered theirnative language, they are treated as sophisticatedlanguage learners.The impacts of teaching upon learning - The SilentWay techniques are designed to allow teachers tointervene without interfering with the learningprocesses.The language being learned - The materials andtechniques are designed to bring students intocontact the totality and complexity of the newlanguage. Yet, used in specific ways, they provideopportunities for working analytically on verypinpointed issues.