The Silent Way is a language-teaching method created by
Caleb Gattegno that makes extensive use of silence as a
teaching technique. It is not usually considered a
mainstream method in language education. It was first
introduced in Gattegno's book Teaching Foreign
Languages in Schools: The Silent Way in 1963. Gattegno
was skeptical of the mainstream language education of
the time, and conceived of the method as a special case
of his general theories of education
The teacher uses silence for multiple purposes in the
Silent Way. It is used to focus students' attention, to elicit
student responses, and to encourage them to correct
their own errors. Even though teachers are often
silent, they are still active; they will commonly use
techniques such as mouthing words and using hand
gestures to help the students with their pronunciation.
Teachers will also encourage students to help their peers
s Learning through problem
solving looks attractive
especially because it fosters:
increase in intelligent
long term memory.
The indirect role of the
teacher highlights the
importance and the centrality
of the learner who is
responsible in figuring out
and testing the hypotheses
about how language works.
In other words teaching is
subordinated to learning
es The Silent Way is often
criticized of being a harsh
method. The learner works in
isolation and communication
is lacking badly in a Silent
With minimum help on the
part of the teacher, the Silent
Way method may put the
learning itself at stake.
The material ( the rods and
the charts) used in this
method will certainly fail to
introduce all aspects of
language. Other materials will
have to be introduced.
The teacher is a technician or an engineer who facilitates
The teacher’s role is one of neutral observer neither
praise nor criticize, merely looks for continued
The teacher is silent, the teachers presence in the
classroom is limited to providing a model of the
language, that the students are going to work on.
To teach : The presentation of an item once, typically
using nonverbal clues to get across meaning.
To test : elicitation and saving of student
production is down. In as silent a way as possible.
To get out of the way : the teacher silently monitors
learners’ interactions with each other and may even leave
the room while learners struggle with their new linguistic
Learners are expect to develop independence
autonomy and responsibility.
The autonomous learner chooses proper expression in
a given set of circumstances and situations.
The absence of corrections and repeated modeling
from the teacher requires the student to develop “inner
criteria” and to correct themselves.
Learners have only themselves as individuals and the
group to rely on, and so must learn to work
cooperatively rather than competitively.
Learner also must be a teacher, a student, part of
support system, a problem solver, and a self-evaluator.
The materials are used to illustrate the relationships between sound meaning
in the target language.
The materials are designed for manipulation by the students and the
teacher, independently and cooperatively, in promoting learning by direct
The number of languages and contain symbols in the target language for all of
the vowel and consonant sounds of the language.
The symbols are color coded according to pronunciation ; thus, if a language
possesses to different symbols for the same sound, they will be colored alike.
One of examples
The role of instructional materials
Tell me and I forget
Teach me and I remember
Involve me and I learn