The main objective of a teacher using the Silent Way is to optimize the way students exchange their time for experience. This Gattegno considered to be the basic principle behind all education: "Living a life is changing time into experience."
The students are guided into using their inherent sense of what is coherent to develop their own "inner criteria" of what is right in the new language. They are encouraged to use all their mental powers to make connections between sounds and meanings in the target language. In a Silent Way class, the students express their thoughts and feelings about concrete situations created in the classroom by themselves or the teacher.
The Silent Way - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
YouTube - Grammar Teaching - Part 3 (Silent Way)
Presentation of Caleb Gattegno's Silent Way
The Silent Way is the pedagogical approach created by Gattegno for teaching foreign languages; the objective is for students to work as autonomous language learners.
An approach that respects the learner
The very name Silent Way highlights the fact that the teacher speaks very little during the lesson; the teacher's role is not to transmit knowledge, to act as a model nor to provide answers. However, the teacher intervenes, if necessary, to draw the learners' attention to the way they are going about the act of learning.
Relying on the students' mental capacities, their experience and acquired skills, the teacher endeavors to ensure that they make their own discoveries, gain their own insights into the functioning of the language, establish their own criteria for rightness, acquire a know-how and above all, become autonomous as learners and speakers of the language.
Because Silent Way teachers speak so little, they are free to observe their students carefully and be available to them.
The teacher remains the indispensable guarantor of the correctness of the language (the sounds, prosody, vocabulary, syntax, register...) and of its appropriateness to the situation.
Caleb Gattegno's Silent Way