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Unit 5 The Silent Way (1960-70).

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1 Unit 5 The Silent Way ( )

2 This method was devised by Caleb Gattegno to the teaching of initial reading in which sounds are coded by specific colors with cuisenaire rods (developed by Georges Cuisenaire, a European educator who used them to teach math). He believed that learning is best facilitated if the learner discovers and creates language rather than just remembering and repeating what has been taught. Origin

3 Origin The Audio-lingual Method has the problem that students are unable to transfer the habits they have mastered in the classroom to communicate use outside it. Furthermore, the idea that learning a language meant forming a set of habits was seriously challenged in the early 1960s, particularly by Linguist Noam Chomsky. He proposed that speakers have knowledge of underlying abstract rules, which allow them to understand and create new utterances.

4 Origin In addition, in the early 1970s, the emphasis on human cognition led to see learners in a more active role to formulate hypotheses to discover the rules of the target language. When errors occur, they are signs that learners are testing their hypotheses. The general objective of this method is to give beginners oral and aural facility in basic elements of the target language such as near-native fluency, correct pronunciation and mastery of the prosodic elements of the target language.

5 Origin It adopts a basically structural syllabus, with lessons planned around grammatical items and related vocabulary. Language items are introduced according to their grammatical complexity. The “function” because of their high utility such as numbers, prepositions, pronouns, quantifiers and so on is introduced early in the course. The Silent Way shares certain principles with the Cognitive Approach.

6 Teaching should be subordinated to learning= learning through self-reliance (key words- independence, autonomy and responsibility) Learning is a problem-solving, creative, discovering activity, in which learners are expected to become independent, autonomous and responsible. Learning is not primarily imitation or drill- The teacher’s strict avoidance of repetition forces alertness and concentration on the part of the learners: The teacher should be silent as much as possible to let the learners do the learning. So the teacher does not dominate learning processes. Each student has a retaining system. Principles:

7 Principles What students have experienced is recorded in their language systems. There is no need to repeat the language concept they have already gained from their L1. In silence, students concentrate on the task to be accomplished. Silence, as avoidance of repetition, is thus an aid to alertness, concentration, and mental organization. Students’ self-awareness leads to self-correction. When students are aware of how their learning is and become alert to it, they can try it and correct themselves at any time.

8 Characteristics of the method:
The teacher silently monitors students’ interaction and creates an environment that encourages student risk taking. Special teaching aids are used such as a pointer, cuisenaire rods, sound-color chart, fidel charts and word charts to provide students physical foci for their learning and also create memorable images to facilitate student recall.

9 Influences: Teaching is subordinated to learning. (discovery learning, responsible learners) Language learning can also train students to be independent and responsible. Teachers don’t model pronunciation but direct and monitor students’ performance. It promotes the use of phonemic charts and points to objects and sounds and Cuisenaire rods as well as the use of discovery techniques.

10 Criticism It was too harsh a method and the teacher was distance. Some aspects of language can be taught directly instead of having students struggle for hours. The rods and charts wore thin after a few lessons. Other than those, it resembled any other language classroom.

11 Summary of the method a problem-solving approach to learning Discovery learning is facilitated by accompanying physical objects (Cuisenaire rods, wall charts) and problem-solving. In this way, learners develop independence, autonomy, and responsibility. Ss benefit from healthy doses of discovery learning and less teacher talk. However, it was too harsh a method and the teacher too distant. The rods and charts wear thin after a few lessons and other materials then must be introduced instead.

12 goals To enable students to express themselves and develop independence from the teacher and their own inner criteria for correctness

13 The role of the teacher Technician or engineer for learner autonomy

14 The role of the students
Independent and responsible learner

15 Characteristics of the teaching/learning processes
1. a sound-color chart to associate sounds of the target language with particular colors 2. minimal spoken cues to produce structures in situations 3. feedback from students about the class

16 S-T or S-S interaction S->T, S-S verbal interaction

17 The feelings of the students
1. T observes students 2. S’s feedback to express how they feel 3. a relaxed, enjoyable learning environment by cooperation

18 View of culture & language
1. language universals and individual features 2. culture and language are interconnected

19 Emphasis of skills & areas
1. pronunciation and structures at the beginning 2. no fixed, linear, structural syllabus: recycle structures according to learning needs 3. integrate four skills but usually speaking and listening first

20 The role of L1 1. L1 only in instructions or during feedback sessions 2. L1 transfer

21 evaluation Assess students all the time but no praise or criticism

22 errors Self-correction or peer correction

23 techniques Sound-color chart, peer correction, teachers’ silence, rods, self-correction gestures, word chart, fidel charts, structured feedback

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