- dialog memorization
- backward build up(expansion)drill
- repetition drill
- chain drill
- single-slot subtitution drill
- multiple-slot subtitution drill
- transformation drill
- question and answer drill
- use of minimal pairs
- complete the dialog
- grammar game
The Silent Way is an approach to foreign-language learning designed to enable students to become independent, autonomous and responsible learners. It is part of a more general pedagogical approach to teaching and learning created by Caleb Gattegno, and operated by Educational Solutions Worldwide Inc. It is constructivist in nature, leading students to develop their own conceptual models of all the aspects of the language.
With The Silent Way, each sound in the new language is assigned a unique color. Once students have been introduced to the colors, they can determine the pronunciation of any word regardless of spelling. This is one way that the approach facilitates autonomous learning.
The main objective of a teacher using The Silent Way is to optimize the way students exchange their time for experience. Gattegno considered this to be the basic principle behind all education: "Living a life is changing time into experience." Experiencing the language means exploring it independently, experimenting, and speaking as much as possible. If students experience mistakes, and experience successes, they will retain the information much better than if they had memorized it.
The students are guided into developing 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 approach is called The Silent Way because the teacher remains mainly silent, to give students the space they need to practice speaking in the new language. In this approach, it is assumed that the students' previous experience of learning their mother tongue will contribute to learning the new foreign language. The acquisition of the mother tongue brings awareness of what language is, and this is carried over to second language learning. The awareness of what language is includes the use of non-verbal components of language such as intonation, melody, breathing, inflection, the convention of writing, and the combinations of letters for different sounds. Rods, pictures, objects or situations are aids used for linking sounds and meanings in The Silent Way.