ESL job interview question: What can you tell about the silent way of teaching?

Recommended answer:

The silent way of teaching was developed by Caleb Gattegno. Its characteristic feature is a problem-solving approach. It develops independence and autonomy and encourages students to cooperate with each other. The method is based on the premise that teacher should be silent as much as possible and the learners should be encouraged to produce language as much as possible. The Silent way assumes that learners work with resources and nothing else, as they are solely responsible for what they learn. Learning is facilitated if the learner discovers or creates rather than remembers and repeats what is to be learned, accompanying mediating physical objects and problem solving the material to be learned. Students are able to use the language for self-expression. They need to develop independence from the teacher, to develop their own criteria for correctness. They become independent by relying on themselves. 

The teacher should give the students only what they absolutely need to promote their learning. Silent way learners acquire inner criteria expected to become independent, autonomous and responsible. Silence is a tool. It helps to foster autonomy, or the exercise of initiative. The teacher should give only what help is necessary. On the other hand, students need to develop their own inner criteria for correctness. Also, students should rely on each other and themselves. 

The teacher’s silence encourages group cooperation. The silent way techniques are designed to allow teachers to intervene without interfering with the learning processes. The language being learned - the materials and techniques are designed to bring students into contact the totality and complexity of the new language (Gattegno 1972). 

More ESL job interview questions with answers...