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French training center based in Fontenilles, near Toulouse in the Southwest  France

French courses given at home or at our place for adults or children, through individual or group training

The Silent Way



Caleb Gattegno
  • What is the silent way ? *

The Silent Way is an advanced approach to teaching foreign languages created by Caleb Gattegno that provides competence in oral and written speech through:

  • game-like activities

  • related teaching materials, and

  • teaching techniques which subordinate teaching to learning

It is available for American English, British English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Japanese.

Experiments conducted over 35 years led to the development of materials and techniques which made it possible for the teacher to say less and less, while students, using thier own criteria, were saying more and more. The teacher of foreign languages deliberately saying less is radical. However, because of this feature it was decided to call it The Silent Way.

Why does The Silent Way work?

The Silent Way is concerned with the challenges found in language learning situations, and offers ways of meeting the challenges easily and successfully. The approach succeeds in enhancing learning because it is firmly based upon The Subordination of Teaching to Learning – an axiom Caleb Gattegno, the originator of the approach, formulated as a result of his careful study of human learning.

Linguistic Situations as the Context for Presenting a Challenge

Central to the Silent Way approach are the use of what we call “linguistic situations.” Teachers prepare and present specific situations, which are easily perceptible, and understood. The challenge for students is to discover how to use the “new” language within these situations. This is similar to how babies learn their first language. Babies are immersed in linguistic situations. They perceive and deduce the specific elements of the language that are present in these situations. Then they test, experiment, observe, try, etc. to confirm their understanding and develop their language skills. Success requires that they stay in close contact with the reality of the linguistic situation, and this is exactly what they do.



  • Caleb Gattegno biography

Caleb Gattegno is the author of the Silent Way, Words in Color, Geoboards and a pedagogical approach based on the subordination of teaching to learning.
Born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1911
Licencié ès Sciences (B. Sc.) in Physics and Chemistry, 1931 University of Marseille
Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieurs de Mathématiques, 1936
Mathematics teacher at the Lycée Français in Alexandria (Mission Laïque Française), 1932-36
Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Basel: Les cas essentiellement géodésiques des équations de Hamilton-Jacobi intégrables par séparation des variables, 1937
Founder and Director of the Centre d'Etudes Supérieures Scientifiques et Technique in Cairo, 1938-45
"Visiting Mathematics Professor" at the University of Liverpool, 1945-46
Master of Arts in Education at the University of London: The Mathematical Definition of Education, 1948
Docteur ès Lettres (Philosophy) at the University of Lille: Recherches sur une pédagogie de l'affectivité, 1952
Mathematics teacher and teacher trainer for grammar schools in the London area and at the University of London, 1946-57
Member of a United Nations (Technical Assistance) mission to Ethiopia with the object of finding a solution to the problem of illiteracy, 1957-58
Founder of 1954; director until 1986.
Production of the Cuisenaire materials and the accompanying manuals
Company extended to include publishing in 1960 with branches in 7 countries. 70 authors including Caleb Gattegno were published between 1960 and 1982
Mathematics at Your Fingertips 1961, film.
Founder of Educational Solutions in 1968 in New York where he lived until his death in 1988

  • * From Educational solutions

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