The silent way procedures begin by introducing the sounds of the target language before attaching them to meanings to prepare learners to learn the target language. This is important for language learners to be familiar with the sounds since the sounds of a foreign language sound strange and funny for beginners. The technique can be done by the language teacher and the sounds of recording of native speakers. The contents of recordings of the listening materials may comprise of lecturing, greeting, informal conversation or discussion. “the capacity of surrendering, to the sounds will bring the learners’ unconsciousness of all of the spirit of a language that has been stored in the language” (cattegno, 1978: 22). This way can introduce the melody of the language to language learners in order for language learners able to be expressive in that language (sakti datta, 1979).

The teaching of the sounds of the target language is typically presented as follows.

At the beginning of the stage, the teacher will model theappropriate sound after pointing to a symbol on the chart. Later, the teacher will silently point ro individual symbols and combinations of symbols, and monitor student utterances. The teacher may say a word and have a student to guess what sequence of symbols comprised the word. The pointer is used to indicate stress, phrasing, and intonation. Stress can be shown by touching out a word. Intonation and phrasing can be demonstrated by tapping on the cart to the rhythm of the utterance (richards and rodgers, 1986: 109-110 and 2001).

After language learners able to produce the sounds of the target language, language teacher continues teaching the language by using rods and word charts. Or, language teacher may use other physical objects, whose purpose is to make meaning perceptible though concrete objects or by representation of experience. Since the method uses “buble” syllabus, the learning objectives are flexible. By using rods, language teacher deals more with speaking and listening for beginning learners and by word charts and pictures he/she can deal with reading and writing.

The purposed procedures in using rods

To some extent, the procedure below is based on the writer’s experience of being a student of a foreign language that took place at the school for international training, brattleboro, vermont, USA in 1987 (also see setiyadi, 1988). Cattegno taught frenc class as a practice of the implementation of the silent way in language teaching.

In the following, “T” is used to indicate teacher, “S” student, and “SS”, student.

The language to teach : a rod

T : take as manya as rods as there are learners or more

T : show rods in different colors and sizes one after another pause, and after each say “a rod”

T : take all language learners to take one rod for everyone and say “a rod”

SS : take a rod and say “a rod”

T : ask each student to take one rod and signal him/her to say “a rod”

The language to teach: colors

T : silently show a blue rod, pause, and then say “a blue rod”

T : show a rod, pause and say “a red rod”

T : show a blue rod to learners and signal them to say “a blue rod”

SS : say “a blue rod”

T : show the red rod and give a signal to learners to say “a red rod”

SS : say “a red rod”

T : show a black rod and say “black”, expecting the learners to say “a black rod”

SS : say “a black rod”

T : show another blue rod

SS : say  “a blue rod”

T : show another red rod

SS : say “a red rod”

T : show another black rod

SS : say “a black rod”

T : show a yellow rod, pause, and say “yellow”

SS : say “a yellow rod”

Teacher and language learners do the same procedures for the rest of the colors. In this procedure, language learners can be introduced with the use of the article “an”. It can be done by introducing as orange rod after they have enough practice with color. It will be presented together with the articles “a” and “the”.

When the teacher silently shows a black rod, and then say “black” instead of “a black rod”, he/she lets the language learners hazard a guess and use their previous knowledge to test their conclusions. Language learners have a creative understanding of the function of the language. They use their independence and they are able to produce sentences that they have never heard before. Teacher’s being silent before he/she says something is meant to give the language learners enough time to make associations. The procedure above continues by having language learners to work in groups of three of four.

The language to teach: numbers and plural form “s”

T : put two blue rods on the table, pause, and say “two blue rods” (pronounce the sound /s/ very distinctvely).

T : put three blue rods, pause, and say “three blue rods”, then point to the two blue rods and give a signal to the language learners to speak.

SS : say “two blue rods” (if the language learners say “a blue rod” instead of “two blue rod”, see the procedure of error correction)

T : point to the three blue rods and again give a signal to the learners to say “there blue rods”

SS : say “tree blue rods” (if the learners make an errors, see the procedure of error correction)

T : show three blue rods, then two blue rods, to the learners and one blue rod.

SS : say “three blue rods, two blue rods and … (they guess “one blue rod: since it has noet been taught)

T : show one blue rod and say “one” instead of “one blue rod”

SS : say “one blue rod”

T : show two red rods and ask the learners to speak

SS : guess and use their knowledge to say “two red rods”

When the teacher pronounces the sound /s/ very distinctively, he is applying the principle that language is learned through largely inductive process (the teacher does not explain the use of grammar rules) and the principle that language learners may experiment with the language in order to test their conclusion. This principle can also be seen from the process when the teacher shows two red rods and they say nothing so that the learner test their conclusion based on the knowledge of two and three blue rods. Teacher and language learners do the same the procedure with the other numbers with rods of different colors.

The number “one” is not first taught and is delayed after the language learners have learners number “two and three”. It is on purpose in order to avois misunderstanding with “a blue rod” which they have learned.

The language to teach : pronouns “this” and “that”

T : take a red rod, locate it at a distance from the learners, point to the red rod and say “that is a red rod”, then take a pink rod, put it close to the learners, point to the pink rod and say “this is a pink rod”

T : signal the learners to speak

SS : say “that is a red rod and this is a pink rod”

T : replace the red rod with a blue rod and the pink rod with a white rod, signal the learners to speak

SS : say “that is a blue rod and this is a white rod”

Following the introduction of practice of “this and that”, the teacher replace the red rod with the blue rod, and the pink rod with the white rod. This is based on the principle that teaching starts from what the learners already know in order to have an association process. The procedure can be continues with other subjects, such as table, chair, blackboard, etc. the sequence of language materials can be presented by using the bubble diagram (see an example of bubble diagram in this chapter). Bubble diagram can vary from one another. It can be arranged based on the creativity and experience in teaching or learning a foreign language. A bubble diagram also guides the teacher to build upon the learning process by adding one new segment of language to the previous one; he/she starts from what the language learners already know in order to encourage association processes. Using a bubble diagram, the structure of the syllabus are not arranged in a linear fashion, but other are constantly being recycled; the recycling is based on linguistic structure.


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