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Silent Way

A designer method whereby the teacher remains mostly silent in order to encourage students to solve their own problems. Originated by Caleb Gattegno in the 1970’s, this method was meant to foster learning through discovery. Students were given Cuisenaire rods and used these colored rods to figure out the patterns of language based on a few examples given by the teacher.


A top-down activity where a learner quickly reads some material to find the gist.


A variety of songs can be implemented in classroom activities to introduce or reinforce content-area material. The rhythms and the repetitive words sung in songs enhance the comprehension of the presented learning concepts for ESL students. ESL students tend to remember information through classroom song activities.


One distinct part of a lesson, commonly a single activity.


A grouping strategy that involves putting students together according to their language ability, either mixing strong and weak students, or grouping them at the same level.


The syllables in words that are longer, louder, and higher-pitched. At the word level, stress falls on syllables. At the sentence level, stress falls on content words (e.g., nouns, verbs, adjectives, and sometimes adverbs) while function words (e.g., pronouns, determiners, prepositions, and auxiliary verbs) are de-stressed.


Student Talking Time. The amount of time that students get to talk within a lesson. In a student-centered classroom, STT should be increased, while TTT – Teacher Talking Time – should be decreased.

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