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Integration of the Self and Awareness (ISA) in Learning and Teaching

A case study of French adult students learning English the Silent Way

Patricia Benstein

The successful acquisition of a second or foreign language requires focus, motivation, and positive feedback. This case study of French adult students of English illustrates that Gattegno’s Silent Way is more than a teaching methodology. It is a science of education that integrates the self and awareness in the learning and teaching processes. This integration facilitates the personal evolution of Gattegno’s ‘pre-human’ to the ‘universal human’ who is permanently aware of his/her awareness. The resulting experience of ‘flow’ leads to a positive feedback loop that in turn contributes to the student’s enjoyment of acquiring a second language.

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7. Results of the Study


The following four chapters serve to report the results of the study. Although all the categories that emerged from the analysis were interrelated they had to be separated in order to establish a way of reporting them. While the grouping that comprises each of the data chapters is to a certain degree arbitrary, I used a simple numerical procedure to work out the frequency with which categories were mentioned in conjunction with each other. Those categories that emerged most frequently together were grouped. Despite this grouping, the interrelated nature of the data remains evident. Thus, data related to one category may be reported in several different sections.

As a result of the above procedure the first two groups of data were more general in nature. Thus, the first two chapters, chapters seven and eight, deal mainly with data related to the theoretical concepts of Gattegno’s model. Chapter seven deals with Gattegno’s model, the four stages of learning and tensions in the teaching and learning processes; the role of awareness and the self in Silent Way teaching are presented in chapter eight. The latter two data chapters discuss data that is more specific. Chapter nine reports data concerned with teaching a foreign language the Silent Way, while chapter ten deals with data related to learning a language the Silent Way. In those last two chapters the processes involved in teaching and learning are examined from both the teachers’ and the students’ perspectives. In this way, the teachers...

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