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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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About the author(s)/editor(s)


Patricia Benstein studied English, French, and German literature at the University of Melbourne and French and Russian at the Sorbonne University. She obtained her first PhD in Education from the University of Sydney and was awarded a second PhD in Spiritual Anthropology from the University of Aix-en-Provence. She is a qualified secondary teacher, interpreter and translator; however, she has mainly lectured and researched at various universities in Australia, Germany, and France. Her research areas include the multidimensional nature of human beings and innovative approaches to education.

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