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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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Part Two


Part two presents the present study and comprises five chapters. Chapter six presents the research questions that motivated the present study and explains the research methods used for data collection and analysis. The following chapters report the results. In order to turn the data into manageable reports the categories were grouped according to frequency of joint occurrence. Based on this procedure, the first two data reporting chapters turned out to be more general in nature, while the last two chapters concentrate more specifically on the perspectives of teachers and students respectively.

Chapter seven reports data related to the role Gattegno’s model, the four stages of learning and the role tensions play in the learning and teaching processes in Silent Way classrooms. Chapter eight concentrates on the role of awareness and the self in the teaching and learning processes. Chapter nine concentrates on the teachers’ experiences of teaching a foreign language the Silent Way. Chapter ten reports the students’ experiences of learning a foreign language the Silent Way.

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