In language teaching, teacher always plays an important role in making decisions and teaching method in the class. There are many methods such as: audiolingualism, total physical response, the silent way, … so on. There are not any “perfect” method without stengths or weaknesses. It depends on many complicated factors: teacher, learner, environment,….. In this writing, I want to talk about the silent way with its advantages and disadvantages.
The appearence of the silent way is a big change in the role of the students. It’s learner-centered, and teacher is just a technician or engineer and only speak when necessary. This way helps students bacome more active and independent from their teacher. They think that learning is their personal responsibility. Morover, the students have more chances to interact with not only their teacher but also their partners. Teacher can give instruction if necessary to help the students improve their pronunciation.
In the silent way, teacher may never give a formal test, but they assess their students learning all the time. The teacher also does not praise or criticize student’s behaviors, so this can help students develop their own inner criteria. The teacher looks for steady progress, not perfection. Student can make mistakes, and their errors are seem as a natural part of learning process. Therefore, the students are encouraged to explore the language.
However, in the silent way, it is difficult for students to know clearly about lesson without teacher’s explanation or model. It can cause misunderstanding between teacher and student. This method requires student to have good background knowledge to learn language well. In addition, student must spend too much time on struggling with this method.
Although the silent way is good method, it is not suitable for all students in the world. So it is better for the teacher to be aware of their teaching context, their students, or the materials as well as their teaching condition or their student’s learning condition to choose the best method for themselve and for their students.