Reading Stevick 6 of 10: structured silence

silence

Stevick considers ‘structural silence’ another type of audio aid, and says that it’s ‘the least used and least understood’. It’s so true! Sometimes we are so intent on filling all pauses that we are not using this wonderful tool enough. First of all, controlled silent moments can give students an opportunity to get their thoughts together without distractions (so Stevick recommends using longer silences at the end of the hour, after a big grammar presentation or a story, and shorter ones after each activity in a series. This can help separate stages and activities from one another, assist memorisation and accuracy, make language practice more meaningful. Finally, it may be helpful to combine structured silence with a visual aid to increase its impact. Wonderful, isn’t it?

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