Digging deeper into L2 pronunciation


Our workshops at EPIP7 have now been published in the conference proceedings.

Ros's was called Pointing on charts as a third way of working in the classroom.

Piers's was called L2 pronunciation: Seven learning/teaching paradigms found in instructed learning.


Learning French


We now produce charts for three distinct types of learners of French:

The Silent Way Alpha-FLE Word charts are designed for beginners who do not read or write.

The Silent Way Word charts are for beginners who are literate in L1.

The Silent Way Plus set are for intermediate and advanced learners.


This site has a wealth of information, including videos, on the Silent Way approach to teaching foreign languages. 



Working with Emergent Language


In June 2021, Voices (the IATEFL membership magazine) published our article on the value of the PronSci Word charts.


In Uncommitted materials: support for spontaneous interaction in class we discussed how charts and pointing bring freedom to the classroom.


Teaching schwa


In June 2021, we presented a Teaching Tip at the PSLLT conference in Canada. 


Our title was Stuttering as a way to reach schwa: how to improve production and comprehension. You can watch the 7 minute video here and download the paper.


On Learning


In June 2021, Fanny Passeport interviewed us on the subject of How Does Learning (Actually) Work for her No Borders Learning YouTube channel.

Our book on this subject was published by Duo Flumina in 2011.

A Motor Skill Approach in the Classroom


In January 2021, RELC Journal published our summary of the Articulatory Approach for teaching pronunciation and how it can be applied in the English language classroom.

Download the paper here.


New French Fidel and Verb charts


We have created a new French Fidel which separates out the silent endings for verbs and nouns. This encourages learners to develop an internal, grammatical dialogue when they write.

Our new Verb chart is a synthesis of the French conjugation system, showing patterns of behaviour.


TPD for Tutela


In spring 2020, we ran a special version of Teaching Pronunciation Differently for Tutela, the online community for ESL/FSL professionals funded by the Canadian government.


Embodied Speech conference


Piers was invited to speak at an international phonetics conference in Paris in April 2019.

He presented his view of the significance of child speech breathing in the development of timing features in spoken language. For English, the use of the respiratory system by children to produce stress is particularly important.


Charts in action


We're pleased that Actualis in Paris use our materials in their classes, as illustrated in their new promotional video.


Online Training:
Teaching Pronunciation Differently 2019


We will run another EVO (Electronic Village Online) session for 5 weeks starting on 13th January 2019. 


To join this session, go to and register for a student account.


Then 'Join a course' using the access code: DRHXH-HX9D5

Two-day introduction to the Articulatory Approach


In early 2019, we've got a busy programme of other activities, so we're not reserving any training dates. Please contact us if you would like us to put on a special event.


See the entries below for examples of our normal programme and costs.


IATEFL Conference 2018


On Tuesday 10th April, together with Adrian Underhill, we will be marking the 30th anniversary of Caleb Gattegno's death with a forum at the IATEFL Conference. The title and abstract read:


Language is for Expression before it is for Communication


So said Caleb Gattegno, inventor of the Silent Way. We invite you to explore how our current methodology might have developed along different lines if expression rather than communication had been adopted to underwrite the purpose of language learning. We will ask whether three current 'problem' areas, mistakes, syllabus, and control, could have turned out to be less problematic.

Online Training:
Teaching Pronunciation Differently 2018


We ran another EVO (Electronic Village Online) session for 5 weeks starting in mid-January 2018. 


This was the flyer which described the session:  

EVO 2018 flyer.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 475.2 KB


We've collected some of the feedback we received here.

Two-day introduction to the Articulatory Approach


Our  Winter/Spring dates for introductory training:

  • Sat/Sun 11/12 November 2017 in Brighton, UK
  • Sat/Sun 9/10 December 2017 in Besançon, France
  • Sat/Sun 3/4 March 2018 in Besançon, France
  • Sat/Sun 7/8 April 2018 in Brighton, UK

The cost is £160 or €190. Please download the course information below and contact us if you have any questions. 


PronSci Training, 2017.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 355.8 KB

IATEFL conference in Glasgow


Roslyn and Piers each presented at the 2017 IATEFL conference in April. The materials from their talks are available here.


Principles behind the Silent Way 


Roslyn and Piers were recently filmed talking about the principles behind the Silent Way, the approach that inspired our work at PronSci. The set of videos can be viewed here.  


Online Training:
Teaching Pronunciation Differently 2017


We have been accepted to run another EVO (Electronic Village Online) session starting on 8th January 2017, for 5 weeks. 


There is more information on this flyer:


EVO 2017 flyer #3.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 333.8 KB

How young children learn to pronounce L1


Piers has published a precis of his Journal of Phonetics article in Speak Out! Issue 55. You can download the content here:


Messum 2016 Speak Out, How we learn to p
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.7 MB

Two-day introduction to the Articulatory Approach


Our Winter dates for introductory training:

  • Sat/Sun 22/23 October 2016 in Besancon, France
  • Sat/Sun 10/11 December 2016 in Brighton, UK
  • Sat/Sun 18/19 February 2017 in Brighton, UK

The cost is £160 or €190. Please download the course information below and contact us if you have any questions. 


PronSci Training, Winter 2016.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 355.8 KB

New Sounds 2016


Piers gave an oral presentation and Ros a poster presentation at the New Sounds conference in Aarhus in Denmark in June 2016. There were about 300 attendees, almost all from universities around the world.


Piers's presentation was about how infants learn new sounds in L1 and the implications of this for teaching and learning L2. We have put it onto YouTube in three parts.


Discussion group


We have recently been involved in setting up a forum for discussion of the subordination of teaching to learning. Called Subtle, it can be found here.


Weekend course in Paris


We will be running a training course for Actualis on 11th and 12th November 2016, called La prononciation anglaise. Details here.


Journal of Phonetics paper


Piers has had an academic paper published on how children learn to pronounce their first language. You can see it here, with a pdf download under the green bar at the top. The way we recommend teaching pronunciation is consistent with the mechanism Piers describes for children.


Five week on-line pronunciation event


In our personal capacity, Piers and Ros expect to moderate another free EVO session from Sunday 10 January 2016 to Sunday 14th February 2016 with our colleague Arizio Sweeting. It will be similar to 2015's Teaching Pronunciation Differently session. We won't be using the PronSci materials, but the theoretical approach will be consistent with the PronSci approach.



Silent Way: Comment enseigner la prononciation d'une nouvelle langue


In Paris on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd May 2015, we will be giving a two day training session on the fundamental factors underlying the system of pronunciation in English and in French: articulatory settings, speech breathing  and coarticulation.


More information from Actualis here.


IATEFL Conference 2015


This year's IATEFL conference is in Manchester from 11th to 14th April 2015.


Roslyn will be demonstrating how to teach French pronunciation at the PronSIG pre-conference event on Friday 10th April.


Then in the conference itself Roslyn will be giving a talk on 'Silent Way for intermediate and advanced classes'. Piers will be presenting 'Pronunciation: what to do before you do sounds'.


ALOES - Workshop on the integration of pronunciation into secondary classroom teaching


On 28 March 2015 ALOES (Société des Anglicistes Oralistes de l’Enseignement Supérieur, Secondaire et Elémentaire) are organising a workshop for secondary school teachers in France. The venue is Laboratoire Parole et Langage, Salle B011, 5 avenue Pasteur, 13100 Aix-en-Provence.


Piers and Roslyn will be giving complementary talks: 'What to do before you teach sounds. Part 1: WHY' and 'Part 2: HOW' respectively.



For more information, write to Sophie Herment:




On Saturday 21 February 2015 there was a conference on teaching pronunciation at the British Council in London. David Crystal and Adrian Underhill were the plenary speakers, and Roslyn and Piers each had a speaking slot. The event was recorded.


Online Training


From 11th January 2015 onwards, for 5 weeks, we are helping to moderate a session for EVO (Electronic Village Online). 


Our session is called Teaching Pronunciation Differently, and details can be found at the bottom of this page.


How Children Learn to Pronounce


Piers has had a paper published in PLoSONE, about how children learn to pronounce their first language. It argues that they do not learn speech sounds by imitating their caregivers, but by their own experimentation and feedback on this from their caregivers. The paper presents experimental support for this proposal. 


If this idea, originally developed by Gattegno, is right, then pronunciation teaching using 'Listen & Repeat' is unnatural (as well as being ineffective, as we already know).


Learning and Teaching English Pronunciation


We are running a training course in Brighton over the weekend of 25th/26th October. The cost is £100. 


The venue is close to the station, and the times will be 10 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm each day. Please contact us to enrol.


How to Eliminate Teacher Talk

Roslyn will be giving a 45 minute presentation with this title at this year's Language Show Live at Olympia, London on Saturday 18th October at 3.30pm.

Her theme is that working with systems allows students to use their intelligence. This allows teachers to remain silent.

She will be illustrating her talk with demonstrations of teaching pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar.


We are teaching a general English course in France in September/October. Here are the details:


Silent Way - Learn to Speak English

4 days over 2 weekends

20-21 September and 4-5 October 2014

For: Anyone who has a few years of school English but still has problems speaking. Also, for teachers who want to observe the Silent Way in practice.

Timetable: Saturdays from 2 pm to 7.30 pm ; Sundays from 9 am to 12.30 pm and from 2 pm to 4.30 pm. (23 hours in total.)


Venue: Foyer de la Cassotte, 18 rue de la Cassotte, Besançon, France.


Piers Messum is giving a talk on 'The Silent Way Approach to Teaching Pronunciation' on Tuesday 3rd June from 6.30 to 8.00pm.


This event is organised by the ELT Library, St Giles London Central, 154 Southampton Row, London WC1B 5JX, and tickets cost £6.00 each.


The synopsis reads:

This workshop will combine theory, experience and training. I will start by explaining the reasons why Gattegno advocated a ‘silent’ teacher for pronunciation (but not a mute one), and how his insights have been further developed. Then I will teach a short pronunciation class in Japanese, to give you a learner experience of the approach. Finally, I will demonstrate how to integrate a Silent Way approach to pronunciation into a conventional classroom, and will give you a chance to experiment with this for yourself.


To book a place, contact Andy Taylor via this page


Our next public training course is a two-day course in Paris on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th May 2014 organised by Actualis, on teaching English and French pronunciation

Cost: €160


For more information, please download this summary:

Spring 2014 courses.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 248.2 KB

For more information, please contact us.


Version 2 PronSci charts for British and American English are now available.


There are some minor changes based on feedback from our users, and one major change: to a new font that is more legible at a distance. Please have a look at the new designs here and here.


The Silent Way charts have also now been converted to the new font. See them here.


We wrote an article about Gattegno's continuing importance in language teaching which was published in the late spring edition of the IATEFL Voices newsletter. You can find a copy on the Downloads page. 2013 is the 25th anniversary of Gattegno's death and the 50th anniversary of 'Teaching Foreign Languages in Schools: the Silent Way'.


And further to the item below, Andrew has done another interview with Piers, this time about teaching and learning stress and reduction in English.


You can hear the second interview here.


Andrew Weiler, who maintains a website for learners called 'Strategies in Language Learning', recently interviewed Piers about the learning of speech sounds.


You can hear the interview here.



There's a helpful picture of a class in action, with a complete set of charts on the wall, at the Glasgow IATEFL PronSIG pre-conference event in March here.


In a normal classroom there wouldn't usually be enough room for the fidel to be next to the wall charts; it would typically be put on another wall.


This was a very large 'class'; there were about 50 people in the room. For smaller classes, smaller charts which take less wall space are available.



We summarised the Questions and Answers from the IATEFL PronSIG Fielded Discussion in October 2011:

Non-imitative ways of teaching pronunciation
Messum & Young (2012) Non-imitative.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.2 MB


The PronSci charts are now available as a mini-set for self-study (by teachers as well as students). The complete set - made up of a rectangle chart, the fidel and the 16 word charts - is printed on 4 sheets of card, A4 size, with 2 further sheets of keys.


The price is €10 plus postage and packing.