Words in Color

I also follow Caleb Gattegno’s Words in Color approach for French which is a way to learn how to read in French for people who already know French (natives) but do not know how to read. It mainly concerns children learning how to read or illiterate people of any age.

We used a tool developed by Caleb Gattegno called the fidel. This tool, when used following the pedagogy of Gattegno really helps the student develop criteria for self-correction. More than simply finding out the correct spelling, the student can work on phonology. The teacher only guides the learner through this journey.

The material

There is a series of materials that can be used to teach this way but, once again, these props are not always necessary.

The following chart was created by Maurice Laurent and inspired by the pedagogical approach of Caleb Gattegno. panneau.png
This tool is used to learn grammatical categories in French. Other teachers have modified it a bit in other languages. Each of the colored space matches with a specific category. While the teacher give sentences aloud, the student points on the chart in the appropriate categories. Once again, this is a visual and kinesthetic way of learning and it’s neither driven by a model nor by memory.
The learner does not need to know metalanguage when learning this way but the concepts learnt make sense for them! This way of learning through multiple experiences is an excellent way to retain and master new concepts. It does not rely on memory but rather on developing mental images which stay for much longer.


The Cuisenaire rods can also be used the same way.