The Grammar Translation Method

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The Grammar Translation Method

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1. The Grammar Translation Method

2. Characteristics focus on learning the grammar rules and vocabulary of the target language in order to read literature in the target language A fundamental goal for students is to be able to translate one language into the other The main skills to de developed are reading and writing. Classes are teacher-centred Grammar is taught deductively Memorization of grammar rules, grammatical paradigms and vocabulary The sentence is the basic unit of teaching and language practice. Much of the lesson is devoted to translating sentences into and out of the target language, and it is this focus on the sentence that is a distinctive feature of the method. Accuracy is emphasized The student's native language is the medium of instruction. It is used to explain new items and to enable comparisons to be made between the foreign language and the student's native language.

3. Textbook contents Statements of abstract grammar rules Lists of vocabulary Sentences for translations Oral practice was limited to the students reading aloud the sentences they had translated.

4. The Reform Movement Pre-reformers (the mid-ninetenth century)

6. Reformers 1. The study of the spoken language 2. Phonetic training in order to establish good pronunciation habits 3. The use of conversation texts and dialogues to introduce conversational phrases and idioms 4. An inductive approach to the teaching of grammar 5. Teaching new meanings by establishing associations within the target language rather than with the mother tongue

9. 1. Careful selection of teaching content (what to be taught) 2. Imposing limits on teaching content 3. Arranging content in terms of the four basic skills 4. Grading materials from simple to complex

10. The principles of the Reform movement 1. Spoken language is primary, and this should be reflected in an oral-based methodology. 2. The findings of phonetics should be applied to teaching and to teacher training. 3. Learner should hear the language first, before seeing it written. 4. Words should be presented in sentences, and sentences should be practised in meaningful contexts. 5. The rules of grammar should be taught after the students have practised the grammar points in context, that is, inductively. 6. Translation should be avoided, although the mother tongue could be used to explain new words and check comprehension.

11. The Direct Method

12. Practical principles Classroom instruction was conducted exclusively in the target language. 2. Only everyday vocabulary and sentences were taught. 3. Oral communication skills were built up in a carefully graded progression organized around question-and-answer exchanges between teachers and students in small, intensive classes. 4. Grammar was taught inductively. 5. New teaching points were introduced orally. 6. Concrete vocabulary was taught through demonstration, objects, and pictures; abstract vocabulary was taught by association of ideas. 7. Both speech and listening comprehension were taught. 8. Correct pronunciation and grammar were emphasized.

13. Practical guidelines Never translate: demonstrate Never explain: act Never make a speech: ask questions Never imitate mistakes: correct Never speak with single words: use sentences Never speak too much: make students speak much Never use the book: use your lesson plan Never jump around: follow your plan Never go too fast: keep the pace of the student Never speak too slowly: speak normally Never speak too quickly: speak naturally Never speak too loudly: speak naturally Never be impatient: take it easy

14. Drawbacks

15. Teaching conversational skills was considered impractical (restricted time available, limited skill of teachers, irrelevant interest of that skill for the average American student) Consequently, it advocated that a reasonable goal would be developing a reading knowledge of the foreign language: gradual introduction of words and grammatical structures in simple texts. Emphasis in reading characterized foreign language teaching in the U.S.A. until World War II. Vocabulary was seen as an essential component of reading proficiency. Consequences: A concern for vocabulary ? frequency counts ? Michael West. 1953. A General Service List of English Words. (? 2.000 basic words).


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