The GTM embraces a wide range of approaches but, broadly speaking, teaching the target language is seen as a mental discripline even though it is often claimed that the goal of the language teaching is to be able to read literature in its original form. With regard to the nature of language and language learning, GTM has different points of view from modern methods. The following are assumptions about language and language learning that the GTM embraces:
- Through the GTM language is believed to consist of written words and of words which exist in isolation; they are individual words which can be translated one by one into their foreign equivalents and then assessed according to grammatical rules into sentences in the foreign language. Vocabulary in the target language is learned through direct translation from the mother tongue. Readings in the target language are translated directly and then discussed in the native language.
- In language teaching what should be taught is not the language itself but the faculty of logical thought and provided valuable mental discipline. This is often critized because IQ of averange school children is not high enough to cope with this method. Through this method teaching the target language relies very much on cognituve ability.
- The medium of instruction is themother tongue, which is used to explain conceptual problems and to discuss the use of particular grammatical structure. Using the mother tongue for the purpose of instruction is believe to give language learners a set of clear objectives and a clear sense of achievement. Language learners also need sense of scurity since the language learners can easily understand most of the instruction.
- Learning a foreign language needs feeling secure and this condition may take place whenever language learners know how to say in the target language. This assumption may suggest that grammar teaching is needed in order that learners know how words are arranged to express their ideas. In a situation where english is learned as a foreign language students often do not feel secure when they are not sure whether what they express is right or not.