GRAMMAR TRANSLATION METHOD AND DIRECT METHOD

BACKGROUND

The first concern with language teaching method had to do with the teaching of Latin and Greek grammars. The methods used at that time were mostly designed to enable people to speak, read and write latin. All of the methods were related to the method which was popularly known as the grammar method. With the invention of printing the reproduction of greek an latin classics became easy and, therefore, the grammar method was no longer effective to teach the languages. There were a number of attempts to improve the teaching of the languages. One attempt was suggested by Meidenger (1783), who advocated translation into the target language through the application of rules of grammar. Karl Plotz (1819-1881) also improved the teaching method; his method was divided into two parts: (1) rules and paradigms, and (2) sentences for translation into and out of the target language. His method also included rote learning of grammar rules, learning to put grammatical labels on words, and learning to apply the rules by translating sentences. This way of teaching was finally called the grammar translation method (GTM).

Since latin was learned based on written language of classical literature, the GTM ignores authentic spoken communication and social contexts of the language. It was also hoped that, through the study of the grammar of the target language, students would become familiar with the grammar of their native language (larsen freeman, 2000: 11). The fundamental purpose people learned a foreign language was to able to read literature that was written in the foreign language so that the students were provided with exercises to read and write in the foreign language. The GTM was widely used in the USA in 1890’s. it was also called the calssical method since it was first used in the teaching of classical language, Latin and Greek.

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