Even though the direct method has derived from psychilogy, the method has some principles related to learning foreign language. The following principles are some of the characteristic of the direct method regarding to language learning.
- Grammar is taught by situation and through inductive process.
- The syllabus is based on situation and related to everyday vocabulary and structure.
- Grammar and vocabulary is taught orally
- Concrete meaning are made clear by presenting physical objects and abstract ones through association of ideas, not through translation.
- Repetition of new materials is encouraged to make language learner acquire the language naturally.
- Listening and imitating sounds are drilled so that language learners become automatic in producing the sounds.
- Language learners learn the target language in the class most of the time
- Sounds of the language are essential and presented at the beginning of the course.
- Reading follows listening and speaking, and the reading texts are based on the materials of the two skills
- Many new items are presented in the same lesson in order to make the language natural.
The principles of the direct method kept developing from year to year. There was always some effort to systemize the teaching of language and the method was also combined with other traditional methods. Descriptive phonetics and reading texts were also added to the method to meet the demands at that time. The combination with the traditional methods was eventually called “eclectic method”.