PRINCIPLES OF GRAMMAR TRANSLATION METHOD

A fundamental purpose of teaching the target language through the GTM is to be able to read literature written in the target language. This purpose can be reached by learning about the grammar rules and vocabulary of the target language. It is also believed that studying a foreign language provides students with good mental exercise which helps develop students’ minds.

Principally, the GTM focuses on translating grammatical forms, memorizing vocabulary, learning rules, and studying conjugations. Even though the method may be considered more as a technique rather a method, to follow anthony’s terms, in the sense that the method is not an overall plan of language teaching, the method also has principles regarding to language teaching. The principles of the GTM are these:

  1. Grammar rules are presented and studies explicitly. Grammar is taught deductively and then practiced through translation exercises.
  2. The primary skiils to be developed are reading and writing.
  3. Hardly any attention is paid to speaking and listening skills.
  4. Teacher correction is the only way to make students produce the right forms of the foreign language.
  5. The goal of foreign language learning is the ability to understand the texts written in the foreign language.
  6. Mastering the grammar of the foreign language is essential in order for students to undestand the written target language.
  7. Vocabulary is learnt from bilingual word lists.
  8. The mother tongue is used as the medium of instruction.
  9. A paramount use of translation exercises is given.

The procedure of teaching english is simply a combination of activities of teaching grammar and translation. The teaching begins with english rules, isolated vocabulary items, paradims and translation. The teacher explains the rules in students’ firs language and then simple words are put into slots of grammatical rules. The grammar rules are memorized as units. The teacher provides the class with other words and the translation. The student, then, practice using the rules by using the words provide. The students are expected to be conscious of the grammatical rules of the target language. The texts to translate are usually easy classics; this type of texts is used to have students practice understanding the literature in the target language. The students should memorized lists of words.

Language materials are arranged based on grammar or english. Usually, the sequence of the teaching materials is based on the easiness of the rules. Its grammatical syllabus is graded from the easy grammatical rules to more difficult ones. Very little teaching is done in the target language. Even though reading texts are written in the target language and translated directly into the mother tongue, the discussion is conducted in the mother tongue. Vocabulary in the target language is learned through direct translation from the native language.

Language learners are not expected to be able to use the target language for communication. No class time is allocated to allow language learners to produce their own sentences and little time is spent on oral practice. The emphasis on achieving correct grammar with little regard for the free application and production of speech is the greatest weakness of this method. The way of teaching also affects the way of evaluating students’ learning. Evaluation or testing or the learners is done almost exclusively through translation. Or, language learners are prepared to have a grammar test only.

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