Summary of the most important
methods presented in class.
1. Grammar translation.
This method is good to teach students who don’t need speak or listen to English. It has
been used for a long time and nowadays we can find it in many classrooms. In this
method the teacher is the centre of the classroom and textbooks are fundamental. It is
based on the explanation of grammar rules and long lists of vocabulary. You can’t use
the second language except for translation, and reading and writing are the centre of the
class, there are no place for listening and speaking.
Some of the main objectives are:
Reading and writing
Grammar structures and translation
Study of morphology and syntax
Memorization of grammar rules and long lists of vocabulary items
Some of the activities of a class using this method are:
Translation of a Literary Passage: students translate a reading passage from the
target language into their native language.
Reading Comprehension Questions: students answer questions in the target
language based on their understanding of the reading passage.
Fill-in-the-blanks: students must complete missing words in some sentences.
Deductive application of Rule: grammar rules are presented with examples.
Once students understand a rule, they are asked to apply it on some different
2. Direct method.
The lessons in this method start with a presentation of the topic in the target language
since the classroom interaction is conducted exclusively in that language. Every day the
teacher teaches vocabulary and sentences and this vocabulary is taught through objects
and pictures. Then students repeat (chorus, whole class, rowls…) and oral
communication skills are built up in a graded progression because both listening and
speaking are promoted from the very beginning.
For grammar the teacher doesn’t explain but associate the meaning through action and
demonstration. In this way, learners will be able to induce grammar rules through
examples, illustrations and demonstrations.
Some of the activities used with this method are:
3. Audio-lingual method
This approach to language learning is similar to the direct method. Like this, the audiolingual method advised that students should be taught a language directly, without using
the student’s native language to explain new word or grammar in the target language.
However, the audio-lingual method doesn’t focus on teaching vocabulary but the
teacher drilled students in the use of grammar.
There are 4 parts to the Audio-Lingual method:
Repetition: the students repeat what the teacher says.
Teacher: I want to buy some fruit.
Students: I want to buy some fruit.
Inflection: the teacher says a word or sentence and the students change the form
Teacher: I want to buy some fruit.
Student: I wanted to buy some fruit.
Replacement: the teacher says a sentence and students replace a word.
Teacher: I want to buy some bananas.
Students: I want to buy some apples.
Restatement: the teacher says a sentence and students rephrase it.
Teacher: Tell me to speak louder!
Students: Speak louder!
With this method, the teacher is the centre of the classroom, the process of translation is
avoided, students must learn by heart, and, probably, they don’t know what they are
writing and why.
4. Community Language Learning:
This approach was created especially for adult learners who might fear to appear
foolish. Students work in groups to develop what aspects of a language they would like
to learn, so the teachers become a language Consellor who coordinates, guide and helps.
In this method translation will be provided by the teacher and students apply the target
language independently when they feel confident enough to do so. Some of the
activities of this method are:
Translation: students form a circle, a student speak in his/her mother tongue and
the teacher translate it into the target language.
Tape recording: students speak in their mother tongue and the teacher translates
it into the target language. Then students repeat it into the target language
Reflection on experience: students are allowed to express how they feel about
5. Total Physical Response.
TPR is an approach to teaching a second language based on listening linked to physical
activities which are designed to reinforce comprehension. In this method, students
respond to commands that require physical movement. Grammar is not taught explicitly
but is induced from the language input.
Most of class time in TPR lessons is spent doing drills in which the teacher gives
commands and students respond to them with physical actions. Firstly, students learn
the meaning of the commands they hear by direct observation. After they learn the
meaning of the words in these commands, the teacher issues commands that use some
combinations of the words that students have learnt.
6. Community Language Teaching
CLT represents a reaction to previous methodological principles. They support what
was called the development of communicative proficiency in the target language. Three
main principles can be inferred from CLT practices:
a. The communication principle: learning is promoted by activities
involving real communication. A new activity is included (role play)
b. The task principle: learning is enhanced through the use of activities in
which language is employed for carrying out meaningful tasks.
c. The meaningfulness principle: the learning process is supported by
language which is meaningful to the student. Activities should
consequently be selected according to how well the involve the learner in
authentic and meaningful language use.
Activities used in this method are:
Picture strip story