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What is Grammar Translation Method?
•The grammar-translation method of
foreign language teaching is one of the
most traditional methods.
•It was originally used to teach 'dead'
languages (and literatures) such as Latin
and Greek, involving little or no spoken
communication or listening
•A focus on learning the rules of
grammar and their application in
translation passages from one language
into the other.
•Vocabulary in the target language is
learned through direct translation from
the native language, it is taught in the
form of isolated word lists. e.g. with
vocabulary tests such as:
the house = la casa
the mouse = el ratón
•Very little teaching is done in the target
language. Instead, readings in the target
language are translated directly and then
discussed in the native language. Little or no
attention is given to pronunciation.
•Grammar is taught with extensive
explanations in the native language, and only
later applied in the production of sentences
through translation from one language to the
Do you have my book? = ¿Tienes mi
I don't know where your book is = No
sé donde está tu libro
• Literary language is superior to the spoken language.
•Translating each language into each other is an important
goal for learners.
•The authority in the classroom is the teacher.
• To be able to communicate with target language’s
speakers is not among the goals.
•The primary skills to be improved are reading and
• Its focus is on accuracy and not fluency.
• Error correction: If a student’s answer of a question is
incorrect, the teacher selects a different student to give the
correct answer or s/he replies himself/herself.
1. Classes are taught in the mother tongue, with
little active use of the target language.
2. Much vocabulary is taught in the form of lists of
3. Long elaborate explanations of the intricacies of
grammar are given.
4. Grammar provides the rule for putting words
together, and instruction often focuses on the
form and inflection of words.
5. Reading of difficult classical texts is begun
6. Little attention is paid to the content of texts,
which are treated as exercises in grammatical
A class working with the Grammar
Translation Method looks like this:
•This method gives pupils the
wrong idea of what language
is and of the relationship
between languages. Language
is seen as a collection or
words which are isolated and
•Worst effect of this method is
on pupil's motivation. Because
(s)he cannot succeed - leads to
frustration, boredom and
•It seemed there was no need
for students to master the four
skills of English (listening,
speaking, reading, and
method is the easiest for a
teacher to employ. It doesn't
require a teacher to speak
good English or make good
hoy vamo’ a ver
Exercises of a class using this method
1. Translation of a Literary Passage
Students translate a reading passage from the target
language into their native language.
2. Reading Comprehension Questions
Students answer questions in the target language based on
their understanding of the reading passage.
Students are given one set of words and are asked to find
antonyms in the reading passage.
Students are given a series of sentences with words missing.
5. Deductive Application of Rule
Grammar rules are presented with examples. Once
students understand a rule, they are asked to apply it to
some different example.
• When do we use them?
We often went camping when we were children.
(Cuando éramos niños a menudo íbamos a acampar)
I will always love you.
(Siempre te amaré)
• Different positions
Pedro sometimes visits us on Sundays.
(Pedro a veces nos visita los domingos)
She is often ill in winter.
(Ella generalmente está enferma en el invierno)
• The following list shows
the most common
adverbs of frequency,
with the one that refers to
things that happen most
often at the top, and least
often at the bottom:
Often A menudo
Sometimes A veces
Hardly ever Casi nunca
i. Complete la oración con un adverbio de frecuencia.
Example: He _______ plays on the computer.
(He always plays on the computer)
1. He ________ listens to the radio.
2. They __________ read a book.
3. Pete __________ gets angry.
4. Tom is _________ very friendly.
5. I __________ take sugar in my coffee.
6. Ramon is _________ hungry.
7. My grandmother ___________ goes for a walk in the evening.
ii. Traduzca la oración.
1. I rarely get up late on weekends.
2. Nunca tomo café al desayuno.
3. I am sometimes late for class.
4. Usualmente camino al colegio.
5. I hardly ever go running on Saturday mornings.
6. Siempre busco palabras difíciles en el diccionario.
7. I often take a bath at night.