DIRECT METHOD AND GRAMMAR TRANSLATION METHOD
The direct method of teaching was developed as a response
to the Grammar-Translation method. It sought to immerse the learner in the
same way as when a first language is learnt. All teaching is done in the target
language, grammar is taught inductively, there is a focus on speaking and
listening, and only useful „everyday' language is taught. The weakness in the
Direct Method is its assumption that a second language can be learnt in exactly
the same way as a first, when in fact the conditions under which a second
language is learnt are very different.
This approach, also known as the 'oral' or 'natural' method, originated
around the 1900s as an alternative to the traditional grammatical translation
method. At this time teachers were starting to experiment with teaching and
educational models as previous techniques were failing to improve spoken
Direct teaching is a systematic instructional method that foremost requires the
teacher to have a command of the subject matter at as close to a mastery level,
middle school level, high school level, college level or adult education level, that
the teacher thoroughly “understand” the content.
Direct Instruction is based on behaviorist learning principles. Therefore it
effectively helps in obtaining students‟ attention, reinforcing correct responses,
providing corrective feedback, and practicing correct responses. Tends to
increase the academic learning time, or the amount of instructional time during
which students are attending to the task and performing at a high success rate.
Studies show that students learn basic skills more rapidly when they receive a
greater portion of their instruction directly from the teacher.
The Direct Method continues to provoke interest and enthusiasm today, but
it is not an easy methodology to use in a classroom situation. It requires small
classes and high student motivation, and in the artificial environment of a
classroom it is difficult to generate natural situations of understanding and
guarantee sufficient practice for everyone.
Some characteristics of this method are:
Lessons are in the target language.
There is a focus on everyday vocabulary.
Visual aids are used to teach vocabulary.
Particular attention is placed on the accuracy of pronunciation and
A systematic approach is developed for comprehension and oral
Grammar, when it is taught, is taught inductively.
The vocabulary and structure of the language are inculcated to a large
extent by the teacher and answered by students.
The meanings of words and forms are taught by means of object or
Oral teaching precedes any form of reading and writing.
ADVANTAGES OF DIRECT METHOD:
1) It makes the learning of English interesting and lively by establishing direct
bond between a word and its meaning.
2) It is an activity method facilitating alertness and participation of the pupils.
3) According to Macnee, "It is the quickest way of getting started". In a few
months over 500 of the commonest English words can be learnt and used in
sentences. This serves as a strong foundation of further learning.
4) Due to application of the Direct Method, students are able to understand what
they learn, think about it and then express their own ideas in correct English
about what they have read and learnt.
5) Psychologically it is a sound method as it proceeds from the concrete to the
6) This method can be usefully employed from the lowest to the highest class.
7) Through this method, fluency of speech, good pronunciation and power of
expression are properly developed.
Disadvantages of Direct Method:
1) There are many abstract words which cannot be interpreted directly in English
and much time and energy are wasted in making attempts for the purpose.
2) This method is based on the principles that auditory appeal is stronger that
visual. But there are children who learn more with visual than with their oralaural sense like ears and tongue.
3) The method ignores systematic written work and reading activities and
sufficient attention is not paid to reading and writing.
4) Since in this method, grammar is closely bound up with the reader, difficulty is
experienced in providing readers of such kind.
5) There is dearth of teachers trained and interested in teaching English in this
6) This method may not hold well in higher classes where the Translation Method
is found suitable.
7) In larger classes, this method is not properly applied and teaching in this
method does not suit or satisfy the needs of individual students in large classes.
Grammar Translation Method:
Sometimes also known as the Classical Method, this is a traditional
teaching technique that was used to teach Latin and Greek and was particularly
in vogue during the 16th Century.
This teaching method is still common in many countries and institutions
around the world, and still appeals to those interested in languages from
an intellectual or linguistic perspective. However, it does little to improve your
ability to use the language for oral communication.
Grammar-translation method of teaching foreign language 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 comprehension. It was designed according to the faculty
psychology approach which was very popular during the 18th and 19th century.
It contended that” mental discipline was essential for strengthening the powers of
The Grammar-Translation Method has been used by language teachers for
many years. In this century, this method was used for the purpose of helping
students read and appreciate foreign language. To understand the grammar of
the target language, the teacher and the students use their native language for
making the grammar more familiar. This method is probably true that is not new
to many of you. An important goal is for students to be able to translate each
language into the other. If students can translate from one language into another,
they are considerate successful language learners.
The teacher asks students in their native language if they have any
question. A student asks one and is answered in her native language. The
primary skills to be developed are reading and writing. Little attention is given to
speaking and listening, and almost none to pronunciation. The teacher is the
authority in the classroom. It is very important that students get the correct
answer. When the students translate new words from native language into target
language, they have to find native language which equivalents for all target
language words. Learning is facilitated through attention to similarities between
the target language and the native language. It is important for students to learn
Students apply a rule to examples they are given. And they have to
memorize vocabulary also. When the teacher asks students to state the grammar
rule, the students should be conscious of the grammatical rules of the target
language. Students memorize present tense, past tense, and past participle
The roles are very traditional. The teacher is the authority in the classroom.
The students do as she says so they can learn what she knows. Students study
grammar deductively: that is, they are given the grammar rules and examples,
are told to memorize them, and then asked to apply the rules to other examples.
They also learn grammatical paradigms such as verb conjugations. The
memorize native-language equivalents for target-language vocabulary words.
Vocabulary and grammar are emphasized. Reading and writing are the
primary skills that the students work on. There is much less attention given to
speaking and listening. Grammar rules are presented with example. Exceptions
to each rule are also noted. Once students understand a rule, they are asked to
apply it to some different examples. In order to show that students understand
the meaning and use of a new vocabulary item, they make up sentences in which
Students are given lists of the target language vocabulary words and their
native language equivalents and are asked to memorize them. Students are also
required to memorize grammatical paradigms such as verb conjugations. The
teacher gives the students a topic to write about in the target language. The topic
is based upon some aspect of the reading passage of the lesson.
The Grammar Translation Method was developed for the study of “dead”
languages and to facilitate access to those languages‟ classical literature. That‟s
the way it should stay. English is certainly not a dead or dying language, so any
teacher that takes “an approach for dead language study” into an English
language classroom should perhaps think about taking up Math or Science
instead. Rules, universals and memorized principles apply to those disciplines –
pedagogy and communicative principles do not.
Direct Method and Grammar Translation Method are the two oldest
methods for teaching foreign languages. Grammar Translation Method first
appeared in the 18th century and was originally used for teaching old languages
like Greek, Latin then failed in teaching communication skills. After that, Direct
Method was built with the attempts to overcome the weakness of the Grammar
Translation Method. As a result of that, there are many differences in the
principles of these two methods which will be summarized into following main
In direct method the teacher provides the knowledge in grammar inductively
through speak. On the other hand, the grammar translation method is focused on
grammar rules and their application is learned through rules.
In direct method, the vocabulary is learned through practice everyday, and
in grammar translation method, the vocabulary is learned from the direct
translation of the L1. The students learn through rules.
The role of teacher is very important, they ask to the students constantly,
encourage them to participate in class and correct their mistakes immediately. In
grammar translation method, the role of the teachers is not very active because
they just limit their work to translate for the students.
The students are very actives, their oral communication skills are
emphasized, and they have to speak a lot in direct method. The accuracy from
the students is expected and they have to practice by translation in grammar
SKILLS TO BE IMPROVED:
In direct method, oral communications skills were built up in a carefully
grade, and in grammar translation method, primary skills to be improved readingwriting.
Through the realization of this work is more clear to us the difference
between this two methods, as features teachers we have to know and
understand it in order to make a class productive, and using the best of the
didactic methods in education, we are going to improved the knowledge of our
students and at the same time we will have the opportunity to experiment with
different types of education to choose or create our own method.