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Grammar translation method
Also known as classical method.originated in
Wherever a second languge was learned this
method was used .Came with the british
The words,phrases and sentences are to be
taught with the help of mother tongue.
A word to word translation of english words
phrases are to be taught with the help of mother
The content of teaching is word not the sentence
(in a way students are forced to cram up the
rules whether they understand it or not)
Process of teaching grammar translation
Stress is given to reading because without
reading word to word translation is not possible.
The teacher reads the content word by word
and translates it into pupil's mother tongue.
The teacher role is very important here.
Learners are passive listeners
Judicious use of mother tongue is advisable in
The notion is that words,phrases and
sentences if we want to make the students
understand well then it should be explained in
Stress is on the usage of grammar books and
Uses deductive method of grammar.
Evaluation is also based on grammar
Teacher should be fluent in mother tongue and
English and should have the same amount of
mastery in both the languages
Makes extensive use of students knowledge in
mother tongue.students are comfortable and
ready to learn a foreign language.
Judicial use helps students in understanding
vocabulary.saves time and is economical
Words and phrases are translated into the
mother tongue ensure better and quicker
understanding and clearness of the term or
Offers the shortest way to learn a foreign
Learners learn the words easily this method
Follows the maxim from known to unknown
(learners have a sufficient knowledge of mother
tongue when they start learning english)
Helps in testing comprehension. (for primary
level students the teacher can ask the students
to answer in mother tongue....very useful at
Is useful in explaining differences between the
structure of the sentences in English and
Develops the art of translation in students.
Can be easily used in overcrowded classes.
1. It is an unnatural method. The natural order of learning a language is
listening, speaking, reading and writing. That is the way how the child learns
his mother tongue in natural surroundings. But in the Grammar Translation
Method the teaching of the second language starts with the teaching of
reading. Thus, the learning process is reversed. This poses problems.
2. Speech is neglected. The Grammar Translation Method lays emphasis on
reading and writing. It neglects speech. Thus, the students who are taught
English through this method fail to express themselves adequately in spoken
3. Exact translation is not possible. Translation is, indeed, a difficult task and
exact translation from one language to another is not always possible. A
language is the result of various customs, traditions, and modes of behaviour
of a speech community and these traditions differ from community to
community. There are several lexical items in one language, which have no
synonyms/equivalents in another language. For instance, the meaning of the
English word ‘table’ does not fit in such expression as the ‘table of contents’,
‘table of figures’, ‘multiplication table’, ‘time table’ and ‘table the resolution’,
4. It does not give pattern practice. A person can learn a language
only when he internalizes its patterns to the extent that they form
his habit. But the Grammar Translation Method does not provide
any such practice to the learner of a language.
It rather attempts to teach language through rules and not by use.
Language learning means acquiring certain skills, which can be
learnt through practice and not by just memorizing rules.
The persons who have learnt a foreign or second language
through this method find it difficult to give up the habit of first
thinking in their mother tongue and than translating their ideas
into the second language.
They, therefore, fail to get proficiency in the second language
approximating that in the first language. The method, therefore,
suffers from certain weaknesses for which there is no remedy
Came into use as a reaction of Grammar
translation method. Also known as the Natural
The basic principle is – English is learnt in the
same way as the mother tongue is learnt.
Focuses on learning English in Natural
Works on the association between word and
experience. Teaching by performing actions
When we make an association between word
and experience of the learner without the help
of mother tongue.
Establishing a direct bond between second or
Aims to brings thought,experience ,expression
and language closer.
It does not need the help of mother tongue but
establishes a contact between the idea of and
the expression in the other language
The learners follows what he listens or read in
Learners are directly involved in the language
Grammar is taught through inductive method.
Mother tongue is totally banned
Direct bond between English language and
Lots of oral work is done in the beginning:
dialogues, commands , question and answers
Lots of drill and practice
Use of functional grammar : inductive method
Vocabulary is expanded
• Learner learns the foreign language as he
learns the mother tongue.
• Learner gets a lot of opportunity to listen to
• It is a natural way of learning the language
• Sufficient scope for the use of audio visual aids.
• Focus in on thinking in English , fluency and
• Considered as the quickest way of learning
• Good scope of activities
• P.Gurrey and Dr. West think that it is not a
method but just a principle which can be used
along other methods
• Depends on oral work so requires competent
• Speech is given more importance over reading
• Expensive method. Lot of AV aids are required
• Lays stress on the words but not on the
positioning of the words in the sentences. Also
many words have the same meaning.
Rule first examples later
Teacher gives the rules/definitions first and
then the examples.are provided to establish
Steps used in deductive method:
Introduction of the rule: the teacher introduces
the rule first and then he gives examples for
practice and observations.
Presentation of the examples: ample number of
examples are given to establish the rule.
Practice : teacher gives some examples for
• The advantages of a deductive approach are:
• It gets straight to the point, and can therefore be time-saving.
Many rules – especially rules of form – can be more simply and
quickly explained than elicited from examples. This will allow
more time for practice and application.
• It respects the intelligence and maturity of many – especially
adult -students, and acknowledges the role of cognitive
processes in language acquisition.
• It confirms many students’ expectations about classroom
learning, particularly for those learners who have an analytical
• It allows the teacher to deal with language points as they come
up, rather than having to anticipate them and prepare for them in
• Starting the lesson with a grammar presentation may be off-
putting for some students, especially younger ones. They may
not have sufficient metalanguage (i.e. language used to talk
about language such as grammar terminology). Or they may not
be able to understand the concepts involved.
• Grammar explanation encourages a teacher-fronted,
transmission-style classroom; teacher explanation is often at the
expense of student involvement and interaction.
• Explanation is seldom as memorable as other forms of
presentation, such as demonstration.
• Such an approach encourages the belief that learning a
language is simply a case of knowing the rules.
Insists on lots of examples first and formulations
of rules takes place afterwards.
Presentation of examples : teacher should
present several eaxamples in their best order so
that it leads to generalizations.
Analysis of examples: comparing and analyzing
the sentences for eg: Active to passive
I played the piano
The piano was played by me.
Like this the teacher can present various set of
Sentences are compared, contrasted and
analyzed on the basis of similarities and
differences for eg: subject predicate and object
Generalization : after analyzing the sentences the
students come to certain conclusions which is
Like : the object becomes the subject
The subject become the object proceeded by the
The form of the verb changes the past indefinite
changes into participle form (sung rang etc.)
Formation of rules: students form the rules with
the help of the teacher
Verification of the rules: application of rule with
another set of examples
Note: In this stage teacher can indicate certain
exceptions in the rules.
Practice : lots of practice is done with several
Teacher helps the student to form the rules.
Elicit some more examples
Enhances the thinking process of the students
Teaching learning process is made interesting
through contextualized discussion.
Plenty of practice in sentence patterns
Requires competent teacher. Usage should be
This method produces very good result with the
What are the advantages of encouraging learners to work rules out for
• Rules learners discover for themselves are more likely to fit their existing
mental structures than rules they have been presented with. This in turn will
make the rules more meaningful, memorable and serviceable.
• The mental effort involved ensures a greater degree
of cognitive depth which again ensures greater memorability.
• Students are more actively involved in the learning process, rather than being
simply passive recipients: they are therefore likely to be more attentive and
• It is an approach which favours pattern-recognition and problem-solving
abilities which suggests that it is particularly suitable for learners who like this
kind of challenge.
• If the problem-solving is done collaboratively, and in the target language
learners get the opportunity for extra language practice.
• Working things out for themselves prepares students for greater self- reliance
and is therefore conducive to learner autonomy.
The disadvantages of an inductive approach include:
• The time and energy spent in working out rules may mislead students into
believing that rules are the objective of language learning, rather than a
• The time taken to work out a rule may be at the expense of time spent in
putting the rule to some sort of productive practice.
• Students may hypothesise the wrong rule or their version of the rule may be
either too broad or too narrow in its application: this is especially a danger
where there is no overt testing of their hypothesis, either through practice
examples, or by eliciting and explaining statement of the rule.
• It can place heavy demands on teachers in planning a lesson. They need to
select and organise the data carefully so as to guide learners to an accurate
formulation of the rule, while also ensuring the data is intelligible.
• However carefully organised the data is, many language areas such as
aspect and modality resist easy rule formulation.
• An inductive approach frustrates students who, by dint of their personal
learning style or their past learning experience (or both), would prefer simply
to be told the rule.