Back to: Pedagogy of English – Unit 3
Champion defines the Grammar-Translation method as,
“According to this method, the first step in learning a language is to get at the meaning of new words, phrases, and sentences. And under the translation method, the meaning of English words, phrases, and sentences is taught by means of word forward translation into the mother tongue.”
The Grammar Translation Method is the method that is used for teaching a second language in India. As the name suggests, both translation and grammar play an important role in this method. It originated in Germany and became popular in the 1840s and 1940s. Being one of the oldest methods of teaching in English, it is also referred to as the classical method. It focused on the translation of a language pattern and grammatical explanation. The medium of instruction in this method is the mother tongue which is used to cite the explanatory situation. Learners must memorize the grammatical rules and translate the passage from their mother tongue to English.
- The meaning of English words, phrases, sentences, and more can be learned easily by the students.
- It enriches the vocabulary of learners in English as learners may consult the Dictionary to learn the meaning of new words.
- Students can learn English with the help of their mother tongue.
- It promotes the skill of reading and comprehension because the textbook is the main component of this method.
- This method does not require many teaching and learning materials due to which it is cost-effective.
- It is an unnatural method as it does not follow the natural order of learning which includes listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
- It neglects the oral approach to language learning so they may not be able to develop proper expression in the foreign language.
- It does not offer pattern practice due to which students may read or write poorly despite knowing the grammar rules.
- This method is also considered to be mechanical and dull as it promotes rote memorization.
- This method also includes learning through translation which can delay the natural speech development of the learners while learning a foreign language.
Despite being one of the most condemned teaching methods, the Grammar Translation Method of teaching is also the most popular and is regarded to be an economic approach too.