Back to: Pedagogy of English – Unit 3
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.
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 Procedure of Grammar Translation Method
The process followed in the Grammar Translation Method of teaching is as follows:
- The lesson begins with an emphasis on vocabulary items. The meaning of new words is explained in the learner’s mother tongue.
- The teacher gives them a test to ensure that they have understood the meaning of the words.
- This is followed by a reading of the passage where the learner reads the passage and if necessary, the teacher translates the same to their native language.
- The teacher then explains the grammatical structure to the learners in their native language.
- Lastly, the teacher gives the learners some assignments to revise and learn the rules properly.
Main Characteristics Of Grammar Translation Method
- The unit of teaching under this method is a word.
- The textbook plays an integral role in this method.
- To explain the meaning of English words, phrases, and sentences, the native the first language is used.
- Students are asked to translate the passage from their mother tongue to English and vice versa for practice.
- Rote memorization is emphasized for learning grammatical rules.
- This method also emphasized reading and writing a lot.
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.