Grammar Translation

Teaching Methodology

Overview

One of the several methods of teaching foreign languages is called ‘Grammar Translation’. As the phrase itself suggests, this method is about learning the grammatical rules and then applying those rules to the language being learnt. Hence, initially the grammatical rules are in the native language. Later, there is a translation of that native language into the target language. This constant translation is not of simple sentences but also is progressively learned by focusing on translations of whole texts as well.

Method of teaching foreign language like this one basically enables the students to not only intellectual develop themselves, but also be able to enhance their reading ability. It is imperative to notice that there usually is no attention given to speaking or listening to the target language. Hence, while the students may easily learn how to read or write the language by translating, their speaking or listening abilities might still need improvements.

Little attention is paid to the students’ ability of communication. The usefulness of this method has been contested. Undoubtedly, for quite a long period of time, the grammar-translation method has been used as a way to teach a foreign language. However, a lot of well-known theorists have critically argued against this approach. It has been argued that such a method might not encourage the students to play an active role in the classroom. This is because textbooks are quite essential for this method to work.

A typical textbook would include grammar rules of the target language written for the students to rote learn. It will also contain a bilingual vocabulary list. The list is used by the students to translate the sentence from the native language to the target language. There may be other methods of learning a foreign language, but this method surely has been popular for quite a long time.

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