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What Is Grammar Translation Method In Language Teaching

The Grammar Translation Method In Language Teaching is better known as the Grammar-Translation Method. It is also called the classical method of teaching English. In the teaching of English as foreign language, it has enjoyed a great reputation in the past at present also, many teachers prefer to teach English by this method. It the past Greek, Latin, French, German etc. were taught by this method.

Translation method means teaching the target language by translating it into mother tongue-may be Hindi or Punjabi. Here each phrase or sentence of English is taught by translating it into mother tongue. The philosophy behind this method is that the foreign language can be best taught or learn through translation. The learners, however, have to make use of set rules and principles of grammar.

The Principles of Translation Method

The Grammar Translation method is based on the following principles:
  •  Teaching of a foreign language through translation is easy, quick and economical.
  • The structural patterns of the two languages are compared and this comparison makes learning more clear and firm.
  • The fundamental principle of proceeding from known to unknown is followed throughout.
  •  The knowledge of rules helps the learners to avoid any type of mistakes.

The Advantages of  Grammar Translation Method

The grammar translation method has a number of advantages which are given below:
(1) This method is very successful in the present day class-rooms, where there are a large number of students in each section.
(2) By telling the meaning of a word or sentence in mother tongue, the teacher can at once make the students understand. Thus it is less lime consuming.
(3) It is very reliable for giving the students practice of reading with understanding.
(4) In this method, the teacher as well as the learners are able to facilitate the teaching-learning process.
(5) Teaching English by using this method does not require lot of labour on the part of the teacher. Thus many teachers who are not habitual of working hard feel happy.
(6) By using this method, the comprehension of the students can be tested very easily. ‘
(7) The learners are able to learn many items of English by comparison with mother tongue. That makes learning more clear and firm.
The Disadvantages
1. This method ignores the practice of oral work to the students which is the most important aspect in the teaching of any language.
2. In this method, reading comes first and speaking afterwards. That is very unnatural,
3. This method wastes a lot of time of student because everything has to be translated compulsorily.
4. The translation work is always approximate. So the learner is not able to learn things accurately.
5. Through translation work, the real spirit of meanings contained in the sentence is missed.
6. It does not provide opportunity for silent reading.
7. It lays more emphasis on rules of grammar which is not very sound in teaching-learning of a language.
8.This method makes the students think in mother tongue and then translate the same into English. In many cases, it may lead to funny expressions for example:- The road  began to walk.
9. It is a dull and mechanical method because the learner remains passive mostly.
10. It does not help the students to learn correct pronunciation of English.
11. The learners can remain absent minded while being taught by this method. Many a time they just try to show their teacher that they are listening to him.
12. This method does not help the students to learn the language.
Thus we find that die grammar translation method has a few merits and more draw-backs. But even then we find that it has gained universal popularity. It is being used by a large number of teachers. One of the reasons of deteriorating standards of English is the use of this type of method. The best thing would be not to use translation method as such in the class rooms. It may be used only when the class-room situation demands it.

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