Advantage of Grammar translation method is very important for every language teacher. We should see the brief history of this method. It is true there is no historical evidence available that could point to any specific date. All we know today is that translation has occurred in the foreign language instruction through ages. However, it was in the late eighteenth century that teaching grammatical rules with translation started work on language. The main leaders of Grammar-Translation Method were basically Germans scholars like Ploetz, and Meidinger.In the United States of America this method was known as the Prussian Method.
Merits of the Method
- The foreign phraseology can be explained in a better and quicker way. Students can understand the meaning of words, phrases and idioms easily through their tongue. It avoids vagueness and makes teaching exact and definite.
- It increases the vocabulary of the students. The process is optimal and reliable in early stage of learning. It saves a good deal of time of the students.
- For the teacher, the method is very easy. He does not work hard to teach the students. It is also suitable for the average and below average teachers.
- The child learns English better with the help of his prior knowledge of mother tongue..
- The comprehension of the children can be tested easily by this method
- Emphasis is given to teach much vocabulary.
- The linguistic material is SET UP on a grammatical base plan
- Grammar is taught deductively; that is, by presentation of rules and principles which are habitually practiced through translation exercises in specific texts. Text is taught systematically with the help of grammatical rules.
- Reading of difficult texts is started early and the selection of reading material is selected from the literary text.
- Accuracy is emphasized not fluency.
- Reading and writing are the major objective and purpose.
Advantage of Grammar Translation Method Has been Recognised by Many Language Teachers.
Demerits of the Method
- The vocabulary, idioms and phrases of a particular nation seldom find a matching equivalent in any other language. For Example “a” and “the”, before a noun can hardly be translated. We cannot teach the difference ice and snow, or the words like “key in music”, “drawing-room” etc. to our through the translation of these terms.
- The sense of beauty of particular word or sentence is completely lost through translation.
- This method fails to catch the mind and arrest the soul of the learner.
- There is little provision for the training of speech. Reading and writing come before speaking. The oral work is totally neglected.
- It is a dull and mechanical method. The student becomes simply a passive recipient of knowledge.
- This method fails to create direct contact between thought and – expression. The children first think in their mother tongue and then they convert their ideas into English.
- The lesson based on grammatical principles is not suitable for the young learners. It becomes dry and burdensome.
- This method ignores all consideration of phonetics, pronunciation and fluency in speech.
- There is no opportunity for silent reading in this method. It does not help the pupils for self reading in future.
In spite of these merits and demerits of grammar translation method, it is still practiced in many second language acquisition countries.