Grammar Translation Method And Direct Method
Teaching has undergone some fundamental changes in the recent years. Currently teaching differs a lot from the traditional way where students had to sit in rows and carefully listen to a teacher’s lecture. Teaching English as a foreign language has come across various ups and downs by using different methods. If one considers the trends of teaching a foreign language to young pupils, a research of current teaching methods needs to be made, aiming to determine which method will be most effective.
Today almost every school teaches a foreign language as part of its educational requirements. The reason that a foreign language is taught and learned is based in ones needs to widen his horizons, as communication tool, increase of knowledge, travel, work, study, emigration, or challenging oneself. This not only makes a person smarter but also it can help others and themselves. The importance is enormous, and also can change personality and the way of life when one learns and interacts with people from other countries. Moreover, a lot of barriers can be removed by being able to communicate in a language different than ones native language.
The area that captures curiosity is how young learners learn a foreign language .A lot of research has been done that aims to answer this problem. A lot of approaches have been devised that aim to answer the problem of acquiring a foreign language. However, the challenge consists in finding methods which suit student needs, especially if one considers that the success of these methods are dependant on students’ aspirations and goals of learning a language.
Even though there are many methods used in our school systems this research focuses on Direct and Grammar Translation Method, since these two methods completely contradict each other. This is an issue that exists in the education field in our school systems. Teachers often face difficulties in choosing which method is more appropriate and will best suit their students’ needs. The most controversial concern in teaching English as a second language is whether to move drastically from the classical method towards the idea of modern methods, where a great emphasize will be given to the students independence .Since our schools are trying to accommodate to new modern systems there are still those traditional teachers who refuse to recognize the new implementations being made in schools.
A teaching method is a way of teaching a language and each method has its own principles and procedures that help in acquiring a language. Methods have to do with the position and performance of the teacher and pupils in the classroom, but also with the materials that are used and the realization of learning objectives. Both the Direct Method and the Grammar Translation are significantly used and dominate in the language teaching systems in our schools. Each of these methods has its typical advantages and disadvantages and today teachers employ pieces of each method to go with their teaching style and to best adjust their students requirements.
Both the Direct Method and Grammar Translation help the learner build on their knowledge. This is especially during early age, when students need a good learning environment, which will motivate and actively involve them in classroom discussions.
A comparative study between these two methods would be very helpful to determine which method will create positive learning atmosphere in the classroom and have long lasting effects. Moreover a field study involving groups of students exposed to different learning methods would indicate the advantages and drawbacks of different methods.
This research assumes that by comparing these two methods one will be able to determine how the teaching method impacts the learning of a foreign language. However, one should ignore the weakness of these methods and focus on strengths in order to accumulate the most productive information that can generate curiosity and success. This way, the percentage of the achievements will be much higher. In result one will come to knowledge accomplishment and enjoyment during the course.
Master Thesis Content:
This project aims to emphasize the importance of choosing a teaching method for learning a foreign language, by comparing two important teaching methods. The research will also analyze what role has the students’ native language toward acquisition of foreign languages. A test group of 110 pupils aged between 12 and 14 will be involved in this study, during the second semester of the school year 2011 with the purpose of gathering results in teaching English language to relatively young learners through the use of the Direct and Grammar Translation Method.
Students that will be taught using the Grammar Translation Method will use their native language during the course. They will be provided with a lot of explanation of English grammar, which will be compared with their own. Text with higher difficulty will be given the students early in the course while focusing more on translation rather than the content of it. Also the structure of the foreign language will be compared and contrasted with the structure of students’ native language. It will also be required from students to translate sentences from their native language to English and vice versa. By making this contrastive study of the target language in relation with their mother tongue they will get an insight not only of the structure of the target language but also of their own. Vocabulary will be learned as well, by simple translation into their first language and students will be more involved in reading and writing activities, while being less engaged in oral communication and listening comprehension.
The Direct Method is a method that avoids using the learners’ native language and just focuses on the target language. This method operates on the idea that second language learning must be an imitation of first language learning, as this is the natural way humans learn any language “a child never relies on another language to learn its first language”, and thus the first language is not a prerequisite in learning a foreign language. Students taught by this method will have to place great stress on correct pronunciation and the target language from the beginning.. In the Direct Method students will not be using the native language at all, thus contradicting the Grammar Translation Method.
Before starting the research the groups will be balanced based on several criteria such as Placement test, GPA and Learning inventory
Placement test will be administered before beginning the research and the scores of the test will serve to determine the level of every student so that a proper equalization of students into groups will be achieved. This type of test will give more information about the pupils’ achievements and will serve as an indicator of where to start teaching.
After the placement test the GPA of the groups will be measured in order to have groups with an approximate average, otherwise the research would not be accurate if groups differentiate a lot in average.
Learning inventory is a very efficient way which undoubtedly results extremely helpful for teachers in finding out the learning styles of their students. The elementary student leaning style inventory will consist of several questions, which answers will reveal student’s individual learning preferences. This type of questionnaire will prove very supportive in choosing activities and methods that will motivate and increase students’ engagement in the class; given that each student has a different learning style whether it is kinesthetic, visual or auditory.
After the separation of groups will be completed according to the stated criteria the Experimental group will be taught by the Direct Method while the Control group will be taught by the Grammar Translation Method for a period of three months. In attendance a Free group will be settled in an integrative way of teaching of both grammar and direct method.. The Control group will be compared against the Experimental group.
This thesis will try to make a comparison between these two language teaching methods and will observe the following aspects in the students skills:
Aspect Direct Method Grammar Translation
The results of the research will be obtained in an evaluation graph.
Richards and Rogers in their work classify language teaching methods as the "dominant language of education, commerce, religion and government in the Western world".
A well known author in the field of education, Maximilian Bertliz, also known as the creator of the Direct Method points out that “The direct method provided total immersion as no mother tongue was used in the classroom”. He is exclusively in opposition to the usage of the mother tongue in the classroom because that will obstruct their independence of using the target language. Bertliz also states that: “in order to convey meaning, teachers directly communicate through mime and gesture”
On the other hand according to Krashen “Students should feel ready to produce L2 in order to avoid anxiety and keep the filter low”. Based on Krashen, who at the same time is the ideologist of this method, teachers need to be patient and wait until students feel ready to produce the L2. Krashen completely contradicts the idea that students first language interferes with second language acquisition. Brown goes further by explaining that this method is still used in many schools today since “It requires few specialized skills on the part of the teachers. Test of grammar rules and of translation are easy to construct and can be objectively scored. Many standardized test of foreign languages still do not attempt to tap into communicative abilities, so students have little motivation to go beyond grammar analogies, translations, and rote exercises.” On the other hand according to Richards and Rodgers the Direct Method requires more specialized teachers, teaching equipments and is difficult to test.
Which of the two methods (Grammar Translation or Direct Method) is more efficient in teaching and will best fulfill the language needs of young language learners?
How will the Grammar Translation usage versus Direct Method be in relation to acquisition of English language skills?
Will the usage of the student’s native language in the Grammar Translation Method influence the course of development?
Through out the study we will try to raise and hopefully find explanation to the following issues:
Should we use the student’s native language in the classroom, if the students’ grammar is similar with the L2 grammar?
2. What teaching activities and techniques work best in relation to four language skills?
3. To what extent cam grammar and oral communication be settled in an integrative way of teaching?
This project will be conducted on early-aged learners for whom English is a foreign language. A group of 110 pupils aged between 12 and 14, will be used at the second semester in the primary rural school “Ashim Agushi” Struga. They will be divided into two groups, each using the same teaching material but a different method of language teaching. This research will last approximately three months.
The process of colleting data will be primarily focused in answering the research question and hypothesis of the thesis. To better investigate the key concept of the thesis and to provide a good qualitative study, first need to be chosen the participants who will have different views and preferences toward the teaching methods. In terms of numbers, the smaller the number of students the greater will be the opportunities to make a qualitative study given that the students can be studied in depth which in turn will provide a more detailed analyze.
Before even starting the research the first thing one has to do is get permission from the people who will provide the data (students) and from their representatives (parents). Also one needs to get permission from higher authorities (school directors) who are protecting the rights of the participants involved in the research. They will be previously informed about the intentions of this research, and the research will start as soon as their permission is given.
This research will try to address and collect data on the students’ performance on four language skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening). The action research will be carried out in twelve-week time and its main goal will be to examine the developmental changes on the students and observe how effective these two teaching strategies will be. The question or the dilemma of the thesis is which method will best fit for young language learners. One has to use a strategy that will provide more adequate data and will be more appropriate for the solution of the problem.
Today, there are a lot of research methodologies available, but having in thought that this is a research regarding the educational field and has to deal with human beings and events happening in the classroom environment, one has to be careful in choosing an appropriate research method.
Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be used in tandem throughout the action research. In the qualitative method the data that will be collected and the details of the research will be represented in a text form and images as well. At this stage will be used different tools like open- ended observations, papers, audio visual materials, objects , photos, posters, and videotapes. Observation will be organized by recording some of the most important events, by keeping notes about the aspects being observed, and about students’ weaknesses and concerns of the teacher. Qualitative data analyze will give information about the students which in turn will help in developing a measurement instrument.
In quantitative method will be selected an instrument in order to diagnose numerical data, to show reliability and validity. When using this method , different techniques will be used like
A questionnaire which needs to be filled by English teachers, who teach young language learners in different schools, expressing their attitudes toward the issue area.
Analysis of students’ tests (comparing the results and identifying the weaknesses and abilities in both teaching methods.
Based on the test results assign corrective tasks
The aim of this project is to help learners and teachers in developing awareness of the importance that different teaching methods play on foreign language acquisition. The primary focus will be making empirical investigations on the classroom instruction in the primary rural school Ashim Agushi in Struga . Also, this project will try to find answers to other aspects like the role of the students L1 in their acquisition of L2.
This thesis”A comparison between Grammar Translation Method and Direct Method, in the teaching of English to young language learners- case study with students in Ashim Agushi rural district school” might show some advantages toward the learners learning styles because it will give us insights which way they acquire the language easier.
Short explanation of the request together with biography of candidate
Mjellma Reci born on 25th July in Struga. Graduated high school at the age of 18. Started her university studies at the South East European University at September 2005 and finished with her academic studies in June 2008 in the field of English Language and Literature. At the very beginning of her undergraduate studies she devoted herself to hard work in order to develop and improve knowledge. By the time she graduated, she could see that the efforts and hard work helped her develop her personal and academic qualities and performances, which proved to be rewarding for her future.
Currently works as an English teacher in the Primary school” Ashim Agushi” in Struga. The three years of experience have shown to be perfect and satisfactory. Working with young learners provoked her to investigate the impact that teaching methods have towards the foreign language acquisition for a group of learners. This is the reason why the subject of the master thesis will be “A comparison between Grammar Translation Method and Direct Method, in the teaching of English to young language learners - a case study with the students of rural district school - Ashim Agushi in Struga “
Table of contents
1. Literature review
Brief summary of English Language Teaching Methods
Grammar Translation Method and Direct Method
2. Grammar Translation Method 2.1 The origins of Grammar Translation Method 2.2 The main features of Grammar Translation Method 2.3 The advantages and disadvantages of Grammar Translation Method 2.4 The objectives of Grammar Translation Method
3. The Direct method 3.1 The origins of Direct Method 3.2 The main features of Direct Method 3.3 The advantages and disadvantages of Direct Method 3.4 The objectives of Direct Method
4. Direct Method versus Grammar Translation Method
4.1 Deductive teaching of Grammar versus Inductive teaching
4.2 Usage of the mother tongue versus Inhibition of the mother tongue
4.3 Translation from one language to another versus oral training
4.4 Teaching individual words versus sentence as the unit of speech
4.5 Teacher centered classes versus student centered
5. Field work
5.1 Creating the setting for research
5.2 Balancing the groups based on
- Placement test
- Learning inventory
- Control group
- Experimental group
- Free group
5.3 Research work
5.3.1 Teacher preferences
5.4 Data collection
5.5 Data interpretation
5.6 Conclusion for the research findings
6. Suggestions derived from the findings
7. Strong and weak points of findings
7.1 Future steps for continuation
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