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Write down the main concerns of natural approach theory in teaching language.

The Natural Approach is a language teaching methodology developed by Stephen Krashen and Tracy Terrell. It is based on the principles of second language...
HomeEnglishWhat is the direct method? How is it different from the grammar...

What is the direct method? How is it different from the grammar translation method?

The Direct Method, also known as the Natural Method, is a language teaching approach that emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a reaction against the Grammar-Translation Method. The Direct Method emphasizes teaching language inductively, focusing on communication and everyday language use. Here are the key features of the Direct Method and how it differs from the Grammar-Translation Method:

Direct Method:

  1. Oral Communication:
    • The Direct Method prioritizes oral communication from the beginning. Students are immersed in the target language, and the primary mode of instruction and communication is in the language being learned.
  2. Vocabulary through Context:
    • Vocabulary is taught inductively through context and real-life situations. Learners acquire new words and phrases through exposure rather than explicit vocabulary lists or memorization.
  3. Everyday Situations:
    • Lessons are designed around everyday situations and contexts. The aim is to teach language that is immediately applicable in real-life scenarios, fostering practical language use.
  4. Grammar Inference:
    • Grammar is taught implicitly, with a focus on learners inferring grammatical rules through exposure to correct language use. Explicit grammar explanations and translation are minimized.
  5. No Use of Mother Tongue:
    • The Direct Method discourages the use of the learners’ native language in the classroom. The emphasis is on creating an immersive environment where students think and communicate directly in the target language.
  6. Visual Aids and Gestures:
    • Visual aids, objects, and gestures are commonly used to convey meaning without resorting to translation. This helps create a direct association between words and their meanings.
  7. Conversation and Interaction:
    • The Direct Method promotes conversational interaction as a central component of language learning. Students engage in dialogues, role-plays, and communicative activities to enhance their oral proficiency.
  8. Teacher as a Facilitator:
    • The teacher takes on the role of a facilitator, guiding students through interactive activities, correcting errors, and providing feedback. The emphasis is on creating a supportive and engaging learning environment.

Grammar-Translation Method:

  1. Focus on Written Language:
    • The Grammar-Translation Method focuses heavily on written language, with an emphasis on reading and translating texts. The primary goal is to understand and translate literature.
  2. Translation Exercises:
    • Grammar-Translation involves extensive translation exercises, where students translate sentences or passages from the target language to their native language and vice versa. This approach is used to reinforce grammar rules.
  3. Grammar Rules and Analysis:
    • Grammar rules are presented explicitly, and students engage in grammatical analysis. The emphasis is on understanding the structure of the language through rule memorization.
  4. Formal and Literary Language:
    • The language taught is often formal and literary, with a focus on classical texts. Everyday language use and oral communication are secondary considerations.
  5. Use of Mother Tongue:
    • The Grammar-Translation Method allows the use of the learners’ native language in the classroom. Translation between the two languages is a common practice for understanding and practicing language structures.
  6. No Emphasis on Speaking:
    • Speaking and oral communication are not prioritized. The focus is on written language skills, and students may have limited opportunities to develop their speaking and listening abilities.
  7. Teacher-Centered Approach:
    • The teacher plays a central role in presenting grammatical rules, explaining concepts, and evaluating written assignments. Students are often passive recipients of information.

In summary, the Direct Method emphasizes oral communication, vocabulary acquisition through context, and a communicative approach, while the Grammar-Translation Method focuses on written language, grammar rules, and translation exercises. The Direct Method seeks to replicate the natural language acquisition process, while the Grammar-Translation Method has a more formal and analytical approach to language learning.