Grammar Translation Method and Direct Method | Differences

Method is a style of the presentation of the teaching point in classroom systematically. A successful teaching depends on the teacher. A teacher must know the teaching approaches and methods for a successful and effective teaching. There are several methods like Grammar translation method (GTM.), direct method (DM) and Bilingual Method (BM). Now lets know what is grammar translation method? And what are the differences between grammar translation method and direct method.?

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What is Grammar Translation Method? (GTM):

Grammar translation method (GTM) is one of the oldest method of teaching. In this method grammar and translation of a language are equally predominate. In this method the rules of grammar are memorized by the students and then illustrates further… Grammar translation method.

What is Direct Method? (DM):

Direct method (DM) is a natural method of  teaching English language. Because in this method, students learns English language in natural order of language listening, speaking, reading and writing. In the same way as they learn their mother tongue… Direct method

Difference Between Grammar Translation Method and Direct Method:

English language is most popular language in this modern era. English as a first language taught in English medium schools and other international schools. However, in state schools and some other schools, English is taught as a second language.

Though there are various methods of teaching language. But There are differences between each method. Because methods are determined by the nature of content. The Key deference between GTM and DM are in the following-

1. In grammar translation method, the teacher uses the mother tongue to teach the students. Mother tongue is the medium of instruction. The teacher uses mother tongue to explain the meaning of words, sentences and phrases while teaching.

But in DM, there is no use of mother tongue. Students learn English language naturally in the same way as they learn their mother tongue. That is why direct method is also called as natural method of teaching.

2. The second important different between GTM and DM is the gap between language and thought. In GTM there is a gap between language and thought to be taught. The students first learn to think in their mother tongue and then to translate their thought into English. Which may become the hinder in the process of learning English language.

One the other hand, in direct method , there is  a direct link between the language and thought. Mother tongue of the students are not getting the way of learning English language.

Natural and unnatural:

3. Natural and unnatural is another difference key difference. GTM is an unnatural method of teaching English language. The natural order of language learning is Listening, speaking reading and writing. Children learns their mother tongue in natural order. But in GTM teaching of language starts with the teaching of reading.

One the other hand, DM is a natural method. Because in this method students learn English language in the natural order in the same way as the children learns their mother tongue. Which is the main difference between GTM and DM.

4. In Grammar translation method (GTM) the teaching unit is the words. But in the direct method, the teaching of English starts with the teaching of of sentences and not the individual words.

5. In GTM , the grammar is taught in deductive way. Deductive is an old method of teaching where the teacher teaches the rules of grammar first then explains with examples. But the direct method is inductive. Where certain examples present before the students and then apply the rules with the help of students. So deductive and inductive is another difference between GTM and DM.


In summing up, the grammar translation method or GTM and direct method (DM) both are popular method of teaching English. There are some key difference between GTM and DM. GTM is a classical method and DM method which was develop as a reaction against GTM. These are some important differences between grammar translation method and direct method of teaching.

Learn more

  • Grammar translation method vs Bilingual method
  • What are the merits and demerits of Structural Approach ?
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