Grammar Translation Method | Concept | Merits & Demerits

What is Grammar Translation Method ?

          In teaching of English as a second language. This method which originally practice in our country that is Grammar Translation Method. Though there are methods of teaching English. The most popularly used methods are Direct Method, Bilingual Method and GTM.

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In Grammar Translation method, translation and grammar are equally important. Grammar-cum Translation method had its origin in Germany and was popular from 1840s to 1940s. This method is also called as classical method because it is the oldest method of Teaching of English .

It emphasis on grammatical explanation and translation of a language pattern. Regardless of a purpose for which a particular language pattern is to be taught to the pupils. In this method the rule is often memorized and subsequently cited to explain a similar situation.  The mother tongue becomes the medium of instruction  of teaching. So students needs to memorize the rules of grammar and translate passages from mother tongue onto English and vice-versa.

topic: grammar translation method concept merits and demerits

Definition of Grammar Translation Method:

Champion defines grammar-cum-translation method in the following way:-

 ‘ According to this method. The first step in learning a language is to get at the meaning of new words, phrases and sentences to. And under the translation method, the meaning of English words, phrases and sentences is taught by means of word forward translation into the mother tongue.

In this method the unit of speech or reading is not a sentence. A sentence comes last of all. First comes letters then words and after them a sentence. It is the most condemned method, but it is also one of the most popular method of teaching English. In most of the schools, the majority of teachers teach English through translation methods.

Procedure of this method: –

In this method, the textbook occupies an important place. Because textbook has-

  1. All reading material.
  2. Specific graded vocabulary.
  3. Rules of grammar.
  4. Each lesson with some new words.

The lesson begins with the vocabulary items. And the meaning of the words explain in the mother tongue of the learners. The teacher makes sure that the learners have understood their meaning by giving them a test.

The next step is reading of the passage. The learner read the passage, and the teacher translates the passage into native language if necessary .After that the teacher explains the grammarly items into the mother tongue of the learners. And the learner’s copy the grammar rules provided by the teacher in their mother tongue into their mother tongue .The learners may also asked to translate into foreign language from mother tongue. Finally the  teacher gives assignment  of  the unfinished exercise and learning of rules.

What is the main characteristic of grammar translation method?

Grammar translation method is very popular and widely used method of teaching. It has some important characteristics. which are in the following-

  1. Under this method of English, the unit of teaching is word.
  2. The textbook occupies an important place in this method.
  3. First language is used for explaining the meaning of English words and sentences. In teaching Grammar
  4. Translation of paragraph from mother tongue into English and from English into mother tongue is given to the students for practice.
  5. Rules of grammar are memorized by rote.
  6.  This method laid stress on reading and writing.
Merits of Grammar translation Method:

What is the advantage of grammar translation method?

9 advantages of grammar translation method are-

  1. Students learn easily. The meaning of words, idioms, phrases and sentences can be easily. It makes clear to the students by translating them into native language. This develops an attitude of exactness and definiteness.
  2. It enriches student’s vocabulary of English language as students learn to consult English dictionaries to know the meaning of new words.
  3. It helps student to learn English through their mother their tongue.
  4. In this method, the child proceeds from known to unknown. This gives him a better comprehension of English.
  5. By comparing with the grammar of mother tongue. English grammar can  clearly and effectively teach.
  6. Since the textbook is the main basis of grammar cum translation method, it promotes the skill of reading and comprehension.
  7. This method is very useful in developing the art and skill of translation.
  8. This method requires the use of very less material aids in the classroom because mother tongue translation makes the teaching easy. So it saves a lot of time and energy of the teacher in teaching a foreign language. We can use this method even in over-crowded classes.
  9. Students are more comfortable as they learn by translating foreign language into mother tongue.

There are some limitations of this method these are :

Demerits of Grammar Translation Method:

1. Grammar-cum translation method is an unnatural method. The natural order of learning is listening speaking reading and writing. But translation method, the teaching of language starts with the teaching of reading.

2.This method neglects the oral approach to language learning, so the students do not develop proper speech habits and their expression in the foreign language remain poor.

3.This method does not provide any pattern practice. The students may have knowledge of the rules of grammar but they may not be speaking or writing correctly. Students learn correct English only through practice which is not providing in this method.

4.Another demerits of this method are that this method is dull and mechanical. And in this method the students are passive listeners and they are not active participants in the lesson. It emphasis on formal grammar which results in disinterested of students to learn the foreign language.

5.This method teaches student to think first in their mother tongue and then to translate their thought into English. This procedure hinders the development of natural speech and delays the process of foreign language learning.

6.It develops the bookish English which is literal in character.

7.This method emphasizes on grammar and translation and ignores the speech aspect.

  1. Another demerit of grammar-cum translation method is that it emphasizes only on rules rather than the use. etc. know more Language across the curriculum

              Describe in brief translation cum grammar method of teaching english language?. Thus,Grammar Translation Method in language teaching: Grammar-cum translation method is a classical or oldest method which emphasis on grammar and translation. And in this method the importance gives to grammar, student memorize the rules of grammar by rote, and students learn easily. It is an economical approach. Although, the grammar-cum translation method plays an important role in English language teaching .There are some limitations of this method which we discussed above in details. To know more about grammar translation method visit Wikipedia

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