Kamis, 31 Desember 2009

The Grammar Translation Method (GTM)

The Grammar Translation Method (GTM)



A. Introduction

GTM is not a new thing in language learning, which is only slightly different. The name that has been used by language teachers for a few years ago. In ancient times this method is called the "classical method" of the time used in the classical language learning, such as Latin and Greek. At the beginning of this century, this method is used to assist students in reading and understanding a foreign language literature. But it is also expected that it is in studying or understanding the grammar of the desired target language, students will become more familiar with the language rules in accordance with the source language and a deeper understanding of this will further help them in reading and writing according to the source language to be better.

Finally concluded that it is studying a foreign language will help the development of students in developing intellectual, it can be recognized that the students will never use the target language, but learning is very much needed mental



A. Definition

The grammar-translation method of foreign language teaching is one of the most traditional methods, dating back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was originally used to teach 'dead' languages (and literatures) such as Latin and Greek

B. Caracteristic

The grammar translation method has eihgt caracteristic

1. Classes are taught in the mother tongue, with little active use of the target language.

2. Much vocabulary is taught in the form of lists of isolated words.

3. Long elaborate explanations of the intricacies of grammar are given.

4. Grammar provides the rules for putting words together, and instruction often focuses on the form and inflection of words.

5. Reading of difficult classical texts is begun early.

6. Little attention is paid to the content of texts, which are treated as exercises in grammatical analysis.

7. Often the only drills are exercises in translating disconnected sentences from the target language into the mother tongue.

8. Little or no attention is given to pronunciation.

C. Techniques

The grammar translation method has nine Techniques :

1. Translation of a Literary Passage (Translating target language to native language)

2. Reading Comprehension Questions (Finding information in a passage, making inferences and relating to personal experience)

3. Antonyms/Synonyms (Finding antonyms and synonyms for words or sets of words).

4. Cognates (Learning spelling/sound patterns that correspond between L1 and the target language)

5. Deductive Application of Rule (Understanding grammar rules and their exceptions, then applying them to new examples)

6. Fill-in-the-blanks (Filling in gaps in sentences with new words or items of a particular grammar type).

7. Memorization (Memorizing vocabulary lists, grammatical rules and grammatical paradigms)

8. Use Words in Sentences (Students create sentences to illustrate they know the meaning and use of new words)

9. Composition (Students write about a topic using the target language).

D. Advantages

a. The phraseology of the target language is quickly explained. Translation is the easiest way of explaining meanings or words and phrases from one language into another. Any other method of explaining vocabulary items in the second language is found time consuming. A lot of time is wasted if the meanings of lexical items are explained through definitions and illustrations in the second language. Further, learners acquire some short of accuracy in understanding synonyms in the source language and the target language.

b. Teacher’s labour is saved. Since the textbooks are taught through the medium of the mother tongue, the teacher may ask comprehension questions on the text taught in the mother tongue. Pupils will not have much difficulty in responding to questions on the mother tongue. So, the teacher can easily assess whether the students have learnt what he has taught them. Communication between the teacher and the learners does not cause linguistic problems. Even teachers who are not fluent in English can teach English through this method. That is perhaps the reason why this method has been practiced so widely and has survived so long

E. Disadvantages

a. It is an unnatural method. The natural order of learning a language is listening, speaking, reading and writing. That is the way how the child learns his mother tongue in natural surroundings. But in the Grammar Translation Method the teaching of the second language starts with the teaching of reading. Thus, the learning process is reversed. This poses problems.

b. Speech is neglected. The Grammar Translation Method lays emphasis on reading and writing. It neglects speech. Thus, the students who are taught English through this method fail to express themselves adequately in spoken English. Even at the undergraduate stage they feel shy of communicating through English. It has been observed that in a class, which is taught English through this method, learners listen to the mother tongue more than that to the second/foreign language. Since language learning involves habit formation such students fail to acquire habit of speaking English. Thus, they have to pay a heavy price for being taught through this method.

c. Exact translation is not possible. Translation is, indeed, a difficult task and exact translation from one language to another is not always possible. A language is the result of various customs, traditions, and modes of behavior of a speech community and these traditions differ from community to community. There are several lexical items in one language, which have no synonyms/equivalents in another language. For instance, the meaning of the English word ‘table’ does not fit in such expression as the ‘table of contents’, ‘table of figures’, ‘multiplication table’, ‘time table’ and ‘table the resolution’, etc. English prepositions are also difficult to translate. Consider sentences such as ‘We see with our eyes’, ‘Bombay is far from Delhi’, ‘He died of cholera’, He succeeded through hard work’. In these sentences ‘with’, ‘from’, ‘of’, ‘through’ can be translated into the Hindi preposition ‘se’ and vice versa. Each language has its own structure, idiom and usage, which do not have their exact counterparts in another language. Thus, translation should be considered an index of one’s proficiency in a language.

d. It does not give pattern practice. A person can learn a language only when he internalizes its patterns to the extent that they form his habit. But the Grammar Translation Method does not provide any such practice to the learner of a language. It rather attempts to teach language through rules and not by use. Researchers in linguistics have proved that to speak any language, whether native or foreign entirely by rule is quite impossible. Language learning means acquiring certain skills, which can be learnt through practice and not by just memorizing rules. The persons who have learnt a foreign or second language through this method find it difficult to give up the habit of first thinking in their mother tongue and than translating their ideas into the second language. They, therefore, fail to get proficiency in the second language approximating that in the first language. The method, therefore, suffers from certain weaknesses for which there is no remedy



The Grammar Translation Method was developed for the study of “dead” languages and to facilitate access to those languages’ classical literature. That’s the way it should stay. English is certainly not a dead or dying language, so any teacher that takes “an approach for dead language study” into an English language classroom should perhaps think about taking up Math or Science instead. Rules, universals and memorized principles apply to those disciplines – pedagogy and communicative principles do not.


Larsen-Freeman, Diane. (1986) Techniques and Principles of Language Teaching, Oxford University Press.

Billah,MD.M. “Teaching English through English Medium”. The New Nation.Online. 20 Nov 2005.

2. Brown, D.H. Teaching by Principles:An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy. Longman: New York,2001.

3. Dr. Shahidullah, M., Islam. J., Majid , I. A. N. and Haque,M.S. English For Today for Classes 11-12.Dhaka.NCTB, 2001.

4. Dr. Shahidullah,M.,Islam,J., Majid, I. A.N. and Haque,M.S. Teacher’s Guide for English For Today For Casses 11-12.Dhaka.ELTIP, 2001.

5. Larsen-Freeman,D. Techniques and Principles of Language Teaching. Oxford:Oxford University Press, 1981.

6. Shahzadi,N.,Rabbani,F.,Tasmin,S. English For today for Classes 9-10.Dhaka.NCTB, 2002.

4 komentar:

  1. terima kasih atas sharingnya, makalah ini sangat bermanfaat untuk saya...:)
    salam kenal dan salam kreativitas.:)

  2. ada yang tentang pengajaran latihan grammar dalam metode Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)/ Communicative Approach?
    Kalau ada please di share kan, butuh banget,thank you so much

  3. izin copy ke blog saya ya gan, mkasih