Grammar-Translation Method


Grammar-Translation Method (Goals, Characteristics and Techniques)

This method emerged in Prussia at the end of the 18th century and as such it began to be used when the classical languages, especially Latin, ceased to be languages ​​of daily oral communication. Due to political changes in Europe, French, English and Italian were gaining importance as languages.

Grammar-Translation Method

However, given the need to learn Latin for its political weight and its prestige in the cultic sphere, grammar treatises were used as models of the language, in this way, classical Latin ended up being one more subject of the school curriculum and During this century, more modern languages ​​were included in this curriculum, under the same teaching methods and procedures used with Latin.

Why would I use this method?


Teacher’s role: He is the highest authority of the class; he is who knows, since he knows in detail the grammar manuals. It also organizes and directs students, to later correct their mistakes.


Student role: Passive receiver of the knowledge transmitted by the teacher. The student must develop a grammatical competency that allows the student to read, translate and write in the target language. He must also be able to reflect on complex and subtle grammatical aspects that help him solve language problems: how to interpret a text? What is the best translation of a text? What rule applies in a specific case? ...


Presence of grammar: Linguistic theory considers language as “a set of rules observable in sentences and texts and applicable to them. It is learned deductively and consciously, thanks to the memorization and analysis of grammatical content. The student who aims at the end is the one capable of reading and translating texts effectively; and that he uses the language mainly to read and write. The techniques used are the memorization of grammar rules and vocabulary lists, direct and reverse translation, reasoned explanations of grammar and sentence formation exercises.


  1. Memorizing Verbs forms, grammar rules, and Vocabulary.
  2. Develop ability to read the text (Literature)
  3. Translation from L1 to L2 and L2 to L1
  4. For the purpose of developing reading and writing skills
  5. Providing students a good mental exercise
  6. The students is bound to learn foreign language Vocabulary
  7. To provide support in helping the students to read and appreciate foreign language literature
  8. Study grammar of the target language
  9. Better understand grammar of the native language through familiarity.
  10. Students will be able to Speak and write their native language better.
  11. To enhance the Intellectual growth of the students through grammar exercises
  12. The students should learn how to communicate in target language.
  13. The study of the foreign languages grammar is thought to strengthen native language writing.

Characteristics of GTM:


  1. Classes are teacher centered.
  2. Classes are taught in mother language.
  3. In GTM abundant vocabulary is taught in the form of lists of isolated words.
  4. Long elaborate explanations of the intricacies of grammar are given in the GTM.
  5. Grammar offers the rule for putting words together for construction of the sentences.
  6. Vocabulary of L2 is taught through bilingual word list.
  7. Sentences are the basic units of the teaching.
  8. In GTM the skill of reading and writing are the focus, compare to with little attention is given to speaking or listening.
  9. Grammar is taught deductively (from the more general to the more specific).
  10. Accuracy in reading and writing the texts are emphasized.
  11. More focus on Memorization of grammar rules, grammatical paradigms and vocabulary are given in GTM.
  12. In GTM the Key skills that to be developed are reading and writing.
  13. In GTM Grammar analysis, explanation and translation serve the purpose of mastering grammatical rules.

Classroom techniques in GTM:


  1. In the GTM, the following activities/techniques can be done in the classroom for better learning:
  2. Practice exercises to apply the grammatical notions in a deductive way
  3. In GTM the main focus of the Translation of literary texts
  4. In GTM classroom activities are focus on Reading comprehension questions
  5. Antonyms / Synonyms (a word, morpheme, or phrase the same as another word in the same language) Cognates; Similarity between L1& L2 are emphasized
  6. Deductive application of grammatical rules
  7. Fill in the blanks (Comprehension exercises)
  8. Memorization (of verbs conjugations and long vocabulary lists)
  9. Use words in sentences
  10. Composing writing
  11. Assessment Exam to evaluate the capacity to understand written texts and to translate sentences

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