The Grammar-Translation Approach
- Definition: an approach which strives to teach language through reading
and translation as well as to promote writing and speaking skills
- up until the 1500s, European languages were learned by communicating
- the poor learned by living in border areas
the rich sent children away to foreign countries
- Roger Ascham’s The Scholemaster (mid-1500s) was perhaps the first
book with formal grammar rules for Latin
- many thought learning another language = being able to translate from
one language to another
- committing words to memory
drilling irregular verbs
learning all grammar exceptions
“codify the foreign language into frozen rules”
“oral work was reduced to a minimum”
- Krashen: “It is certainly not the case that such methods produced
then, or for that matter have ever produced, communication skills.”
- Model Composition: “Copy the following dialog. Underline the verbs as
they are underlined in the dialog. Pay attention to the form of the verb
Mr. Sanders: My name is Stuart Sanders. I have come in reply to the
Verb Agreement: “Select the correct word in the parentheses.”
The efforts of a man who (was, were) born in Paris, France in
1803 (was, were) …
Fill-ins: “Complete the following sentences with the correct prepositions.”
1. The car is _______ the door.
2. The book is _______ the desk.
Memorize and reproduce: “Read the passage on the previous page and then
fill in the blanks.”
Less th_n twenty _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _, a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ “new
_ _ _” _ _ med_cine—or
so _ _ was sup_o_ed to _ _…
Dixson, R. (1971). Graded Exercises in English. Regents Publishing Company,
Fuller, H. and F. Wasell. (1961). Advanced English Exercises. New York:
McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.
Krashen, S. (1983). The Natural Approach. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Alemany
Newmark, L., J. Mintz, & J. Lawson. (1964). Using American English.
New York: Harper & Row Publishers.