Thursday, October 14, 2010

Direct Method

Direct method is reaction towards Grammar Translation Method (GTM). GTM is a classical approach of teaching English while Direct Method (Dm) is based upon natural approach. This language is learned normally in the way we learn our mother tongue. But while using this method stress is laid more on spoken skill rather than other skills. In this method Grammar is not taught deductively but inductively. It is a parallel to the Romantic Movement in English literature due to its revolt against GTM as its most of qualities are contradictory to GTM.

The teacher while using Direct Method to make his students fluent in speaking teaches through those elements of language which are used in the classroom. There is no translation unlike GTM. The teacher would use audio-visual aid and Regalia to create a direct bond between the meaning and the language. The language taught in this methodology is natural and fresh. The syllabus used to be situational e.g. A situation of Bank – the language of bank is used.

In the class-room, where English language is taught, there is no list of vocabulary given. All vocabulary is used in the context. The students are given an ample chance to speak what he likes to speak according to the given situation. In this methodology teacher has to demonstrate. He should be imaginative and quick. Pronunciation is also very important in Direct Method. Teacher should expect that the pronunciation should be corrected by the student through the instructions of the teacher.

In this method, when students are introduced to reading material, they read about things they had already discussed orally. Text is read aloud by teacher and situations and the students are encouraged to seek direct comprehension by inferring meanings of unknown elements from the context rather than by seeking equivalents in a bilingual vocabulary list. Students are never asked to translate passages into their native language instead their apprehension of the meaning is tested by questioning and discussion in the foreign language. So the classroom is continually filled with the sound of the foreign language and all activity is closely linked with its use in speech and writing.

The Direct Method provides an exciting and interesting way of learning the foreign language through activity. It proves to be successful in releasing students from the inhibition which is too after associated with speaking a foreign tongue, particularly at the early stages.

The goal of the teacher in this methodology is to enable the students to talk and think in foreign language. So there is no use of native language in this methodology. The student speaks the target language freely according to the situation given to him.

Teacher, in this methodology is, in fact, the initiator of the activities. He provides chances and creates atmosphere and situations for the students. The learners are more active here. The teacher and the learner, both are partner in the class-room but the most of the time the students speaks and the teacher only tries to correct him.

Teacher believes that students need help to associate meanings and to establish a direct bond between the target language and meaning. He does not give meanings in the mother tongue. He demonstrates things by using pantomime, audio-visual aid and regalia. This is situational teaching because the teacher has to produce bodily gestures and to do mimicry to make the meaning clear to the students.

Here in this methodology, the interaction comes from the both sides. Teacher interacts with students and students interacts the teacher. Students also converse with each other. So the main role is played by the students because unlike GTM, they do a lot to make themselves competent in speaking foreign language

D. R. Freeman is of the view that there is no principle of the methodology regarding the feelings of the learners. They have to talk about the situation not about anything else.

In GTM, it is thought that the real language is written language whereas in DM, it is said that the real language is spoken language. So the teacher exposes his students to oral English. In DM, they will teach contractions. Students study culture consisting of history, geography and information about every day life e.g. the text can be of the date of a boy and a girl. This is because of culture.

Among all four skills, oral skill is more emphasized. Apart from skills, vocabulary pronunciations, stress as well as intonation pattern is emphasized.

The learners are supposed to think in target language. Here, in DM, mother tongue has o role at all. Whatever they ask and speak, do in the target language. So the evaluation is done by asking them to use the language orally.

There are some disadvantages in DM. First of all, it develops oral skills but the writing and reading is neglected. Second, there is no translation. So is can be the possibility that concept are not clear. Communication Approach says that translation should not be totally banned. They say that the mother tongue is a resource which should not be exploited. Third, this methodology causes a lot of problems for the teacher. He may perform some tricks to make the concepts clear. Fourth is about testing because testing a spoken language is not an easy task.

There are many advantages in DM. First it develops oral skills and pronunciation. Second, interaction is from both the sides. Third, vocabulary is taught in context. Fourth, Grammar is taught inductively. Fifth, there is not old text or specific text but only an everyday common speaking matter.

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