Saturday, July 25, 2015

Direct Method-Postgraduate Diploma in Education-Rajarata University of Sri Lanka

Direct Method of Language Teaching “Teach the language not about the language”
Direct Method is also known as Natural Method, Phonetical Method, and Anti-Grammatical Reform Method.
1.     Background
 In the mid and late 19 century, Europe experienced a wave of increasing opportunities of communication, due to industrialization and international trade and travel. A need was felt to develop oral proficiency in foreign languages. Language teachers had already found Grammar-translation method inadequate and ineffective in developing communicative ability in learners.
2.     Background
 They strongly advocate an alternative method, in which language was presented in contexts and the mother tongue was avoided.  Its principal advocates were Pendergast and Sauveur, who proposed what they called Natural Method that suggest radical change from Grammar- translation. It is this method that later on came to be known as the Direct Method.
3.     Direct Method
Direct Method is named “direct” because meaning should be connected directly with the target language without translation into the native language. Concept/ Target Meaning language L1 Target concept language
4.     Theoretical Assumption
Language can be learnt only through demonstration. Instead of analytical procedures of explaining grammar rules, students must be encouraged to use language naturally and spontaneously so that they induce grammar.
5.     Theoretical Assumption
The learning of second language was seen as parallel to the acquisition of the child’s first language. This method therefore emphasizes the importance of sounds, simple sentences and direct association of language with object and person of immediate environment- the classroom, the home, the garden, etc.
6.     Basic Principles
Classroom instruction is conducted exclusively in the target language. The teacher should demonstrate, not explain or translate. NEVER TRANSLATE: DEMONSTRATE
7.     Basic Principles
. Only everyday vocabulary and sentences are taught. BASIC VOCABULARY IS GIVEN FIRST. Vocabulary is taught through known words, demonstration, authentic objects (realia), pictures, and miming.
8.     Basic Principles
Grammar is taught inductively. There may never be an explicit grammar rule given. DO NOT GIVE RULES: MAKE THEM FIGURE OUT THE RULE.
9.     Basic Principles
New teaching points are introduced orally. ORAL TRANSMISSION. Both speech and listening comprehension are taught.
10.                        Basic Principles
The teacher, by asking the student to make a choice, gets him to correct his own error. LEARNING BY SELF- CORRECTION8. The syllabus is based on situations or topics, not usually on linguistic structures. CONTEXTUAL/TOPICAL TEACHING
11.                        Basic Principles.
Correct pronunciation is emphasized. 10. Students should learn to think in the target language as soon as possible
12.                         Basic Principles
The purpose of language learning is communication; therefore students need to learn how to ask questions as well as answer them.
13.                        Techniques
 The teacher asks questions of any nature and the students answer. Dictation: The teacher chooses a grade appropriate passage and reads the text aloud. Teacher reads the passage three times
14.                        Techniques
Reading Aloud: Students take turn reading sections of a passage, play or dialogue out loud.
15.                        Techniques
Map Drawing: Students are given a map without labeled then the students label it by using the directions the teacher gives. Paragraph Writing : The students are asked to write a passage in their own words.
16.                        Advantages
One of its positive points is that it promises to teach the language and Not about the language. It is a natural method, which teaches language in the same way the mother tongue is acquired. Only the target language is used and the learning is contextualized. Its emphasis on speech made it more attractive for those who have needs of real communication in the target language. It is one of the first methods to introduce the teaching of vocabulary through realias.
17.                        Criticism
In spite of its achievements, the direct method fell short from fulfilling the needs of educational systems. One of its major shortcomings is that it was hard for public schools to integrate it. As R. Brown (1994:56) points out, the Direct Method “did not take well in public schools where the constraints of budget, classroom size, time, and teacher background (native speakers or native like fluency) made such a method difficult to use.” After a short popularity in the beginning of the 20th century, it soon began to lose its appeal because of these constraints. It then paved the way to the Audio-lingual Method.

Article was written by Ayesha Bashir, student of AWKUM

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