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Schools of Modern Foreign Language Teaching and Its Development

I. The Grammar-Translation Method
The historical background: a. Five hundred years ago Latin was the dominant language of education, commerce, religion, and government in the western world. b. The study of classical Latin became the he model for foreign language study from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.

c. In the eighteenth century, curriculum of European schools included the same basic procedures that were used for teaching Latin. Textbooks consisted of statements of abstract grammar rules, lists of vocabulary, and sentences for translation. Students labored over translating sentences. d. By the nineteenth century, the Latin-based Latinapproach had become the standard way of studying foreign languages in schools.

The principal characteristics a. It is a way of studying a language that approaches the language first through detailed analysis of its grammar rules, followed by application of this knowledge to the task of translating sentences and texts into and out of the target language. b. Reading and writing are the major focuses, little or no systematic attention is paid to speaking or listening.

c. Vocabulary selection is based solely on the reading texts used, and words are taught through bilingual word lists, dictionary study, and memorization. d. The sentence is the basic unit of teaching and language practice. e. Accuracy is emphasized. f. Grammar is taught deductively.

Prospect
Grammar Translation dominated European and foreign language teaching from the 1840s to the 1940s, and in modified form it continues to be widely used in some parts of the world today.

Advantages: a. It makes few demands on teachers. t b. It is still used in situations where understanding literary texts is the primary focus of foreign language study and there is little need for a speaking knowledge of the language. c. Contemporary texts for the teaching of foreign language at college level often reflect GrammarGrammar-Translation principles.

disadvantages: a. It has no theory: there is no literature that offers a rationale or justification for it or that attempts to relate it to issues in linguistics, psychology, or Pedagogy. b. It fails to develop learner’s oral proficiency in foreign languages.

Supplementary exercise: Choose any ONE foreign language teaching method interesting to you, write a short article of no less than 200 words to illustrate your attitude to it. You are supposed to hand in your work b y t h e 1 6 t h o f t h i s D e c e m b e r.


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