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7.3 Direct Method

durenmgmail-com November 9, 2021

What is The Direct Method?

The direct method started as a response to the Grammar-Translation method. It and was established around Germany and France in the 1900s. This method immerses the learner in the same way as when a first language is learned.

Essential points to note regarding Direct Method teaching:

  • In most Direct Method classrooms, there is no translation. The mother tongue is expressly forbidden, and all communication is directly in the target language.
  • There may be little or no explanation for syntax or grammatical rules, nor translation into the student’s mother tongue.
  • Teaching a different language must be carried out in the same way children or people learn their mother tongue.
  • In the classroom, the emphasis is on listening and speaking, using the target language for all class instructions, and using visuals and realia to illustrate meaning.
  • The assumption is that a second language can be learned the same way as a first; however, the conditions under which a second language is learned are very different.

Examples of how to use the Direct Method in the classroom:

  • Realia, visual aids, or demonstrations are used to introduce new vocabulary.
  • The mother-tongue is not allowed in activities inside the classroom.
  • Oral learning is taught before any reading and writing activities.
  • Use of chain activities accompanied by verbal comments such as; I go to the door. I open the door. I close the door. Etc., (called the Gouin series).
  • Grammar is taught inductively. (i.e., having learners find out rules through the presentation of adequate linguistic forms in the target language.).
  • Use of realia to teach concrete vocabulary. Abstract vocabulary is introduced through the association of ideas.
  • The focus is put on correct grammar and pronunciation.

The teaching techniques rely mostly on

  • Reading aloud,
  • Question-answer exercise,
  • Self-correction,
  • Conversation practice,
  • Fill-in-the-blank exercise,
  • Dictation,
  • Paragraph writing,
  • Teaching through modelling and practice.