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ARTICEL

GRAMMAR TRANSLATION METHOD

Modern foreign languages were studied in the grammar-based format the same way
Latin had
been taught previously. This method dominated foreign language studies for over 300 years.
According to the grammar-translation method the language is a synthesis of words arranged
in
sentences according to different rules of different languages. Students were supposed to learn
words and grammatical rules and construct sentences based on these. The words were
grouped in
lists and the rules were memorized in a strict order. This system of learning a language was
very
rigid. Learning in this way students were not able to embrace the variety and richness of the
spoken language. When the student was faced with the real spoken language, quite different
from
the artificially built sentences he had been accustomed to, he was at a complete loss.
Also in the 16th century, a first grammar of English as a foreign language appeared. It was
entitled Le Maistre d’Escole Angloise and was written by James Bellot. It contains familiar
dialogues for the instruction in the English language. Another work of the same kind was
Grammaire Angloise published in 1633 (1662 according to Albert H. Marckwardt in Old
Paths and
New Directions in Teaching English by George Mason.) These authors brought notes of
modernity
concerning correct pronunciation and dialogues. They no longer follow the path of synthesis.1

This methodology is a conventional way that Latin and Greek were taught in Europe.
In the
19th century, this methodology started to be applied for teaching French, German, and
English. A

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tamura
classical lesson of grammar translation method is to emphasize the reading proficiency rather
than
to train the interaction ability. Generally speaking, it might be similar to the pedagogies
applied in
cram-schools in Asia, where preparing for interaction-free standardized test is regarded as a
significant issue for both parents and students. The result might influence the test takers’
future
career for a great deal.2

Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is identified as dismissing translation, applying to


all “translation” the restricted expression of translation within the discredited Grammar
Translation Method (GTM). Recent, negative classifications of the GTM are considered and,
this dissertation observes, the concept of the GTM is shown as prone to being mythologized.
A summary definition of the GTM is offered. Of the five Prussian language teachers viewed
by history as originating the GTM, Joahnn Valentin Meidinger and, to a lesser degree,
Heinrich Gottfried Ollendorff are shown offering methods and an approach to translation that
are most similar to the definition of the GTM used today. Johann Heinrich Philipp
Seidenstücker, Johann Franz Ahn, and Carl Julius Ploetz are found also to stand in the
lineage of the GTM, but with important qualifications. The name “Grammar Translation
Method” is asserted by this dissertation to originate in the Reform Movement, specifically,
Wilhelm Viëtor’s Der Sprachunterricht muß umkehren! (1882) and a lecture of Viëtor’s from
1899. Viëtor is noted characterizing “traditional” methodologies with the terms “Grammatik”
and “Übersetzung,” beginning with Meidinger’s Practische Französische Grammatik (1783).
Translation is found to remain problematic for the Reform Movement. A separate, concurrent
movement, resulting in the Direct Method, is seen banishing all use of translation, and
arguably lives on in CLT today. The formulation of a novel definition of the translation of
texts is attempted. This definition, along with opinions from Translation Studies, is applied to
a statement by Viëtor, where translation is particularly problematized, with the goal of
mitigating this problematic. The dissertation recommends that CLT similarly use this
definition of translation, so as to mitigate its own skepticism towards translation.3

Generally speaking, the medium of instruction is the mother tongue, wich is used to
explain conceptual problems and to discus the use of a particular grammatical structure. It all

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Introduction to english teaching
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Translation in foreign language podology: the rise and fall of the grammar translation method
sound rather dull but it can be argued that the grammar translation method has over the years
had a remarkable success. Millions os people have successfully learnt foreign languages high
degree of proficiency and, in nomerous cases, without any contact whatsoever with native
speakers of the language.4

Principallyy the GTM focuses on translating grammatical forms, memorizing


vocabulary, learning rules, and studying conjugations. Even thoughthe method may be
considered more as a technique rather a method, a follow Anthony’s terms, in the sense that
the method is not an overall plan of language teaching. The principles of the GTM sre these

 Grammar rules are presented and studied wxplicitly. Grammar is thought deductively
and then practiced throught translation exercise.
 The primary skills to be developed are reading and writing.
 Hardly any attantion is paid to speaking and listening skills.
 Teacher correction is the only way to make students produced the right forms the
foreign language.
 The goal of foreign language learning is the ability to understandthe texts write in the
foreign language.
 Mastering the grammar of the foreign language is essential in order for students to
understandin the written target language
 Vocabulary is learnt from bilingual word lists.
 The mother tongue is used at the medium of instruction.
 A paramount use of tanslation exercise is given.5

A number of features of the Grammatical translation method are worth commenting on.
In the firstplace, language was treated at the level of sentance only, with litle study, certainly
at the early stages,of longer texts. Secondly, there was litle if any consideration of thespoken
language. And thirdly, accuracy was considered to be necessity.6

this method is a mixed method between grammatical methods and translation methods.
automatically has the same characteristics as both methods, which include:

a. the grammar that is taught is formal grammar.

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Theory of teaching and learning
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Teaching english as a foreign language
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The practice of english language teaching jeremy hammer
b. vocabulary depending on the reading that has been presented.
c. lessons consist of memorizing the rules of grammar, translating words without
context, then translating short readings, interpretations.
d. speech and practice exercises using language are not given, if given rarely. 7

Granted, the GTM is on its surface exceedingly traditional, with approaches that represent
historically some of the oldest language teaching methodologies that we have a record of (see
Kelly 1976), and pressures today (and in the past) to be innovative in education might well
seem to justify the dismissal, or at least questioning, of such an old method; however, the
outright dismissal of a method (along with the dismissal of all of its component parts) that
despite any of its faults still persists in many parts of the world today could be a mistake. The
GTM typically underlies language courses today labelled as “for reading purposes,” and it is
a widely used method of approach in Britain , China, and India today, as well as in many
other areas. Richards and Rogers (2001: 7) note that the GTM is still “widely in practice,”
although they do not say where. Similarly, Brown (2007: 17) maintains that the GTM is “so
stalwart,” but he too does not mention where it still persists. Malmkjær (1998: 1) also
mentions that translation of the GTM variety is “a significant component in the teaching of
many languages in many parts of the world,”8

In terms of methodology, Viëtor and the Reformers seek to accustom the student to
learning and appreciating language as a phenomenon of an “aggregate of sounds” (Sweet
1877: 86). The Reformers stress vocal articulation and hearing, and conventional systems of
writing are oftentimes avoided, in favor of phonetic transcriptions, so as to prevent visual
crutches and focus the student on mastering the production and recognition of sounds. Sweet,
for example, invents a new “Romic” alphabet that he trains his students to use during their
first phases of learning the foreign language. Written work is generally only done as a
dictation exercise. Writing creative texts in the foreign language is not stressed early on.
Viëtor suggests that students learning foreign languages not be given written homework.
Class time is spent speaking and listening as much as possible, often by repeatedly going
through readings aloud. The reading of a text is always carried out aloud before a student
reads the text in silence. Grammar is addressed primarily as a phenomenon of the structuring
of sounds and is taught inductively. As regards translation, it is mostly used orally. A teacher
may say the translation of a foreign word aloud, for example during a class reading session,

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Metode belajar mengajar bahasa arab
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See the textbook Thinking German Translation, by Sándor Hervery et al.
in order to aid in comprehension and in the flow of instruction, and a student may also be
asked at times to translate a selection from the reading aloud in class, generally as a check of
comprehension. Oral translation in the other direction, into the foreign language, is
considered too difficult and unproductive.9

Beyond the use of the word “alt” here, it is also significant that Viëtor chooses a citation
from Günther that explicitly refers to, with disdain, the often observed GTM features of
learning according to a “rule,” focusing on “sentences,” and performing “translation.”
Whether it is these collective features which Viëtor then immediately affirms with his subject
pronoun “das” (at least for ninety-nine percent of the books that he knows), or whether the
“das” refers more specifically to the fact that these features make for an “alte Schnurre,” is –
perhaps intentionally – left open by Viëtor. This passage represents the first time that
“translation” is explicitly mentioned in Viëtor’s treatise, notably as someone else’s term, for
characterizing the “old” method. Viëtor is questioning translation as an appropriate activity to
perform with material that has not yet been adequately processed by the student for its
meaning. Such “sight translations” (“Extemporalien”) are reminiscent of the modern
observation that the GTM equates a student’s knowledge of the language based only on her
or his facility with “forms” and “translation,” as opposed to, for example, answering reading
comprehension questions. That is, with sight translation, the student is not being asked to say
what the text “means” beyond largely identifying the grammar and vocabulary that it uses.
Although sight translation proper is not necessarily a characteristic customarily associated
with the GTM, Vietor appears also to be saying that the principles behind sight translation are
flawed, since these “Extemporalien” ignore the deeper meaning of a text. Significantly,
Viëtor does not address whether the translation here is written or oral, and whether it is from
or into the mother tongue. As such, “translation” as a whole, rather than just one expression
of it, is becoming problematized.10

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Writing creative texts does not appear to be encouraged by the textbooks examined in Chapter One, as they
do not address the task.
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1 It would therefore be interesting to know if something specifically related to translation happened to
Viëtor between 1882 (the year of publication of his treatise) and the early 1900s.