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Teaching Methods How to teach a language?

Teaching methods pdf

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Teaching Methods

How to teach a language?

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Why learning methods?

It is important to realise that teachers need to know different approaches so that he or she can choose the one that makes teaching more comfortable and the learning process easier for the students.

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What are the methods?

Larsen-Freeman (2008) presents several teaching methods:

The grammar-translation method

The direct method

The audio-lingual method

The silent way

Total Physical Response

Communicative language teaching

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Which is the best one?

There’s no bad or good in this matter. It is good to get to know them all to be able to choose the best way and the best opportunity to use each one of these methods.

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Let’s start?

Now, we are going to talk about two of these methods:

The grammar-translation method and

The direct method

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First of all...

The author of the book uses experiments to explain how the methods work. It is important to try the methods in fact, not only study them.

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It is important to try the methods in class, because there are questions and answers that the teacher will be able to see just if he applies the method.

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Grammar-Translation Method

This first method is based in an exchange of the knowledge of the student’s mother language and the new language’s one.

It is useful for literature situations, it means, basically, for written texts, comprehension.

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It allows the teacher and the students to use the mother language to translate and create references from one language to the other.

I was in my mother’s house.

Eu estava na casa da minha mãe.

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Like this, the students become capable of recognizing similar constructions and built in their heads the ones that are new.

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If the student can translate a text, both from his mother language to the target language and also from the target language to his mother language, then he or she is a successful language learner.

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How is the interaction in this method?

There must be much interaction from teacher to students, a little student initiation and a little student-student interaction.





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What are the emphasized language skills?




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What is the role of the mother language?

The mother language is used to make meanings more clear to the students.

And it is the language that appears the most time during the classes.

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When a mistake happens...

The teacher corrects student’s errors and supplies them with the correct answers.

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To finish:

The most important thing about Grammar-Translation is that the students learn about the language (the rules of the language) but they do not learn how to use it. They search for understanding a text which is already written, but they don’t learn how to make their own productions.

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The Direct Method

This second method we are about to explain, differently from the one we have just discussed, has one basic rule:

No translation is allowed.

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Demonstration Knowledge

of the target


In the class, the teacher

uses only the target

language to make the


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How is the interaction in this method?



There is a great student-student interaction and a significant student-teacher one. However, the ‘teacher-student’ interaction is the biggest one.

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What are the emphasized language skills?

Oral Communication




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What is the role of the mother language?

It should not be used in the classroom.

The teacher has to do everything that is possible to make the student learn from the new language.

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When a mistake happens...

The teacher must try to get students to self-correct whenever it is possible.

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Comparing these two methods

Grammar-Translation Method

Main goal: Understanding

Role of native language: Crucial

How? Translating.

Skills: Reading/ Writing

Errors: Teacher’s correction

Direct Method

Main goal: Communicating

Role of native language: Almost null

How? Speaking

Skill: Speaking

Errors: Self-Correction

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A similarity

One aspect that these two methods have in common is the role of the teacher. In these two methods, the teacher is the one responsible for providing the knowledge (in this case the new language) to the students.

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• LARSEN-FREEMAN, D. Techniques and principles in language teaching. 2nded. Oxford. 2008.p.11-33.

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Group 3

• Clarice Batista

• Juliana Guerra

• Rosana Soares

• Sabrina Cotta