|Methods for Teaching Additional Language Learners (ALL)|
The Classics: Classical and Grammar Translation Methods for ALTL
The Classical Method
The Classical Method for learning languages appears to go hand in hand with scholarly pursuits of the past. Learning Latin, the classical language for intellectuals throughout centuries consisted of teacher directed lessons focusing on rote memory to learn vocabulary and the rules of grammar. Learners attended to reading, rules and repetition to gain knowledge about the language grammar and vocabulary, neglecting "how-to" speak it, or communicate through social engagement. I remember all too well conjugating verbs in beginning language lessons for learning French. I was fortunate to have once had an amazing memory and still, today these verb tenses are imprinted in my brain. Unfortunately for those with difficulty retaining new vocabulary, this was clearly not an effective approach for learning the French language. Supplemental activities were and still are necessary for attaining the culture of the language.
The Grammar Translation method
During the late 18th and 19th centuries psychological Influences of the time regarding the belief that intellectual minds could control human will and emotion sparked the development of the Grammar Translation Method (GT). Scholars learned the rules of grammar and translated first and second languages, mainly English, French and Italian, although quoted by Richards and Rodgers (2001) in Chapter 2 of Teaching by Principles to be a method without “educational theory” (p. 19). GT continues to be used in present day ALTL, or at least some form of the evolved method. Click on the button below to view a current lesson plan using GT.