The Grammar-Translation Method

reading, translation, grammar

The Grammar-Translation Method (GTM) evolved from the Classical Method that was used from the 15th century in the teaching of Latin and Greek — both long-since dead languages. Latin and Greek were taught to promote the intellect and virtually no attempt was made to speak them. GTM, formalized in Germany in the late-18th century, similarly places little or no emphasis on actually speaking or communicating in the target language. Classwork is highly structured, with the teacher controlling all activities. The method focuses on the literature and grammar of the target language, with passages being translated into and from the mother tongue. Consequently it tends to be very much text-based. Typically, the teacher gives instructions and grammatical explanations in the mother tongue. Little or no attempt is made to teach pronunciation.

The name "Grammar-Translation" for this method was actually conceived by its detractors who focused on these two more negatively perceived aspects at the expense of its more positive traits

Typical features of a GTM lesson: