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Why learning methods?It is important to realise that teachers need toknow different approaches so that he or she canchoose the one that makes teaching morecomfortable and the learning process easier forthe students.
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
Which is the best one?There’s no bad or good in this matter. It is goodto get to know them all to be able to choose thebest way and the best opportunity to use eachone of these methods.
Let’s start?Now, we are going to talk about two of thesemethods: The grammar-translation method and The direct method
First of all...The author of the book uses experiments toexplain how the methods work. It is importantto try the methods in fact, not only study them.
It is important to try the methods in class,because there are questions and answersthat the teacher will be able to see just ifhe applies the method.
Grammar-Translation MethodThis first method is based in an exchange of theknowledge of the student’s mother languageand the new language’s one.It is useful for literature situations, it means,basically, for written texts, comprehension.
It allows the teacher and the students to use themother language to translate and createreferences from one language to the other. I was in my mother’s house. Eu estava na casa da minha mãe.
Like this, the students become capable ofrecognizing similar constructions and built intheir heads the ones that are new.
If the student can translate a text, both from hismother language to the target language andalso from the target language to his motherlanguage, then he or she is a successfullanguage learner.
How is the interaction in this method?There must be much interaction from teacher tostudents, a little student initiation and a littlestudent-student interaction. Student Teacher Student Student
What are the emphasized language skills? Reading Writing Pronunciation
What is the role of the mother language?The mother language is used to make meaningsmore clear to the students.And it is the language that appears the mosttime during the classes.
When a mistake happens...The teacher corrects student’s errors andsupplies them with the correct answers.
To finish:The most important thing about Grammar-Translation is that the students learn about thelanguage (the rules of the language) but they donot learn how to use it. They search forunderstanding a text which is already written,but they don’t learn how to make their ownproductions.
The Direct MethodThis second method we are about to explain,differently from the one we have just discussed,has one basic rule: No translation is allowed.
In the class, the teacheruses only the Knowledge Demonstration of the target target language to language make theexplanations.
How is the interaction in this method?There is a great student-student interaction anda significant student-teacher one. However, the‘teacher-student’ interaction is the biggest one. Student Student
What are the emphasized language skills? Oral Communication Pronunciation Reading Writing
What is the role of the mother language?It should not be used in the classroom.The teacher has to do everything that is possibleto make the student learn from the newlanguage.
When a mistake happens...The teacher must try to get students to self-correct whenever it is possible.
Comparing these two methods Grammar- Direct MethodTranslation Method Main goal: Understanding Main goal: Communicating Role of native language: Almost Role of native language: Crucial null How? Translating. How? Speaking Skills: Reading/ Writing Skill: Speaking Errors: Teacher’s correction Errors: Self-Correction
A similarityOne aspect that these two methods havein common is the role of the teacher. In thesetwo methods, the teacher is the oneresponsible for providing the knowledge (inthis case the new language) to the students.
Reference• LARSEN-FREEMAN, D. Techniques and principles in language teaching. 2nded. Oxford. 2008.p.11-33.