Main Approaches and Methods in
• The Grammar-Translation Method
• The Direct Method
• The Audiolingual Method
• Communicative Language Teaching
• Total Physical Response
• Suggestopedia &The Silent Way
• The Natural Approach
• Community Language Learning
The Grammar-Translation Method
1. The Grammar-Translation Method dominated
European and foreign language teaching from the
1840s to the 1940s, and in modified form it
continues to be widely used in some parts of the
2. Prator and Celce-Murcia (1979:3) list the major
characteristics of Grammar Translation:
• Classes are taught in the mother tongue, with little
active use of the target language.
• Much vocabulary is taught in the form of lists of
• Long elaborate explanations of the intricacies of
grammar are given.
• Grammar provides the rules for putting words
together, and instruction often focuses on the
form and inflection of words.
• Reading of difficult classical texts is begun early.
• Little attention is paid to the content of texts,
which are treated as exercises in grammatical
• Often the only drills are exercises in translating
disconnected sentences from the target
language into the mother tongue.
• Little or no attention is given to pronunciation.
• The Grammar-Translation Method does virtually
nothing to enhance a student’s communicative
ability in the language.
The Direct Method
1. The basic premise of the Direct Method was
that second language learning should be more
like first language learning: lots of active oral
interaction, spontaneous use of the language,
no translation between first and second
languages, and little or no analysis of
2. Richards and Rodgers(1986:9-10)summarizes
the principles of the Direct Method:
• Classroom instruction was conducted
exclusively in the target language.
• Only everyday vocabulary and sentences were
• Oral communication skills were built up in a
carefully graded progression organized around
question-and-answer exchanges between
teachers and students in small, intensive
• Grammar was taught inductively.
• New teaching points were introduced orally.
• Concrete vocabulary was taught through
demonstration, objects, and pictures; abstract
vocabulary was taught by association of ideas.
• Both speech and listening comprehension were
• Correct pronunciation and grammar were
The Audiolingual Method （听说法）
• It is a method of foreign or second language
teaching which (a) emphasizes the teaching of
speaking and listening before reading and
writing (b) uses dialogues and drills. (c)
discourages use of the mother tongue in the
classroom (d) often makes use of contrastive
analysis. The audiolingual method was
prominent in the 1950s and 1960s, especially in
the United States, and has been widely used in
many other parts of the world.
• The characteristics of the ALM may be summed
up in the following list (adapted from Prator and
1. New material is presented in dialog form.
2. There is dependence on mimicry (imitation),
memorization of set phrases, and over-learning.
3. Structures are sequenced by means of
contrastive analysis and taught one at a time.
4. Structural patterns are taught using repetitive
5. There is little or no grammatical explanation:
Grammar is taught by inductive analogy rather
than deductive explanation.
6. Vocabulary is strictly limited and learned in
7. There is much use of tapes, language labs,
and visual aids.
8. Great importance is attached to pronunciation.
9. Very little use of the mother tongue by
teachers is permitted.
10. Successful responses are immediately
11. There is a great effort to get students to
produce error-free utterances.
12. There is a tendency to manipulate language
and disregard content.
• Types of Learning and Teaching Activities
The use of drills and pattern practice is a
distinctive feature of the ALM. Various kinds of
drills are used. Brooks (1964:156-61) includes
This is the seventh month.--- This is the
I used to know him years ago.---I used to
know him years ago when we were in school…
2. Inflection. One word in an utterance appears in
another form when repeated.
I bought the ticket.---I bought the tickets.
He bought the candy.---She bought the candy.
3. Replacement. One word in an utterance is
replaced by another.
He bought this house cheap.---He bought it
Helen left early.---She left early .
4. Restatement. The student rephrases an
utterance and addresses it to someone else,
according to instructions.
Tell him to wait for you.---Wait for me.
Ask John when he began.--- John, when did
5. Completion. The students hears an utterance
that is complete except for one word, then
repeats the utterance in completed form.
I’ll go my way and you go…--- I’ll go my way
and you go yours.
6. Transposition. A change in word order is
necessary when a word is added.
I’m hungry. (so)---So am I.
I will never do it again. (neither)---Neither will
7. Expansion. When a word is added it takes a
certain place in the sequence.
I know him. (hardly)---I hardly know him.
I know him. (well)---I know him well…
8. Contraction. A single word stands for a phrase or
Put your hands on the table.--- Put your hand there.
They believe that the earth is flat. --- They believe it…
9. Transformation. A sentence is transformed by being
made negative or interrogative or through changes
in tense, mood, voice, aspect, or modality.
He knows my address.
He doesn’t know my address.
Does he know my address?
He used to know my address.
If he had known my address…
10. Integration. Two separate utterances are
integrated into one.
They must be honest. This is important.--- It is
important that they must be honest.
I know that man. He is looking for you.--- I know
the man who is looking for you…
11. Rejoinder. The students makes an
appropriate rejoinder to a given utterance. He is
told in advance to respond in one of the
BE POLITE. EXAMPLES
Thank you.---You’re welcome.
May I take one? ---Certainly.
He’s following us.---I think you’re right.
This is good coffee.--- It’s very good.
12. Restoration. The students is given a
sequence of words that have been culled from
a sentence but still bear its basic meaning. He
uses these words with a minimum of changes
and additions to restore the sentence to its
original form. He may be told whether the time
is present, past, or future.
students/waiting/bus--- The students are
waiting for the bus.
boys/build/house/tree---The boys built a
house in a tree…
• Communicative Language Teaching
(see Chapter 2 )
Total Physical Response （全身反应法）
• A teaching technique whereby a learner (usually
young learner) responds to language input with body
motions. This could be, for example, the acting out a
chant. James Asher who noted that children listen and
respond with gestures before they speak devised this
technique. One benefit is that TPR allows for low
anxiety learning since students don’t have the stress
of producing language. “Simon Says” is an example of
a TPR activity, where the teacher commands her
robots to do some task in the classroom. Acting out
stories and giving imperative commands are common
TPR activities. It’s great for early stages but difficult to
teach complex language.
Suggestopedia&The Silent Way
• Suggestopedia/Lozanov Method (暗示法/罗扎诺
It is a method of foreign-language teaching
developed by the Bulgarian Lozanov. It makes
use of dialogues, situations and translation to
present and practise language, and in particular,
makes use of music, visual images, and
relaxation exercises to make learning more
comfortable and effective.
• The Silent Way（沉默法）
It is a method of foreign-language teaching
developed by Gattegno which makes use of gesture,
mime, visual aids, wall charts, and in particular
Cuisiniere rods (wooden sticks of different lengths and
colors) that the teacher uses to help the students to
talk. The method takes its name from the relative
silence of the teacher using these techniques.
Like Suggestopedia, the Silent Way rests on more
cognitive than affective arguments for its theoretical
sustenance. Much of the Silent Way is characterized
by a problem-solving approach to learning. Richards
and Rodgers (1986:99)summarize the theory of
learning behind the Silent Way:
1. Learning is facilitated if the learner discovers or
creates rather than remembers and repeats what is to
2. Learning is facilitated by accompanying
(mediating) physical objects.
3. Learning is facilitated by problem solving
involving the material to be learned.
The Natural Approach（自然法）
• It is a term for an approach proposed by Terrell,
to develop teaching principles which
(a) emphasize natural communication rather
than formal grammar study
(b) are tolerant of learners’ errors
(c) emphasize the informal acquisition of
• Community Language Learning（集体/社团语言学习法）
It is a method of second and foreign language
teaching developed by Charles Curran. CLL is an
application of counseling learning(咨询学习法)to
second and foreign language teaching and learning. It
uses techniques developed in group counseling to
help people with psychological and emotional
problems. The method makes use of group learning in
small or large groups. These groups are the
“Community”. The method places emphasis on the
learners’ personal feelings and their reactions to
language learning. Learners say things which they
want to talk about, in their native language. The
teacher (known as “Counselor”) translates the learners’
sentences into the foreign language, and the learner
then repeats this to other members of the group.