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The Direct Method - The DM

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  1. The Direct Method - The DM

  2. The Direct Method: Outline • Historical backgrounds • The Motivation • The How? • The pioneers of Direct Method • Goals of the Direct Method • Principles & Principal Characteristics of the Direct Method • Nature of student-teacher interaction? • Techniques of the Direct Method • Positive and negative points • Audio-visual videos Discussion

  3. Historical Background • This approach was developed in the late 19th century initially as a reaction to the grammar-translation approach (GTM) which did not prove to be efficient in everyday language conversation. • Pedagogues, teachers, instructors and linguists begun to reject the Grammar Translation Method and look for a new approach. • The goal of the new method was to integrate more use of the target language in instruction, in fact to teach exclusively in the TL. • This method has one very basic rule and that is that no translation is allowed.

  4. The Direct Method receives its name from the fact that meaning is to be connected directly in the target language, without going through the process of translating into the students' native language. Background: No translation

  5. Trade and commerce The Motivation…!! Commerce and trade trigger the need for an oral communication to take place. WHY ?

  6. How? • The DM relies on meaningful context, realia (objects or activities used to relate classroom teaching to the real life especially of peoples studied), pictures, visual aids, demonstration and dramatization to help students learn words and structures of the target language.

  7. The direct method witnessed great popularity through the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, when it was popular especially in private schools were native lg teachers were available & were the motivation of students was high.

  8. The pioneers of Direct Method • This method developed on both sides of the Atlantic; in France and in the USA. • The first pioneers:

  9. In the USA, this method was introduced by Maximilian Berlitz and is also known as Berlitz method . The Berlitz Corporation / company was founded in 1878 by Maximilian D. Berlitz in Providence, Rhode Island. • “Berlitz began over 130 years ago, Maximilian Berlitz, once a Professor of French and German, was in need of an assistant French instructor, he employed a Frenchman by the name of Nicholas Joly, only soon to discover that Joly barely spoke English, and was hired to teach French to English speakers in their native language. Several weeks later Berlitz returned to discover the students responded positively to Joly's instruction given only in French.[2] This made way to the development of the Berlitz Method[3] and the opening of the first Berlitz language school in Providence, Rhode Island, July 1878.” (

  10. CHARLES BERLITZ was one of the best popularizers of this method.

  11. In France, • Gouin (1831-1896) ), a French teacher of Latin decided to study German as a foreign language using the same Grammar-translation methodology he had applied in his lessons. But the result was frustrating. He could translate literary works but could not understand a single word when he took part in conversations. • The failure made him search for the reason. Gouin created the Series Method (1880),where concepts are taught step by step.

  12. Goals of the Direct Method • The purpose of learning / teaching a language is communication, and the use of the target language communicatively. • Therefore students need to learn pronunciation right from the beginning of language instruction and need to learn how to ask questions as well as answer them.

  13. What are the goals of teachers who use the Direct Method? • Enable students to communicate and think in the target language.

  14. Principles of the Direct Method What are some of the principles & characteristics of the teaching/learning process?

  15. The main Principles and Principal Characteristics of the Direct Method are as follows: • Only the TL (the target language) is used in class. Consequently, meaning is to be conveyed directly (hence the name of the method) in the target language through the use of demonstration (actions, mime, gestures and situations) and visual aids (e.g. objects, realia or pictures) to help students understand the meaning  Thus no Translation is allowed. No native language; Only the target language to instruct Instead,

  16. 2. Everyday language is the first goal. Consequently, students speak in the target language a great deal and communicate as if they were in real situations.

  17. Principles (cont) • Language is primarily speech - Pronunciation is important. Speaking is taught first before reading or writing. •  Other skills, i.e. reading and writing are not excluded but are taught only after speaking and are conducted through oral practices. • This method states that the printed word should be kept away from the second language learner for as long as possible. The reading skill will be developed through practice with speaking.

  18. Principles 3. Only everyday vocabulary and sentences are taught. Vocabulary is acquired in a more natural way: Students use it in full sentences rather than memorizing word lists. Concrete vocabulary is taught through demonstration, objects, and pictures. Abstract vocabulary is taught by association of ideas.

  19. Principles 4. Grammar should be taught inductively (in a way in which students discover the rules). There may never be an explicit grammar rule given.

  20. Principles 5. The syllabus is based upon situations or topics (notional syllabus), not usually on linguistic structures. Lessons should contain some conversationalactivity - some opportunity for students to use language in real contexts. Students should be encouraged (to think and) speak as much as possible in the target language. It is desirable that students make a direct association between the target language and meaning. The teacher should demonstrate, not explain or translate.

  21. Roles: What is the role of the teacher and students?What is the nature of student-teacher interaction? • Although the teacher directs the class activities, the student role is less passive than in the Grammar-Translation Method. • The teacher and the students are more like partners in the teaching/learning process. The initiation of the interaction goes both ways, from teacher to students and from student to teacher, although the latter is often teacher-directed.

  22. The teacher demonstrates, rather than explains or translates • The learner is actively involved in using the language in realistic everyday situations. • Students are encouraged to think in the target language. • Teacher student student

  23. Error-correctionHow does the teacher respond to student errors? • The teachers tries to get Students to Self-Correct: • The teacher should have the students self-correct (Self-correction) their errors by offering them a choice between what they said and the proper pronunciation. • Self-correction facilitates language learning.

  24. Views of Literature & CultureHow are language and culture viewed? • Advanced students read literature for comprehension and pleasure. • Literary texts are not analyzed grammatically. • Culture is considered an important aspect of learning the language. • The culture associated with the target language is also taught inductively. • Culture involves not only the fine arts but also the way of living (how speakers of that language live).

  25. How is evaluation accomplished? • students are asked to use the language, not to demonstrate their knowledge about the language. They are asked to do so using both oral and written skills.

  26. What areas of language and skills are emphasized? • Vocabulary is emphasized over grammar. Although work on all four skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) occurs from the start, oral communication is seen as basic.

  27. What is the role of the students' native language? • It should not be used in the classroom.

  28. Reviewing the principles

  29. Techniques

  30. Reading Aloud • Question and answer exercise • Getting Students to Self-correct • Conversation Practice • Fill-in-the-blank Exercise • Dictation

  31. Techniques of teaching and learning in the classroom Classroom interaction • A typical class might go something like: • Read passage / dialogue aloud using a modern conversational style in the target language. • Explain new vocabulary, discuss text and paraphrase, and complete some comprehension questions and do some phonetic work on new words • Lots of oral repetition are used for new words

  32. Techniques • Material is first presented orally with actions or pictures. • The preferred type of exercise is a series of oral questions in the target language based on the dialogue or an anecdotal narrative. • Questions are answered in the target language. The mother tongue is NEVER, NEVER used. There is no translation. • Grammar is taught inductively--rules are generalized from the practice and experience with the target language so that learners discover rules . • Verbs are used first and systematically conjugated only much later after some oral mastery of the target language. • Vocabulary is learnt through using it rather than memorising it.

  33. Advantages and limitations

  34. Pros: • Students make a direct association between the target language and meaning since Translation and the use of L1 are completely excluded in this method. • Students are encouraged to think in (and use) the target language  more teacher-student interaction + student-student interaction

  35. Students learn the correct pronunciation and better oral skills because conversational activities are emphasized and no native language is used.

  36. Pros • The learner is actively involved in using the language in realistic everyday situations. • L2 is learned in way in which L1 was acquired - by “total immersion technique” (Details) • SLA (Second Language Acquisition) like native language acquisition – How? • Naturalistic approach

  37. Cons / Drawbacks: • Written work is not seen as important as oral communication • The method rejects the use of the printed word in the early stages- but this objection is illogical since L2 learner has already mastered his reading skills.

  38. Drawbacks: • it requires teachers who are native speakers or who have native-like fluency in the foreign language. • It is largely dependent on the teacher's skill, rather than on a textbook, and not all teachers are proficient enough in the foreign language to adhere to the principles of the method.

  39. Drawbacks • Since Disciples of the Direct Method refuse (and don’t allow students) to speak a single word of Mother tongue in lessons, students may be afraid of asking Qs. • Critics point out that strict adherence to Direct Method principles is often counterproductive, since teachers are required to go to great lengths to avoid using the native tongue (especially in explaining abstract words). • Sometimes a simple brief explanation in the students native tongue would be a more efficient route to comprehension. • Explain attraction? • Motherhood?

  40. Drawbacks • It’s hard to practice the methods in a class with more than 20 students. It needs a great amount of teachers • Less successful with shy or unmotivated students’

  41. Difficulties • Objects (e.g. realia or pictures) should be available in the immediate classroom environment to be used to help students understand the meaning.

  42. Strategies Using the Direct Method • 1. Q & A (Question and Answer Exercise):The teacher asks questions of any nature (new words and grammatical rules) and the students answer using complete sentences. Objective: Experiment with words and sentence patterns to create interest and variety.

  43. 2. Dictation:The teacher chooses a grade appropriate passage and reads the text aloud. Objective: Listen attentively and purposefully to a range of texts from a variety of cultural traditions for pleasure and information.

  44. Strategies Using the Direct Method • 3. Reading Aloud:Students take turn reading sections of a passage, play or dialog out loud.The teacher uses gestures, pictures, realia, examples, or other means to make the meaning of the section clear. • Objective: Orally and silently read a range of contemporary and classical grade appropriate texts for enjoyment and information.

  45. 4. Getting Students to Self-Correct by offering them a choice between what they said and the proper pronunciation, for example. Objective: Reflect on speaking behaviors and strategies...

  46. Strategies Using the Direct Method • 5. Responding to Specific Instructions: Students may be provided with a blank map and given instructions on how to label the map. Roles may be exchanged.Objectives: Listen purposefully to determine the main ideas and important details; use language appropriate to audience, purpose, and situation.

  47. 6. Conversation Practice: For communication purpose, teaching contains conversational activities starting with questions in the target language which contain a certain grammar structure. First, students ask Qs with each other using the same sentence patterns, then students have free talk. • Fill-in-the-blank Exercise

  48. The principles are still followed in contemporary Berlitz schools. Guidelines of DM for teaching oral language • Nevertranslate: demonstrate, • Never explain: act, • Never make a speech: ask questions, • Never imitate mistakes: correct, • Never speak with single words: use sentences, • Never speak too much: make students speak much, • Never use the book: use your lesson plan, • Never jump around: follow your plan, • Never go too fast: keep the pace of the student, • Never speak too slowly: speak normally, • Never speak too quickly: speak naturally, • Never speak too loudly: speak naturally, • Never be impatient: take it easy.

  49. A typical class conducted using this method – Video clip Let’s have a look at the videos…!!! Direct Method Videos

  50. Demonstration • EXPERIENCE • From Diane Larson-Freeman