A Comparative Study of the Effect of Grammar Translation Method and Communicative Language Teaching on Iranian Lower-Intermediate Efl Learners' Language Proficiency

By Hanafiyeh, Masoomeh | Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods, December 2015 | Go to article overview

A Comparative Study of the Effect of Grammar Translation Method and Communicative Language Teaching on Iranian Lower-Intermediate Efl Learners' Language Proficiency


Hanafiyeh, Masoomeh, Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods


Introduction

There can be no denying the fact that for learning and teaching any language method or methods are very much important. It is true that method or methods for learning and teaching language can be changed with the span of time but language cannot be changed. It is universal.

Teaching is basically an interaction between the teacher and learner. It is a system of actions intended to induce learning. Teaching is a two process, teacher deliver a lecture while the learners receive it and gain it (Bruce, 2007). The most effective teaching in language teaching is that in which both teacher and learners are equally involved, because in language teaching communication and discussion of both sides (teacher and learner) are necessary for effective learning of second or foreign language acquisition (Richardson, 1998).

It is true that for effective teaching one needs to adopt an effective method of teaching learning process, because each work or task has its own value and significance, the same is the case of second language acquisition also (Bahrani, 2011). If a teacher uses such method of teaching which is not according to the need and requirements of learners, then both teacher and learners face difficulty in teaching learning process (Shabina, 2008).

Due to quick changes in life we have need of new methods and techniques to make our life easy and comfortable; the same is the case of English language learning also. We have need of such methods and approaches through which we can learn the English language easily (Law, 2003).

There are different methods and approaches of teaching English. Some are very important and having global importance because of the changing situations and due to the needs and requirement of time while others are considered dull and ineffective methods and approaches of English language teaching. But the fact is that no method is worthless, each method has its own value and significance (Sue, 2011). A good teacher is that who uses that method or approach which enables the teacher to achieve the desired objectives easily and within less time as compare to other (Swain, 1985).

The current teaching English language in colleges is still characterized by the adoption of the traditional teaching method, which is known as the Grammar Translation Method. With this model, language structures are presented by the teacher, then practiced in the form of spoken or written exercises, and then used by the learners in less controlled speaking or writing activities.

Although the traditional grammar teaching method helps improve the stu dents' mastery of the grammatical rules, the students cannot use these rules flexibly and appropriately in communication. That is to say, the traditional grammar teaching method has its disadvantages which prevent the students from developing their communicative competence. Firstly, the traditional grammar teaching method is teachercentered. As a result, the majority of the classroom time is spent on the teachers' elaborate explanation of English grammar rules, while all the students are either listening or taking notes. Thus little attention is paid to the development of English communicative competence. The students accept the English knowledge passively in the procedures set ahead of time by English teachers step by step. There is little use of the Engli sh language. The typical exercise is to translate sentences from English into their native language or vice versa, to fill in the blank with a proper word and to correct errors in a sentence. So the students lack English communicative opportunities. Secondly, memorization and rote learning are the basic learning techniques, which cannot help to arouse students' interest, build their self-confidence or improve their communicative strategies in English learning and even makes them fear English grammar learning. An alternative to the traditional grammar teaching method is the Communicative Approach. …

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