Integration of Grammar Translation Method with Communicative Approach: A Research Synthesis

By Fazal, Shawana; Majoka, Dr Muhammad Iqbal et al. | International Research Journal of Arts and Humanities, January 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

Integration of Grammar Translation Method with Communicative Approach: A Research Synthesis


Fazal, Shawana, Majoka, Dr Muhammad Iqbal, Ahmad, Dr Mustanir, International Research Journal of Arts and Humanities


1. Introduction

The increasing demand of English language for meaningful communication produce immense need for quality English language education and it becomes important for the people to equip their children with good knowledge of English (Richards, 2006). The role and duties of English language teacher in the current situation has increased for developing efficient communication skills (Ahmad & Rao, 2013). Historically, English has been taught through rules, memorizing, translation activities and grammar study (Gregg, 1984). Technology is introduced in language learning with an ambition to improve language acquisition (Cunningham, 1998). Traditional methods of teaching English tend to be uncertain for integrating new technology (Kawaguchi & Di-Biase, 2009). The emphasis on spoken language is the core of audio lingual, audio-visual, total physical response methods and communicative methods. The advocates for oral language pinpointed that communication is spoken rather than written (Cook, 2008). The spoken language is emphasized in the classroom by using L2 rather than LI; thus creating second language environment through communicative and task based teaching. Grammar should be taught communicatively rather than explicit teaching of rules (Ellis, 2003). However, only communicative language teaching does not fulfil the requirements of second language learner, because learners from developing countries are not interactive an English language. In the similar countries with English as L2, the researchers and linguists are striving to find and adopt the effective teaching method.

English has been included as primary subject in curriculum around the globe and in Pakistan as well. It is vital to develop strategies for learning and assessing language for diverse range of students in the world (Cambridge English Centenary Conference [CECC], 2013). Due to lack of practice and exercise, basic speaking and listening skills have not developed, resulting in declining communicative part of language education. The current study reviews the articles from late 19th century and beginning of 21st century on strengths and weaknesses of GT and CA along with combination of GT method and CA.

2. Theory and Research

Around the world, in second language classrooms in late nineteenth century, translation was considered an out dated method. For instance in England, "the natural use of the target language for virtually all communication is a sure sign of a good modern language course" (DES, 1990, p.58) and in Japan most of teaching was conducted in English to become successful users (MEXT, 2003). English as the dominant language in global market has widely been recognised as lingua franca in Pakistan and official communication is conducted in English (Pinon & Hay don, 2010).

Harmer (1998) advises practising of target language in teaching classes rather than vernaculars. Hymes (1972) suggests language knowledge and communicative competency as essential elements for second language learners to be used in variety of situations. The essence of language teaching lies in the notion of attaining proficiency in negotiation with target language speakers (East, 2012). The learners in second language acquisition (SLA) attain fluency and accuracy after much practice and by applying different evaluative techniques such as teacher's corrections or self-monitoring (Jong, 2005).

The concept of multi-competence has been proposed by Cook (1992) that refers to the combined knowledge of LI and L2. According to this model, second language users are different from monolingual native speakers in the way that they have two languages in their mind and their ways of thinking vary. Cook used the term L2 users instead of L2 learners as L2 users use the language in real life context regardless of what the level of language is. Learners have their own language system at every level and it might be called as independent language system. …

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