The Direct method

The Direct method

Most recently, this method was revived as a method when the goal of in­struction became learning how to use a foreign language to communicate. Since the Grammar-Translation method was not very effective in preparing students to use the target language communicatively, the Direct Method became popular.

In this method, chunks of language are taught in the target language. It has a very specific basic rule: no translation is allowed. This method got its name from the main idea – that the meaning should be connected directly with the tar­get language, without going through the process of translating it into the stu­dents’ native tongue.

The basic principles of this method:

1.Readingin the target language should be taught from the beginning of language instruction; however, the reading skill will be developed through practice with speaking. Language is primarily speech.

2. Culture consists of more than the fine arts. Objects (realia or pictures) present in the immediate classroom environment should be used to help students understand the meaning. Learning another language also involves learning how speakers of that language live.

3. No use of the native language is allowed to be used in the classroom. So the teacher does not need to know the student’s native language; on the contrary, he must be a native speaker or have a native-like profi­ciency in the target language.

4. The teacher should demonstrate, not explain or translate. The lessons begin with dialogues and anecdotes in modern conversational style. It is desirable that students make a direct association between the target language and meaning.

5. The students should learn to think in the target language as soon as possible. Vocabulary is acquired more naturally if students use it in full sentences rather than memorizing word lists. Grammar is learned inductively.

6. Literary texts are read for pleasure and not analyzed grammatically.

7. The purpose of language learning is communication, so students need to learn how to ask and answer questions.

8. Pronunciation should be worked on right from the beginning of lan­guage instruction.

9. Self-correction facilitates language learning.

10. Lessons should contain some conversational activity, some opportu­nity for students to use language in the real contexts. Students should be encouraged to speak as much as possible.

11. Writing is an important skill to be developed from the beginning of language instruction.

12.  The syllabus is based on situations or topics, not usually on linguistic


Techniques used in this method:

reading aloud;

question and answer exercise;

– getting students to self-correct; conversation practice; fill-in-the-blank exercise;

– dictation; map-drawing; paragraph writing.