English is one of the most popular languages in the world. It is estimated that more than half of the world population use English in their day-to-day communication. Its popularity is shown by the number of people who speak this language either as their first language or as a second or even third language. Many people learn English language for various reasons. One of the main reasons why people get into learning English is to be able to interact with other English speakers.
Others learn it as an additional language so that they can be able to engage in business and other activities since this language is spread in all corners of the world. From Europe to Asia, South America to North America, Africa to Australia English is the common mode of communication all over. There exist different forms of English that are spoken and used in different parts of the world. We have American English, which is spoken in United States of America and other parts of the world, British English, Australian English among other forms.
The type of English a learner would like to learn is largely influenced by the purpose, that is, what a learner would like to do. If a person would be interested in settling in areas where American English is the most dominant, then this would be his choice of language. There exists a difference in the form of English used in different regions. The different is mostly in the areas of pronunciation and spelling. ( Palmer, H 1922) Learners of English as a second language may experience some difficulties in the course of learning.
Largely, these hardships are attributed to the learners’ culture as well as their first or native language. ( Palmer, H 1922) For example, linguists have argued that a learner whose native language is Japanese may experience more difficulty in the learning as compared to a learner who uses Germany as their first language. This is mostly attributed to the fact that Germany is more close to English in terms of phonology than Japanese. The closer a language is to English; the easier it is for a second language learner to acquire proficiency in English.
Therefore, it can be argued that for those languages that have borrowed little or nothing from English vocabulary learners may experience some difficulty as far as English learning is concerned Howatt, A (1984) For a learner to be a good user of English language, one is required to acquire different skills as far as the language is concerned. Some of these skills include speech, writing, spelling, reading among others. A learner who is comfortable with the above skills can be said to have acquired fluency and accuracy in the language.
Though one may not have a perfect written or spoken English, mastery of vocabulary and its usage plays a big role as far as English learning is concerned. (Palmer, H 1922) There are different methods that are used in teaching of English to second language learners. The method used largely depends on the type of learner and the purpose. Some of these methods include direct method where the learner strictly uses purely English with no reference to his or her first language. Proponent of direct or natural method use the approach the child acquires mother tongue.
A child’s learns her mother tongue purely by the process of language acquisition. Other methods include language immersion system, interactive communication methods among other methods. This paper will attempt to explore grammar translation method in the teaching of English as a second language. History Grammar translation method is also refereed to as the classical method as it is mostly related to learning classical languages such as Latin and ancient Greek, language which are considered to be dead but still attract more attention to learners.
This method was firstly associated with Latin and ancient Greek teaching. These languages were not taught to equip learners with speech of writing skills but to develop capacities into which learners can attain civilizing and education effect, acquire skills in logical thinking, grammar translation method. (Palmer, H 1922) There has been a tradition where Latin set up has been used as a model of teaching English. Linguists have tried to squeeze English into the structure of Latin grammar. It has been suggested that a good understanding of Latin is an important point for one to be a good English user.
Learning basic of Latin language is argued to have given a learner some skills on how English came about and how it works Latin was largely told how to make students understand the basics of grammar translation so that they can be able to interpret texts that were written in this language. The students who took Latin as a language were well educated therefore it was easy for them to take a different language. (Palmer, H 1922)It was generally taken that the same method that was used in teaching Latin language could be comfortably used in teaching other languages including English.
The same method was applied to teach well educated people would also be suitable in teaching young English language Learners. In the 19th Century second language was mainly taught to allow learners to develop mentally through accessing literature. Howatt, A (1984) Grammar translation method has a historical background therefore being referred in other different terms such as a traditional or classical method. Other terms include grammar school method or Prussian method as it is widely known in America. Characteristics of grammar translation method Learners usually taught using their native language.
English was used occasionally for the oral production. Second language learning was perceived as an intellectual exercise where many vocabulary in the form of given words tables were learnt together with explanations o grammar practiced through a process of translation. The learners’ native or first language was usually seen as a reference construction in English learning. The method hardly gives attention to the speaking and listening skills. Strong emphasis lies on fluency, accuracy and from meaning of words are usually neglected in this method of learning English as a second language accurately. Mistakes were rarely tolerated.
Teachers were required to be correct the learners immediately they make an error. Alternatively different students are largely said to be very conscious of the English language learning. (Palmer, H 1922) This teaching method is very suitable for large groups of learners as the teacher is in great control of the class. In most cases the teacher conducts a lecture to the learners. There is a very little interaction between learners. The grammar translation method compels the learners to master English form the initial stages of their learning. The method emphasizes learning of English grammar through deduction.Sample Essay of Masterpapers.com