The principal characteristics are:
· goal is to learn in order to read its literature and to benefit from the mental discipline and intellectual development involved.
· the language is codified by frozen rules of morphology and syntax to be explained and memorized.
· it was first known as the ‘Prussian Method’
· reading and writing are the major focus; little or no attention is paid to speaking and listening skills
· accuracy is emphasized and errors are not permitted
Quoted as ‘ a way to know everything about something, rather than the thing itself’ (Rouse, quoted in Kelly 1969).
The Grammar Translation method dominated European language teaching up until the mid-1940’s and is still widely used in some parts of the world today. It is still used where understanding of literary texts is the main focus of language learning and where the focus is on literature rather than language teaching.
In the late 19th century opposition to the Grammar Translation method came in the form of the Reform Movement which laid the foundations for the development of new ways of language teaching.
All notes taken from ‘Approaches and Methodologies in Language Teaching’ Richards and Rodgers, Cambridge University Press