Theories, Methods & Techniques of Teaching - Grammar Translation

 

The purpose of grammar translation then is to basically translate between L1 and L2 and vice versa. So, we could take a simple example. Let's imagine that our native language was English and our target language was French and let's assume that we want to translate a document from French into English. Let's take a simple sentence. Here's a sentence in French "Ouvre la fenêtre" and we'll add "s'il vous plaît" at the end. What we want to do is to take this L2 and translate it back into English. Now, if we have a reasonable knowledge of French then we may well know that this particular verb "ouvre" "to open" translates directly and this female form of the and finally the fenêtre "Open the window" and this polite form of "please". This is all very well if the two structures that we're translating between the L1 and L2 have a common grammar, which French and English usually do. However, one problem that we do get with this particular classical method, is that if the grammar structures are not the same, then it's very difficult to translate between the two things.


Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

Unit 18 explains basic rules on how to use modal auxiliary verbs, relative clauses, the three types of phrasal verbs, and action/passive voices. The modal auxiliary verbs are used to express the following ideas: obligation, possibility, ability, advice, and permission or prohibition. Two charts are provided that show how each of the auxiliary verbs are broken down into their designed purposes and examples on how to use them are given in the present, future, and past forms. A few ideas given on how to teach and have students practice this grammar is by giving them role-play activities relevant to the topic, discussing rules different places may have, and deciphering the meanings of signs. When it comes to a relative clause, which is also known as an adjective clause, it is a type of dependent clause that modifies a noun. A relative clause identifies and describes a noun in greater detail. A relative pronoun may introduce a relative clause but that is not always the case. There are two types of relative clauses, which fall under the categories of defining and non-defining. In a defining relative clause the information provided is essential to the meaning of the sentence. For sentences in the non-defining relative clause form the information given is not essential to the meaning of the sentence. In this type commas are crucial because it is placed before the relative pronoun and at the end of the clause. Next there are the three major types of phrasal verbs. The first type, called intransitive phrasal verbs, can't be followed by a direct object. An example would be instead of saying one's friend vomited someone could say, \"She threw up.\" The second type phrasal verb type is called the transitive separable. In this case an object pronoun can only be placed between the verb and the particle. An example of this given in the text was, \"She took her on\" to express opposing positions between two people. The third type of phrasal verb is called the transitive inseparable. This is when the object phrase or object pronoun are both placed after the particle. An example of this would be \"I will look after the baby while you are at work.\" This phrase explains the person speaking will babysit for the person they are speaking to. Finally, the fourth major topic of this unit addresses action and passive voices in the English language. Whether someone makes a statement under an action or passive voice the meaning of the sentence is the same. The difference between the two is the focal point of the sentence. Under sentences spoken in an action voice the focus of the sentence is on the agent. In a passive statement the object of an action verb ends up becoming the subject of the passive verb. For example, saying \"there was a test last week\" is passive while saying \"I took a test last week\" is using an action voice. The combination of the four main subjects discussed in this unit all fall under grammar that may need to be addressed to students, depending on their level. Although there is even more grammar in the English language that can be taught more in depth this definitely contributes towards my own learning of how to teach these rules to students.


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