Theories, Methods & Techniques of Teaching - The Direct Method

 

"In terms of the things that are negative about it, we've already said that it doesn't develop speaking but perhaps the biggest negative point about this particular methodology is that it's very unnatural. Ok, so despite the criticisms of this particular method, and particularly the fact that is unnatural, this particular methodology was in use all the way through the 17th, 18th and 19th century and indeed it's still in use today. However, Gouin in the 1880s and Berlitz in the early 1900s decided that this particular methodology was so unnatural that they wanted to come up with something new. The method that they came up with, they called the direct method. You will also sometimes see it as the natural method. What these two people were saying is that if we wish to learn a language then we should try to recreate the conditions that we learn our native language in and this is what the natural methodology tried to do."


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.

This unit is a basic overview of the parts of speech in English grammar, rudimentary sentence structure and word order. After a brief explanation of subjects and verbs and SVO sentence structure, the unit launches into its primary focus of the parts of speech. Beginning with nouns, it examines their usage or rather definition (naming people, places, animals, things, states and qualities), their main types of common, proper, compound, abstract or collective, their regular and irregular plural forms, and the difference between countable and uncountable nouns, listing examples of each. Next come adjectives: their function of describing nouns, their common usage and ordering (size-age-color-material + noun), and their comparative and superlative forms. Following adjectives comes an in-depth look at articles, the difference between the indefinite (a/an) and definite article (the) and their respective usage. The zero article's use for general ideas and countable nouns which take a preposition instead of an article are touched on as well. The next section deals with verbs, arguably both the most vital and the most complicated part of speech in English grammar, explaining successively their function as \"action\" or \"state\" words, the contrast between transitive verbs which take an object and intransitive ones which do not, verbs' base forms or infinitives, their tenses and corresponding conjugation (both regular or irregular), and finally the auxiliary verbs and their function of forming tenses, questions, or negatives etc. After verbs, adverbs are discussed: their main types (manner, place, time, degree, frequency etc.), how they are formed, their place and order within the sentence, and common mistakes in their usage. Then gerunds are analyzed, including their difference from the regular present participle form and their usage as subject, object or object of preposition. Next, pronouns as words used instead of nouns are examined, examples are given for their different types (personal, possessive, reflexive and relative), and the difference between possessive pronouns and their corresponding possessive adjectives is explained. Finally, prepositions and conjunctions are discussed, starting with the prepositions' function of showing relationship between its noun and the sentence, their main types of time, movement and position, and ending with conjunctions' usage of joining either words and phrases of the same class or clauses of sentences, giving examples of each. Overall, I found this unit a well-rounded and informative overview of the parts of speech; while the information contained was already familiar to me and rather simplistic, it was still a useful review and I feel I have gained from it. The explanation of auxiliary verbs was particularly helpful. I found the terminology used in this unit to be non-standard, mixed, and thus confusing to those with a background in linguistics or grammar. However, I appreciate the possibility that this may have been in an attempt to make the content more readily understandable to learners unfamiliar with official grammar terms, or in order to encourage a more well rounded understanding through the use of varied terms.


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