Grammar Translation Method:
In applied linguistics, the Grammar-Translation method is a foreign language teaching method derived from the classical or sometimes called traditional method of teaching Greek and Latin. The method requires students to translate whole texts word for word and memorize numerous grammatical rules and exceptions as well as enormous vocabulary lists. The goal of this method is to be able to read and translate literary masterpieces and classics. Throughout Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, the education system was formed primarily around a concept called faculty psychology. In brief, this theory dictated that the body and mind were separate and the mind consisted of three parts: the will, emotion, and intellect. It was believed that if the intellect could be sharpened enough and eventually control the will and the emotions. The way to do this was through learning classical literature of the Greeks and Romans, as well as mathematics. Additionally, an adult with such an educational was considered mentally prepared for the world and its challenges. In the 19th century, modern languages and literatures begin to appear in schools. It was believed that teaching modern languages was not useful for the development of mental discipline and thus was left out of the curriculum. As a result, textbooks were essentially copied for the modern language classroom.
In America, the basic foundations of this method were used in most high school and college foreign language classrooms. Classes were conducted in the native language. A chapter in a typical textbook of this method would begin with a massive bilingual vocabulary list. Grammar points would come directly from the texts and be presented deduct in the textbook, to be explained elaborately by the instructor. Grammar thus provided the rules for assembling words. Tedious translation and grammar drills would be used to exercise and strengthen the knowledge without much attention to content. Sentences would be deconstructed and translated, for example. Eventually, entire texts would be translated from the target language into the native language and tests would often ask students to replicate classical texts in the target language. Very little attention was placed on pronunciation or any communicative aspects of the language. The skill exercised was reading, and then only in the context of translation. The Grammar-Translation method stayed in schools until the 1960s, when a complete foreign language pedagogy evaluation was taking place.