Critical Review for a Research Article Based on Grammar Translation and Clt Method in Elt 1/2

Topics: Teaching English as a foreign language, Language acquisition, Second language Pages: 10 (2858 words) Published: October 22, 2012

For centuries, Strategies on teaching and learning second language has been formed and apply in the classroom. Based on that, many researches has been conducted to test these methods in teaching and learning process to examine whether it is efficient or just a waste of time. By reading through these researches, teacher has been given responsibility to choose which methods that can be adaptable to their own respective classroom and how it would help them with the lessons.

Through this project, we have chosen a research articles that was conducted in China to find out how a specific teaching method will help in the teaching and learning process by examining the research articles written by Lingjie Jin, Michael Singh, and Liqun Li. Furthermore, we will identify the teaching methods that were used by them and it relevance to the teaching and learning process in China.

The study sought to investigate whether the communicative approach could help students acquire their vocabulary while reading through communicative activities, and develop their ability of using language and arouse their interest in learning English.


2.1 The Grammar Translation Method

This method is more focusing on memorization of verb paradigms, grammar rules and vocabulary. Application of this knowledge was directed on translation of literary texts which is focusing on developing students’ appreciation of the target language’s literature as well as teaching the language. Written and oral translation plays a prominent part in classroom work. This encourages the learners to think and translate into their first language.

Classes were conducted in the native language which is the first language. A chapter in a distinctive textbook of this method would begin with a massive bilingual vocabulary list. Grammar points would come directly from the texts and be presented contextually in the textbook, to be explained elaborately by the teacher. In this method, while teaching the textbook the teacher translates every word and phrase from English into the learners' first language.

A number of methods and techniques have evolved for the teaching of English and also other foreign languages in the recent past, yet this method is still in use especially in Asian country such as China. It maintains the first language of the learner as the reference particularly in the process of learning the second/foreign languages. The main principles on which the grammar translation method is based are the following: 1. Translation interprets the words and phrases of the foreign languages in the best possible manner. 2. The phraseology and the idioms of the target language can best be assimilated in the process of interpretation. 3. The structures of the foreign languages are best learned when compared and contrast with those of first language.

2.2 The Communicative Language Teaching Method

Communicative has been developed by British Applied linguists as a reaction away from grammar-based approaches. CLT also places great emphasis on helping students use the target language in a variety of contexts and places. It is a great emphasis on learning four language skills – listening, speaking, reading, writing.

Its primary focus is on helping learners create meaning rather than helping them develop perfectly grammatical structures or acquire native-like pronunciation. This means that successfully learning the English language is assessed in terms of how well learners have developed their communicative competence, which can loosely be defined as their ability to apply knowledge of both formal and sociolinguistic aspects of a language with adequate proficiency to communicate.

CLT is usually characterized as a broad approach to teaching, rather than as a teaching method with a clearly defined set of classroom practices. As such, it is most often defined as a list of general principles...

References: 1- Lingjie Jin, Michael Singh, Liqun Li; Communicative Language Teaching in China: Misconceptions, Applications and Perceptions. (2005) Australian Association for Research in Education.
2- Rao, Z. (2002), Chinese Students’ Perceptions of Communicative and Non-Communicative Activities in EFL Classroom. System 30, pp. 85-105.
3- Xiao Qing Liao; How Communicative Language Teaching Became Acceptable in Secondary Schools in China. The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. VI, No. 10, October 2000;
4- Rao Zhenhui; Foreign Languages College, Jiangxi Normal College, China. Modern vs. Traditional. Taken 10 October 2012 from
5- Rhalmi Mohammed I’m Rhalmi Mohammed; articles on Grammar Translation Method (April 2009) and Communicative Language Teaching (Sep 2009) taken on October 2012 from
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