Hey! As I’ve announced on my instagram; I start to share teaching methods on my wordpress blog! I’ve started with The Direct Method. By clicking below you can download it (PDF), and can read it anywhere !
Short description of the Direct Method;
“The direct method of teaching was developed as a response to the Grammar-Translation method. It sought to immerse the learner in the same way as when a first language is learnt. All teaching is done in the target language, grammar is taught inductively, there is a focus on speaking and listening, and only useful ‘everyday’ language is taught. The weakness in the Direct Method is its assumption that a second language can be learnt in exactly the same way as a first, when in fact the conditions under which a second language is learnt are very different.” (1)
The Direct Method has a few names, as you see below;
BASIC PRINCIPLES ABOUT THE DIRECT METHOD;
* QUESTION & ANSWER: The teacher asks questions of any nature and the students answer.
*DICTATION: The teacher chooses a grade appropriate passage and reads the text aloud. Teacher reads the passage three times.
*READING ALOUD: Students take turn reading sections of a passage, play or dialogue out loud.
*MAP DRAWING: Students are given a map without labeled then the students label it by using the directions the teacher gives.
*PARAGRAPH WRITING: The students are asked to write a passage in their own words. (3)
A Sample Direct Method Lesson
This sample lesson teaches students the phrase “where are you going?” and the response “I am going to (school / the grocery store / the library / the doctor).”
Why not start with a song?
In one of my current classes we’ve been learning different verses from the song “The Wheels on the Bus” each day (here are the lyrics) and singing the verses we know. Visual aids are a great help here—so I show a picture of the bus and then a picture of a wheel which I spin around and around as we sing, repeat and act out “the wheels on the bus / go round and round.”
If you’re warming up with a children’s song like this, be creative, pretend to hold a baby as “the baby on the bus / goes “wah wah wah,” and be sure to cry loudly on the “wah”s!)
If you’re teaching older students, then choose a pop song that they know and love to practice with!
Introduction of Vocabulary / Phrases
Since my students have been singing about a bus, I’ll now take the bus for a ride around the classroom to introduce our vocabulary: “where are you going?” “I am going / We are going to school / the grocery store / the library / the doctor.”
I’ll have printed pictures and post them around the classroom ahead of time, so that I can use the images and take the bus to the different places.
As in the example of teaching feelings, after introducing the vocabulary and phrases I would model asking and answering the question, gradually involving more and more students in the modeling—first they might ask me where I’m going or point to the destination they want me to go to, and then pairs of students might hold the bus and answer the question.
As we broaden our practice, I would hand out pictures of all four places to my students so that they can practice asking and answering in pairs, perhaps choosing their own answers and pointing to them, or choosing for each other by pointing and making them answer the question.
How to Extend This Lesson
There are many ways to extend this lesson. We might close with me writing the names of the places on the pictures themselves, and then having the students add them all to their notebooks. We might learn more place names and create a “classroom city” for students to navigate, and then focus on not where they are going but how to get there, learning directions and how to give them.
Or we could label places on maps of our town or our school (if we learn the names of different classrooms and subjects).
We could learn ordinal numbers (first, second, third), and ask students to move from place to place in a particular order—maybe one student is the bus driver, and has to take other students to their destinations and drop them off in order…. (4)