Teaching Language 1

Language in Theory

Grammar Translation

This way of teaching is the same in which Greek and Latin are usually taught and mostly focuses on grammatical rules.
The classes are taught in the student’s first language. The target language is spoken only a little. And very little attention is given to the pronunciation of words, most of the exercises are about translating sentences from the target language into your language. Learning word lists is also a big part of this method.
While difficult texts are being read from the beginning, not much attention is paid to the context.


Audio Lingual

This way of teaching is based mostly on psychological theories. There is a very clear structure in the lessons, which consist of different categories: Speaking, listening, reading and writing. Not much attention is paid to the explanation of grammatical rules. And before the course starts a lot of reading is to be done by the students.
Many visuals are used and imitation plays a big role


Reading Approach

This method is mostly used by people who want to be able to read and understand a language and to learn more about the history of the country where the target language is spoken. You will not learn how to speak the language properly. Grammatical rules are only necessary for reading comprehension.


Direct approach

This method was developed as a reaction to the grammar translation method as a way to make more use of the target language.
The lessons usually start with modern day dialogue/conversation in the target language. Speaking the target language plays a huge role, but visuals are used as well. The students first language is never spoken.
More advanced students read literature in the target language, but literary texts are not grammatically analyzed.
The culture that is associated with the target languages country is also taught.



This method is all about immersing students with their target language. All their classes are taught in their target language. So, for example, if your target language is English, you don’t only speak English in your English classes, but also during math, science and other classes.

Personal Experience

I do not remember much from when I was younger and learning Croatian and Dutch. From my parents’ stories I can conclude that most of it came from being immersed by my target languages. I learned Croatian because that is the language in which my parents always spoke to me. Most of their friends also came from ex-Yugoslavia, so they would be speaking it as well.
Dutch immersion started for me in kindergarten. Being placed in a situation where everyone is speaking a language you don’t know, you easily pick things up through gestures and visuals.
As a young child I would often immerse myself with the English language, whether it be through games, music or tv. When I actually started learning English in school it was mostly grammar translation, learning a lot about the grammar rules, but also learning long vocabulary lists. As I moved on and went to high school I was taught with a classical approach that very strictly followed the course book.
Every unit/chapter had a specific theme and we would learn vocabulary lists that fit the themes. We would do fill in the gaps exercises, listening and reading exercises. The listening exercises were way below our level, we would read along because the exact conversations were shown in our textbooks. Our skills were not challenged and we did not do many activities. I vividly remember having to do five- or ten-minute presentations in English, but that was about it for the speaking practice.
The last few months in college I have learned so much more than in the previous years of my life, mostly through immersion.