Learning & Teaching Foreign Languages

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Direct Method

1902

The Direct Method, developed in the early decades of the twentieth century, relies on the immediate association of target language words and meaning, with primacy given to the spoken language and a strict ban on translation and use of the native language in the classroom. This approach was later endorsed by the American structuralist Leonard Bloomfield in his 1942 book on foreign language learning and teaching, and by the popular postwar Audiolingual method.

Meaning is to be connected directly with the target language, without going through the process of translating into the students' native language.

(Larsen-Freeman, 1986)

Also known as the Berlitz method, the Natural Method, or the Gouin method.

Activities

  1. Classroom illustration: Contrast
  2. Read more: Bloomfield

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