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A. The Definition of Direct Method

As with the Grammar-Translation Method, the Direct Method is not new.
Its principles have been applied by many language teachers for many years. Most
recently, it was revived as a method when the goal of instruction became learning
how to use a foreign language to communicate. Since the Grammar-Translation
Method was not very effective in preparing students to use the target language
communicatively, the Direct Method became popular.
The Direct Method also referred to as the natural method started with
Francouis Gouin and was pick up by Berlitz and Sauveur in the 19th century. It
became very well known in the United States through its use by Sauveur and
Mximilliam Berlitz successful in commercial language school.
The Direct Method has one very basic rule: No translation is allowe. In
fact, the Direct Method receives its name from the fact that the meaning is to be
conveyed directly in the target language through the use of demonstration and
visual aids, with no recourse to student’s native language. If there is a word that is
difficult to understand by students, the teacher can be interpreted by using real
media, picture, and others. Its mean that the teacher can use everything around the
environtment as teaching media directly to facilitate the student understand the
meaning of sentences.
The emphasized of language skill is vocabulary emphasized over grammar.
Although work on all four skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) occurs
from the oral communication which is seen as a basic.
The Direct Method is based on language theory which states that in
essence language is a system for expressing meaning. Therefore, in language
learning based on the communicative approach that needs to be highlighted is
language interaction and communication, not knowledge of language.

B. The Principle of Direct Method
Here are some principles of the Direct Method which important in
teaching and learning process :
1. Teacher who use the Direct Method intend that students learn how to
communicate in the target language. In order to do this successfully,
students should learn to think in the target language.
2. Although the teacher directs the class activities, the student role is less
passive than the Grammar-Translation Method. The teacher and the
students are more like a partners in teaching/learning process.
3. Teacher believe that the students need to associate meaning and the target
language directly. In order to do this, when the teacher introduces a new
target language word or phrase, the teacher demonstrate its meaning
through the use of realia, pictures, or pantomime, and never translate it
into the student’s native language.
4. The initiation of the interaction goes both ways, from the teacher to
students and from student to teacher, although the latter is often teacher
directed. Students converse with one another as well.
5. Language is primarily spoken, not written. Therefore, students study
common, everyday speech in the target language. They also study culture
consisting history of the people who speak in the target language, the
geography of the country where the language is spoken, and information
about the daily lives of the language speakers.
6. The student are ask to use the language such as using both oral and written
skills in the evaluation. For example, the students might be interviewed
orally by the teacher or might be asked to write a paragraph about
something the have studied.
7. The teacher respond to the student errors by employing various techniques,
tries to get students to self-correct whenever possible.

C. The Goals of Direct Method
The main goal of the Direct Method is that the students will learn to
communicate in the target language or in specific :
 To develop student`s ability to communicate (competence and
 To increase vocabulary during learning.
 To improve pronounciation skills.
 To improve student`s ability to find meaning according to their own
 Helping students easily understand what is being said.

D. The Techniques of Direct Method

The following expanded review of techniques provides you with
some details wich will help you do this :
1. Reading Aloud
Students take turns reading section pf a passage, play, or dialogue out
loud. At the end of each student`s turn, the teacher uses gestures, pictures,
realia, examples, or other means to make the meaning of the section clear.
2. Question and Answer Exercise
This exercise is conducted only in the target language. Students are asked
questions and answer in full sentences so that they practice new word and
grammatical structures. They have the opportunity to ask questions as well
as answer them.
3. Getting Students to Self-Correct
The teacher of this class has the students self-correct by asking them to
make a choice between what they said and an alternative answer he
supplied. Another possibility is for the teacher to repeat what the students
said, stopping just before the error. The student knows that the next word
was wrong.

4. Conversation Practice
The teacher ask students a number of question in the target language,
which the students have to understand to be able to answer correctly. In
the class observed, the teacher asked individual students question about
themselves. The questions contained a particular grammar structure. Later,
the students were able to ask each other their own question using the same
grammatical structure.
5. Fill-in-The-Blank Exercise
All items are in the target language, furthermore, no explicit grammar rule
they need to applied. The students would have induced the grammar rule
they need to fill in the blanks from examples and practice with earlier parts
of the lesson.
6. Dictation
The teacher reads the passage three times. The first time the teacher reads
it at a normal speed, while the students just listen. The second time he
reads the passage phrase by phrase, pausing long enough to allow students
to write down what they have heard. The last time the teacher again reads
at a normal speed, and students check their work.
7. Map Drawing
The class included one example of a technique used to give students
listening comprehension practice. The students were given a map with
geographical features unnamed. Then the teacher gave the students
directions such as the following, `Find the mountain range in the West.
Write the words “Rocky Mountain” across the mountain range. The
teacher gave instructions for all the geographical features of the United
States so that the students would have a completely labeled map if they
followed his instruction correctly. The students then instructed the teacher
to do the same thing with a map he had drawn on thr board. Each student
could have a turn giving the teacher instruction for finding and labeling
one geographical feature.

8. Paragraph Writing
The teacher in this class asked the students to write a paragraph in their
own words on the major geographical features of the United States. They
could have done this from memory, or they could have used the reading
passage in the lesson as a model.

E. The Rules of Direct Method

1) The Teachers’ Role
In direct method, teachers introduce a new target language word or phrase
to the students and there is no mother tounge. Therefore, the role of the teacher is
as demonstrator because the teacher demonstrates the meaning of words through
the use of realia, pictures, or pantomime; they never translate it into the students’
native language. The teacher is also a facilitator because he facilitates the students
with the target language. The teacher is the source for the students to know the
words in target language. The teachers provide information of the target language
including the culture consisting of the history of the people who speak the target
language. The teacher is the partner of the students. Teachers interact with the
students a lot, asking them questions about relevant topics and trying to use the
grammatical structure of the day in the conversation.
The teacher can be the monitor of the students. He watches the students’
progress in using the target language. The teacher has the students self-correct by
asking them to make a choice between what they said and an alternative answer
supplied. Another possibility is for the teacher to repeat what the student said,
stopping just before the error. The student knows that the next word was wrong.
The teacher is also the initiator. He finds various techniques to get the students to
self-correct whenever possible. The teacher uses map drawing as a technique to
give listening comprehension. The teacher can use paragraph writing as a
technique for writing activity. He asks the teacher to write paragraph with their
own words about the lesson studied. The students can use their memory or use the
passage in the lesson as the model.

2) The Students’ Role
The teacher and the students are more like partners in the teaching/learning
process. Teacher/student interaction became fuller, guessing of context or content,
completing fill-ins, and doing “cloze” exercises were the order of the day. The
students’ role in direct method is the active learner. They are active in exploring
new words, expression, etc. in target language. The students are also the observer
and practitioner. In direct method, the students observe the target language used
by the teacher in teaching and they try to get the meaning based on the
demonstration given and then they will practice the target language they observed
and they use it to communicate with their friends and teacher in classroom.

F. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Direct Method

1) The Advantages
 It teaches the second/foreign language in the same way as one learns one’s
mother tongue. The language is taught through demonstration and
conversation in context. Pupils, therefore, acquire fluency in speech. They
are quick at understanding spoken English. They can converse in English
with felicity and ease.
 There is no gap between active and passive vocabulary. This method does
not differentiate between active and passive vocabularies. According to
this method whatever is required for understanding through English is also
required for expressing through it. If English is taught through the mother
tongue, the gulf between the active and passive vocabularies is widened.
The learner acquires more of passive vocabulary because he concentrates
on understanding English rather than expressing through it.
 This method is based on sound principles of education. It believes in
introducing the particular before general, concrete before abstract and
practice before theory.
 Its emphasis on speech made it more attractive for those who have needs
of real communication in the target language.

 It was one of the first methods to introduce the teaching of vocabulary
through realia.
 Students will be skilled in listening and speaking because it is make a s
first priority.
 Expand a lot of vocabulary.
 Students can have a prounounciation that is relatively close to native
 Students get a lot of training in conversations, especially on other topics.

2) The Disadvantages
 This methods avoids the use pf mother tongue and second language or is
spoken off. This actually a normal obstacle to learning progress, because a
lot of time and energy wasted in explaining abstract word.
 It is more effective to use in a small class, not in a big class.


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. The teacher and the students are more like partners in the
teaching/learning process. Teacher/student interaction became fuller, guessing of
context or content, completing fill-ins, and doing “cloze” exercises were the order
of the day. The teacher is as the facilitator of the language and the students is the
active learners who are active in learning and exploring the target language.


Berlitz, M. D. 1887. Methode Berlitz. New York: Berlitz

de Sauze, Emil B. 1929. The Cleveland Plan for the Teaching of Modern
Language with Special Reference to French. (rev. edn) 1959. Philadelphia:

Diller, Karl C. 1978. The Language Teaching Controversy. Rowley, MA:

Newbury House.

Gatenby, E.V. 1958. A Direct Method English Course. (3rd edn.) London:

Gouin, Francouis. 1880. The Art of Teaching and Studying Languages. Translated
by Swab, H. and V. Betts. 1892. London: Philip.

Krause, Carl A. 1916. The Direct Method in Modern Languages. New York:
Charles Scribner.