As with the Grammar-Translation Method, the Direct Method is not new. Its principles have been applied by 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.[1]
The Direct Method has one very basic rule: No translation is allowed.
In fact, the Direct Method receives its name from the fact that meaning is to be connected directly with the target language, without going through the process of translating into the students' native language.

Table of content
Theory of language
Theory of learning
Learner’s role
Teacher’s role
The role of instructional materials
The strengths and weakness of Direct Method

At the turn of 20th century the Direct Method became quite widely known and practiced.
The basic premise of the Direct Method was similar to that of Gouin's Series Method, namely, that second language learning should be more like first language learning-lots of oral interaction, spontaneous use of the lan­guage, no translation between first and second languages, and little or no analysis of grammatical rules. Richards and Rodgers summarize the principles of the Direct Method[2].
The Direct Method enjoyed considerable popularity through the end of the nineteenth century and well into this one. It was most widely accepted in pri­vate language schools where students were highly motivated and where native-speaking teachers could be employed.
One of the best known of its popularizers was Charles Berlitz (who never used the term Direct Method and chose instead to call his method the Berlitz Method). To this day "Berlitz" is a household word; Berlitz language schools are thriving in every country of the world. Enthusiastic supporters of the Direct Method introduced it in France and Germany (it was officially approved in both countries at the turn of the century), and it became widely known in the United States through its use by Sauveur and Maximilian Berlitz in successful com­mercial language schools. (Berlitz, in fact, never used the term; he referred to the method used in his schools as the Berlitz Method)[3]
But almost any "method" can succeed when clients are willing to pay high prices for small classes, individual attention, and intensive study. The Direct Method did not take well in public education where the constraints of budget, classroom size, time, and teacher background made such a method difficult to use. Moreover, the Direct Method was criticized for its weak theo­retical foundations. Its success may have been more a factor of the skill and personality of the teacher than of the methodology itself.

By the end of the first quarter of 20th century the use of the Direct Method had declined both in Europe and in the United States. Most language curricula returned to the Grammar Translation Method or to a "reading approach" that emphasized reading skills in foreign languages. But interestingly enough, by the middle of the century the Direct Method was revived and redirected into what was probably the most visible of all lan­guage teaching "revolutions" in the modern era, the Audio-lingual Method.

§  Strong theoretical base in linguistics and psychology.
§  Language is primarily spoken, not written.
§  The basic unit of a language is sentence.
§  Learning how to use a foreign language to communicate.
§  No translation is allowed.

The using of target language is a must in Direct Method, no translation and native language that used. Students must think in the target language. The primary language is spoken not written. Vocabulary is emphasized over grammar. The four skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) occurs from the start oral communication is seen as a basic, pronunciation also became attention from the beginning of a course.
- Suggestopedia
Practicing target language is the purpose but in suggestopedia native language is still used to help student to understand the meaning in target language. Grammar is showed by putting poster on the walls which display information. The grammar is dealt with explicitly but minimally. In fact it is believed that student will learn best if their conscious attention is focused not on the language form, But on using the language. Speaking communication is emphasized student also read (dialog, text) and write (imaginative composition) in target language.

- Direct Method
The theory of learning of Direct Method is not translation and native language. Student must associate the meaning in target language directly. Grammar is taught inductively, that is the students are presented with example and they figute out the rule or generalization from the example, students practice vocabulary by using new words in complete sentences.
- Suggetopedia
In helping student eliminate their feeling about the barriers to learning the classes set up to make student comfortable to environment and relax, that is why in the class there are soft music, dim light, and arm chair in semi circle. There are some pictures on the wall that support into one topic that will be taught, and it changes few weeks based on the topic or theme. This class use target language and sometime native language is still used.

The goal of Direct method :
  • Learn how to communicate I the target language- learn to think in the target language.
  • Correct pronunciation
  • Emphasise on listening and speaking. (GTM: reading, writing and translation)
  • Think in target languages. No native language. No translation.
  • Learning basic sentences, introducing daily life.

Teachers who use direct method intend the student learn how to communicate in the target language, in order to this successfully, student should learn to think in the target language. During teaching learning process student just allowed to use target language by doing this teacher hopes that student can use target language communicatively.
- Suggestopedia
Teachers hope to accelerate the process by which students learn how to use foreign language for everyday communication. In order to do this the students mental powers must be tapped. This accomplished by desuggesting the psychological barriers learners bring with them to the learning the situation.

The student role in this method is less passive than in The Grammar Translation Method. The teacher and the students are more like partners in the teaching/learning process.

The role of the teacher is to direct class activities, but students and teacher are partners in the learning process, and there is a large amount of Learner-Learner interaction.

  • Direct communication: as baby learning mother tongue.
  • Imitation: repetition and practice.
  • Association: e.g.: hand – arm, shoulder, foot, leg…

§  Teacher begin the class activity by reading a loud that can make correction to the wrong pronunciation and answering student questions by using gestures, pictures, realia, example still in target language, grammar is taught by asked some questions and student must answer in complete sentence self correction and map drawing is used to give listening comprehension.
§  - Suggestopedia
§  The class is made comfortable to the environment by classroom set up to help student in facing barriers of learning. Peripheral learning helps student to know the information and grammatical by putting them on the walls, positive suggestion is given to support the student mental reserves. Visualization make the student feels in the place where the target language is spoken. Teacher gives each student new identity and occupation and asks them to introduce each others by using target language. Role play is used to make interaction from student and student.


The Direct Method allows students to perceive meaning directly through the language because no translation is allowed. Visual aids and pantomime are used to clarify the meaning of vocabulary items and concepts. Students speak a great deal in the target language and communicate as if in real situations. Reading and writing are taught from the beginning, though speaking and listening skills are emphasized. Grammar is learned inductively.

The teacher explains new vocabulary using realia, visual aids or demonstrations.
In the classroom
Aspects of the Direct Method are still evident in many ELT classrooms, such as the emphasis on listening and speaking, the use of the target language for all class instructions, and the use of visuals and realia to illustrate meaning.
1.     Reading Aloud
           Students take turns reading sections of 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 with new words and grammatical structure. 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 alternate answer he supplied.
            There are, however, other ways of getting students to self-correct. For example, a teacher might simply repeat what a student has just said, using a questioning voice to signal to the student that something was wrong with it.
            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.
4.     Conversation Practice
           The teacher asks students a number of questions 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 questions about themselves. The questions contained a particular grammar struc­ture. Later, the students were able to ask each other their own ques­tions using the same grammatical structure.
5.     Fill-in-the-blank Exercise
               This technique has already been discussed in the Grammar-Translation Method, but differs in its application in the Direct Method. All the items are in the target language; furthermore, no explicit grammar rule would be 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.


Probably the biggest advantage of this method of teaching English is that it actually teaches the language and doesn’t teach about the language. Furthermore, due to its emphasis on speech, it is better for students who have a need of real communication in English. Finally, this method introduced the use of teaching vocabulary using realia, which is still widely used today when teaching English to speakers of other languages.
One major disadvantage for this method is that is works on the assumption that a second language is learnt exactly the same way as the first. Second language acquisition varies considerably from first language acquisition.
Another criticism of the direct method is that it was hard for public schools to integrate it. In his book, R. Brown (1994:56) explains that the direct method wasn’t successful in public schools because of “constraints of budget, classroom size, time, and teacher background (native speakers or native like fluency) made such a method difficult to use.”

The streng of Direct Method ;
1. Drawing and giving example make student easy in understanding new vocabulary
2. Speaking communication very make student’s boredom lost
3. Student can pronounce well the vocabulary because the teacher teaches them
4. Self correction make student know their mistakes
5. Giving exercise can provide mental good learning
6. The using of map help student to know the geographical of the place where target language is spoken
7. Dictation is good to know the ability of student
8. Student is train to think in target language so them will learn fast
The Weakness of Direct Method;
1. The class is depend on the teacher
2. Student no allowed to translate where as they still in lower level
3. The class situation is bored because there is no role play or song
4. Student can’t speak communicatively because the teacher guided and manage the student
5. Student interaction is limit by the teacher
6. The syllabus that used is based upon a situation
7. Explicit grammar never be given
8. There is not formal evaluation
9. Student must memorize much vocabularies
10. Not all of the student have bravery to ask to the teacher
1. Comfortable environment in classroom set up build mental power of student
2. The using of native language help student in solving target language problem
3. Good suggestion can make student believe to their ability and be confidence
4. The picture is changed regularly depend on the topic adding student knowledge
5. Soft music can bring their mind to the new environment
6. Role play make student have fun and enjoy the lesson
7. Student can feel the real condition of the place where the target language is spoken.
1. Little attention is given to grammar
2. Student must trust the teacher, if not they will get difficulties in forming a good environment
3. classroom set up not always possible to provide by the teacher
4. It is expensive because a teacher must change the poster on the wall every week
5. Teacher should proved de a relaxed and comfortable environment

Direct Method is used when the GTM is not suitable again for student since the purpose is for communication. No translation is allowed student must think in target language so that the learning process will be faster. The teacher leads the class directly in target language. Drawing is used to range the meaning of something. Speaking communicatively is used between teacher – student and student – student.
- Suggestopedia
To make student succeed in learning student need desuggested to solve the barriers of learning. The class is arranged to make student relaxed and enjoyable by dim lighting, soft music, etc. speaking communicatively is used to make student brave and believe to their ability. Role play is used to make learning process easier.


[1] Dianne Larsen –Freeman, Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching, Oxford University Press, 1986, p.18-29
[2] Douglas Brown, Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy, San Francisco State University, 1994, p. 9-10

[3] J. C. Richard and Theodore S. Rodgers, Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching Cambridge University Press, 1997, p.9-12

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