Out with the new in with the old: revisiting the Grammar Translation Method in foreign language teaching
Catena Fontalba, Manuel.
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Didactic approaches to second language acquisition and strategies used at European higher education institutions may not be suitable for Anglophones (Catena and Stephens, 2010). Anglophones tend to have very little formal knowledge of their own language and its grammar. This lack of linguistic competence may be an element that affects their ability to learn a foreign language. The aim of this study is the enhancement of the quality of second language acquisition by exploring methodological adaptations that may motivate Anglophones to learn a foreign language. This paper reports research conducted at a higher education institution in Ireland. For the purpose of this scoping piece, the mixed methods approach of sequential explanatory strategy (Creswell, 2003) was adopted. The method was used as follows: first, quantitative research was conducted with Anglophone learners to examine their attitudes and experience of learning a foreign language(s). Second, the progress of four learners over a period of two years was mapped using a variety of qualitative method. The participants in this study tend to produce correct sentences in a foreign language if they understand how these sentences are grammatically formed. However, the participants like many Anglophones possess a poor understanding of English grammar. Therefore, this paper proposes a return to the Grammar Translation method.
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