Direct method (education)
The direct method of teaching, which is sometimes called the natural method, and is often (but not exclusively) used in teaching foreign languages, refrains from using the learners' native language and uses only the target language. It was established in England around 1900 and contrasts with the grammar–translation method and other traditional approaches, as well as with C.J. Dodson's bilingual method. It was adopted by key international language schools such as Berlitz and Inlingua in the 1970s and many of the language departments of the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. State Department in 2012.
In general, teaching focuses on the development of oral skills. Characteristic features of the direct method are:
Direct method in teaching a language is directly establishing an immediate and audio visual association between experience and expression, words and phrases, idioms and meanings, rules and performances through the teachers' body and mental skills, without any help of the learners' mother tongue.
I. Introduction of new word, number, alphabet character, sentence or concept (referred to as an Element) :
NOTE: Teacher should be aware of "high frequency words and verbs" and prioritize teaching for this. (i.e. Teach key verbs such as "To Go" and "To Be" before unusual verbs like "To Trim" or "To Sail"; likewise, teach Apple and Orange before Prune and Cranberry.)
An integral aspect of the Direct Method is varying the setting of teaching; instructors try different scenarios using the same Element. This makes the lessons more "real world," and it allows for some confusing distractions to the student and employs organic variables common in the culture and locale of language use.
The direct method was an answer to the dissatisfaction with the older grammar translation method, which teaches students grammar and vocabulary through direct translations and thus focuses on the written language.
There was an attempt to set up conditions that imitate mother tongue acquisition, which is why the beginnings of these attempts were called the natural method. At the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, Sauveur and Franke proposed that language teaching should be undertaken within the target-language system, which was the first stimulus for the rise of the direct method.
The audio-lingual method was developed in an attempt to address some of the perceived weaknesses of the direct method.