The Concept of Direct Method
The Direct Method is a method of language teaching associated with Francois Gouin and Charles Berlitz. The Direct Method was an answer to the dissatisfaction with the Grammar translation Method. It was established in Germany and France around the 19th century.
According to Haviz Mutoharoh “Direct method is a method which target language is used in teaching learning process without translating in the students’ 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”. According to Larsen-Freeman “The direct method has one basic rule: No translation is allowed”. It means that the teacher should not translate when she teaches about the material.
In addition Diane Larsen Freeman says that “Since no translation is allowed in Direct Method, object (such as, real, pictures etc) presented in the immediate classroom environment should be used to help students understand the meaning. It means that in Direct Method, the teacher can use everything around the school environment as teaching media directly to facilitate the student understand the meaning of sentences.
According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_Method(education) “The direct method, sometimes also called natural method, is a method to teaching foreign languages that refrains from using the learners native language and just uses the target language”.
Brown states that “The direct method includes lots of oral interaction, spontaneous use of language, the teacher discourages translation between first and second languages, and puts little emphasis on grammar rules”.
Based on theory above, the researcher assumes that in Direct Method, second language learning should be more like first language learning, no translation into the students’ native language. The teacher can use everything around the school environment as teaching media directly to facilitate the student understand the meaning of sentences.
According to Diane Larsen-Freeman the principles of the direct method that can be inferred as follows:
1) Reading in the target language should be taught from the beginning of language instruction; however, the reading skill will be developed through practice with speaking language is primarily speech.
2) Objects (e.g., realia or pictures) present in the immediate classroom environment should be used to help students understand the meaning.
3) The native language should not be used in the classroom.
4) The teacher should demonstrate, not explain or translate. It is desirable that students make a direct association between the target language and meaning.
5) Students should learn to think in the target language as soon as possible. Vocabulary is acquired more naturally if students use it in full sentences, rather than memorizing word list.
6) The purpose of language learning is communication (therefore students need to learn how to ask questions as well as answer them).
7) Pronunciation should be worked on right form the beginning of language instruction.
8) Self-correction facilities language learning.
9) Lesson should contain some conversational activity some opportunity for students to use language in real contexts. Students should be encouraged to speak as much as possible.
10) Grammar should be taught inductively. There may never be an explicit grammar rule given.
11) Writing is an important skill, to be developed from the beginning of language instruction.
12) The syllabus is based on situations or topic, not usually on linguistics structures.
13) Learning another language also involves learning how speakers of that language live.
Richards and Rodgers in Brown summarized the principles of the Direct Method:
1) Classroom instruction was conducted exclusively in the target language.
2) Only everyday vocabulary and sentences were taught.
3) Oral communication skill was built up in a carefully traded progression organized around question-and answer exchanges between teacher and students in small, intensive classes.
4) Grammar was taught inductively.
5) New teaching points were taught through modeling and practice.
6) Concrete vocabulary was taught through demonstration, objects, and pictures, abstract vocabulary was taught by association of ideas.
7) Both speech and listening comprehension were taught.
8) Correct pronunciation and grammar were emphasized.
According to Diane Larsen –Freeman there are some techniques of Direct Method that can be used in teaching learning process, as follows:
1) Reading Aloud
Students take turns reading sections of a passage, play, or dialog out loud. At the end of each student’s turn, the teacher uses gesture, pictures, realia examples or other means to make the meaning of the section clear.
2) Question and Answer Exercise
The exercise is conducted only in the target language. Students are asked question and answer in full sentences so that, they practice with new words and grammatical structure. They have the opportunity to ask question as well as answer them
The teacher reads the passage three times. The first time the teacher reads it at 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.
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. The teacher asks individual students question about themselves. The questions contain the particular grammar structure. Later, the students are able to ask each other their own questions using the same grammatical structure.