Unit 3: What is the advantage of using translation as a teaching resource?
In many years, many arguments have been advanced against Translation teaching. It has been claimed that it is unhelpful to learning, unusable, dull, authoritarian, unpopular, artificial, and slows student down.  However, there was very little research or serious argument to back up these beliefs.
I shall argue that translation is an essential language teaching method, especially for ESL students.
Let's find out what advantages and disadvantages the translation teaching has!
What is Advantage?
(1) Translation is very important and the easiest way of explaining meanings or words. Any other method of explaining vocabulary items in the second language is found time consuming.
(2) The present study was conducted to examine the effect of using translation from L1 to L2 as a teaching technique on the improvement of EFL learners' linguistic accuracy.
(3) Another benefit of using the L1 in L2 teaching is psychological values. Contrary to reasons put forth as to why students should be encouraged to use only the target language in class, informal translation in the class can become a form of peer support for the learners.
Resource: Here is an article about The Effect of Using Translation from L1 to L2 as a Teaching Technique on the Improvement of EFL Learners' Linguistic Accuracy - Focus on Form []
What is Disadvantage?
It is an unnatural method.
The natural order of learning a language is 1) listening, 2) speaking, 3) reading and 4) writing.
That is the way how the child learns his mother tongue, but in this method the process is reversed. The G.T.M is an unnatural method.
- Classes are taught in the mother tongue, with little active use of the target language.
- Much vocabulary is taught in the form of lists of isolated words.
- Long elaborate explanations of the intricacies of grammar are given.
- Grammar provides the rules for putting words together, and instruction often focuses on the form and inflection of words.
- Reading of difficult classical texts is begun early.
- Little attention is paid to the content of texts, which are treated as exercises in in grammatical analysis.
- Often the only drills are exercises in translating disconnected sentences from the target language into the mother tongue.
- Little or no attention is given to pronunciation.
So, what's your thought on that?
If you are a ESL teacher, would you use translation teaching in your class?