Teaching Writing using the Direct Method

students

By, M. Syahruzzaky Romadloni

The Direct Method (DM) was established in the beginning of the nineteenth century. It was the response to GTM which gave an overwhelming emphasis on grammatical analysis. It presented a new insight in foreign language teaching; that language should be taught naturally. Consequently, spoken language got more priority than other language skills.

Although the Direct Method emphasizes the importance of spoken language, writing is still considered an important skill, to be taught from the beginning of language instruction. Regarding writing skill in DM, Larsen-Freeman, Dianne writes (2008:28), “Writing is an important skill, to be developed from the beginning of language instruction.”

In DM, teaching writing is never independent. At least it can be incorporated with teaching reading and grammar. The teacher uses the passage that has been taught orally as the main source for developing writing assignments for each unit of the instruction. He may also use teaching writing as the enrichment practice to the grammar materials that have been taught inductively. Students learn grammar inductively and practice it through some writing assignments.

Practically, teaching writing can be carried out through paragraph writing. Learners are asked to write a paragraph based on the passage that has been taught orally or they may write by their own words. Larsen-Freeman, Dianne writes (2008:28), “Paragraph writing. The teacher in this class asked the students to write a paragraph in their own words on the major geographical features of the United States. They could have done this from memory, or they could have used the reading passage in the lesson as a model.”

Accuracy still has an important attention in DM. Students should make sure that their writing uses the accurate grammatical structures.

Reference:

  1. Larsen-Freeman, Diane. (2008). Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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