The Grammar-Translation Method was first used in the teaching of classical languages, Latin and Greek, therefore it was also known as Classical Method. Below is the description of some techniques associated with the Grammar-Translation Method.
Translation of a Literary Passage
Students translate a reading passage the target language into their native language. The reading passage provides the focus for several classes: vocabulary and grammatical structures in the passage are studied in subsequent lessons. Students should not translate idioms and the like literally, but rather in a way that shows that they understand their meaning.
Reading Comprehension Questions
Students answer questions in the target language based on their understanding of the reading passage. Generally, there are three groups of questions asked here. The first group of questions asks for information contained within the reading passage. The second group of questions needs the students to make interferences based on their understanding on the passage. They will have to answer questions about the passage though the answers are not contained in the passage itself. The third group of questions requires students to relate the passage to their own experience.
Students are given on set of words and are asked to find antonyms in the reading passage. a similar exercise could be done by asking students to find synonyms for a particular set of words. Other exercises that ask students to work with the vocabulary of the passage are also possible.
Students are taught to recognize cognates by learning the spelling or sound patterns that correspond between the languages. This technique, of course, would only be useful in languages that share cognates.
Deductive Application of Rule
Grammar rules are presented with examples. Exceptions to each rules are also noted. Once students understand a rule, they are asked to apply it to some different examples.
Students are given a series of sentences with words missing. They fill in the blanks with new vocabulary items of a particular grammar type, such as preposition or verbs with different tenses.
Students are given list of target language vocabulary words and their native language equivalents and are asked to memorize them. Students are also required to memorize grammatical rules and grammatical paradigms such as verb conjugations.
Use Words in Sentences
In order to show that students understand the meaning and use of a new vocabulary item, they make up sentences in which they use the new words.
The teacher gives students a topic to write about in the target language. The topic is based on some aspect of the reading passage of the lesson. Sometimes, instead of creating a composition, students are asked to prepare a precis of a reading passage.