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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > Use of translation for teaching English    

Use of translation for teaching English


Use of translation for teaching English
Hello everybody !
Do you use translation when you teach English to your students ? I mean as an exercise. If yes, how and which objectives do you target with that ?

10 Nov 2012      


I know translating is not very well regarded as a teaching tool, but it works wonderfully for me (private tutor) since it allows me to make my students practise and review both vocabulary and grammar at the same time. 

10 Nov 2012     


I use it as an exercise to compare structures of our own language and English, also to check my ss � knowledge of the vocabulary we �ve previously learnt. I am talking about the backwards translation from the native language into English. It gives them a more logical perspective in understanding grammar notions. I wouldn �t do it all the time though, just every once in a while.

10 Nov 2012     

United States

Since my students speak many different languages, and I don �t speak all of them, I never give translation exercises. I teach exclusively in English. I actually find that students who don �t speak the same language as any other student in the class tend to learn faster.

10 Nov 2012     


Do you know it ? With translation, we can teach spelling, grammar, vocabulary and even comprehension. For the three first points, translation must be from native language to English. For the last point however, it must be from English to native language.

For spelling, you can give your students words in native language (choose the ones that lead to English words in which your students have problems) and then draw their attention to the mistakes.
For grammar, give your students sentences in native language and then draw their attention to syntactic mistakes (the structure of the sentence differs from a language to another).


For comprehension, give your students a sentence or a short paragraph written in English and ask them to translate it into their native language. In this activity, focus only on the comprehension of the message conveyed by that sentence / paragraph.   

11 Nov 2012     

United States

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11 May 2018