Book reviewTranslation Oxford University Press, 1989. 160 pp. (in the series Resource Books for Teachers, ed. Alan Maley). .
Reviewed by Francis R. Jones
University of Exeter
Table of contents
For many years language-teaching theory (as opposed to language-teaching practice) has exiled translation from the classroom. The grammar-translation method—which explains linguistic structures in the mother tongue, fleshes them out with an unsystematic body of lexis defined through mother-tongue equivalents, and then proceeds to translate sentences and paragraphs into and out of the mother tongue—was widely attacked by audio-lingual theoreticians in the sixties on the grounds that the strong mother-tongue presence interfered with the formation of the second-language "habits", and that its concentration on writing did little to promote oral fluency.