An ELT Glossary : A Deductive Approach

  • Definition : An approach to teaching language which starts with the presentation of rules and then illustrates those rules with examples. Learners are then asked to apply the rules in practice activities 

  • Example : Learners would be told : The regular form of  simple past is  made by adding -ed to the infinitive verb. Eg : play-played; walk-walked; ask-asked. They would then (eg) be given a list of present simple sentences containing regular verbs and the phrase "every day" and asked to write them changing "every day" to "yesterday".

  • The Grammar-Translation Method, which was introduced in the late 19th century, used a deductive approach. Subsequent methods have tended towards inductive approaches of one sort or another.