TEFL – Gouin and the series method

Definition of Gouin

            What is Gouin? What do you know about Gouin? Gouin (1880), a French teacher of Latin who decided to study German as a foreign language.[1] Gouin is a professor of Latin who lived in France in the nineteenth century, who pointed to the insufficiencies of the teaching methods of his time.[2]

Definition the series by expert:

Firstly, The meaning of series in Oxford Dictionary is a number of events, objects, or people of a similar or related kind coming one after another.[3]

Secondly, Francois Gouin state in his book The Art of Learning and Studying Foreign Language that series will give all the terms the language possess for any similar order of fact.

Base on the statement above, we can conclude that series is a series of events that has a beginning and an end.

Definition method by expert       

Firstly, the meaning of method in Oxford Dictionary is a particular procedure for accomplishing or approaching something, especially a systematic or established one.

Secondly, Edward Anthony (1963) state that method is an overall plan for the orderly presentation of language material, no part of which contradicts.[4]

Thirdly, jack Richards and Rogers (1982: 154) state that method was an umbrella term of the specification and interrelation of theory and practice.

Based on the definition above, we can conclude that method is a way used a teacher in teaching learning to achieve a goal.

Definition Gouin and The Series Method

Based on the statement, we can conclude that Gouin and The Series method is a method for beginner that start to learn how to produce their sentences.















  1. Characteristic of the Principles

This method was appropriate for beginner that started to learn the language. However, the real weakness is that the method is entirely based on one experience of a three-year-old. Gouin did not observe the child’s earlier language development such as naming (where only nouns are learned) or the role that stories have in human language development. What distinguishes the series method from the direct method is that vocabulary must be learned by translation from the native language, at least in the beginning.

The basic idea behind the series method is to allow you to hear a series of connected speech that you will be able to understand.  It will be comprehensible input. You should be able to understand 70-80% of everything you hear in this activity. Start by choosing a topic that involves steps or a process. Making a cup of tea, for example. After you chose the topic, make sure that you know the majority of the words that you think will be involved: water, tea pot, tea bag, stove, burner, tea cup, etc.


  1. Strengths
  2. This method can help the children produce their sentences easily.
  3. The method emphasis to present how teaching item is a context makes their meaning.


  1. Weaknesses
  2. It was just study with mother tongue and for children that start to learn the language.




  1. Role
  2. Learner Role
  3. Students try to speak up when they feel confidence.
  4. The student use their gesture in this method.
  5. Listening and physical response skills, it means that the teacher will give the material and then the teacher will give the instruction.
  6. Teacher Role
  7. The teacher as instructor.
  8. The teacher is more active.


  1. How to Teach a Gouin (Action) Series:

With this strategy, the teacher prepares a series of six to eight short statements describing a logical sequence of actions which takes place in a specific context-getting up in the morning, cooking a meal, using the library, making a phone call. These statements should all include action verbs and use the same tense and the same person throughout.

Another Sequence of Teaching :


  1. Teacher presents orally, with pantomime and props
  2. Teacher repeats orally, class pantomimes with teacher
  3. Teacher repeats orally without pantomime, class pantomimes,
  4. Teacher repeats orally, individuals pantomime
  5. Class repeats orally and pantomimes
  6. Individuals lead the series
  7. Possible reading, writing activities[5]




Example of a Gouin Series:

Here is the first  example. Suppose we have to construct the Series of any species of ” Plant.” Determine first of all the series of ends that the plant itself, or that Nature, seems to desire :

  1. The seed is planted in the ground.
  2. The seed sprouts.
  3. The plant takes root.
  4. Thie plant grows.
  5. The stalk develops.
  6. The plant puts forth leaves.
  7. The plant buds.
  8. The plant blossoms.
  9. The flower is fertilised.
  10. The fruit hardens.
  11. The fruit increases in size.
  12. The fruit ripens.
  13. The seed falls and propagates the plant,[6]

Here is second example. The firs lesson of a foreign language would thus teach the following series of fifteen sentence:

  1. I walk towards the door.
  2. I draw near to the door.
  3. I draw nearer to the door.
  4. I get to the door.
  5. I stop at the door.
  6. I stretch out my arm.
  7. I take hold of the handle.
  8. I turn the handle.
  9. I open the door.
  10. I pull the door.
  11. The door moves.
  12. The door turnson its hinges.
  13. The door turns and turns.
  14. I open the door wide.
  15. I let go of the handle.[7]

[1] Gabriel Tejada Molina, María Luisa Pérez Cañado, and Gloria Luque Agulló. Current approaches and teaching methods. Bilingual programmes. (Faculty of Humanities and Education, University of Jaén)

[2] Elena Taralunga TAMURA. Concept on The Methodology of Teaching english. The Economic Journal of Takasaki City University of Economics.Pg.172.

[3] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/series(Retrieved on Friday, March 31st, 2017 at 01.12 pm)

[4] Jack C. Richards and Thedore S. Rodgers, Approachnes and Methods in Language Teaching, Cambridge University Press,London, Pg.15.

[5] https://wlclassroom.com/2012/02/10/using-the-gouin-series-is-the-foreign-language-classroom/ html (Retrieved on Friday, March 31st, 2017 at 12.50 pm)

[6] Francois Gouin, Teaching and Studying Languages (2nd Ed.), Howard Swan and Victor Betis, New York:1892.Pg.63.

[7] H. Douglas Brown, Teaching by Principles : An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy (2nd Ed.) White Plains, NY : Longman. ISBN 978-0-1­3-028283-5.Pg.20-21.