An (outdated?) teaching method where students learn the language by translating texts from L2 into the native L1, learning vocabulary and grammar points in order to make the translation possible. The major failing of this system was the total absence of both any sort of creative output in L2 and any sort of speaking skills.

This can be useful in a purely academic setting where the goal is simply to read and understand primary sources with no need to actually communicate in the target language. Also, for those who want to check their understanding of, for example, how tenses are used in their target language can benefit from translating texts, provided a native speaker then verifies the translation.

See Wikipedia:Grammar translation