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THE

AUDIOLINGUA
L
METHOD

The audio-lingual method, is a style of


teaching used in teaching foreign languages. It
is based on behaviorist theory, which
professes that certain traits of living
things, and in this case humans, could be
trained through a system of
reinforcementcorrect use of a trait would
receive positive feedback while incorrect use of
that trait would receive negative feedback.

The audio-lingual method advised that


students be taught a language
directly, without using the students'
native language to explain new words
or grammar in the target language.
However, unlike the direct method, the
audio-lingual method didnt focus on
teaching vocabulary. Rather, the
teacher drilled students in the use
of grammar.

Applied to language instruction,


and often within the context of the
language lab, this means that
the instructor would present
the correct model of a
sentence and the students
would have to repeat it. The
teacher would then continue by
presenting new words for the

In audio-lingualism, there is no explicit


grammar instructioneverything is
simply memorized in form. The idea is
for the students to practice the
particular construct until they can use it
spontaneously. In this manner, the lessons
are built on static drills in which the students
have little or no control on their own output;
the teacher is expecting a particular
response and not providing that will
result in a student receiving negative
feedback. This type of activity, for the
foundation of language learning, is in direct
opposition with communicative language

EXAMPLE

THE SIMPLE PRESENT


TENSE
STRUCTURE:
AFFIRMATIVE
FORM:
SUBJECT

VERB

COMPLEMEN
T

Oral drills
Drills and pattern practice are typical of the
Audiolingual method.
These include
Repetition: where the student repeats an
utterance as soon as he hears it
Inflection: Where one word in a sentence
appears in another form when repeated
Replacement: Where one word is replaced by
another
Restatement: The student re-phrases an
utterance

Examples
Inflection: Teacher: I ate the
sandwich. Student: I ate the
sandwiches.
Replacement: Teacher: He bought
the car for half-price. Student: He
bought it for half-price.
Restatement: Teacher: Tell me not to
smoke so often. Student: Don't smoke

SOME
EXAMPLES OF
ACTIVITIES

1. Dialogue Memorization: Students


are given a short dialog to memorize
then they must use mimicry and
applied role playing to present the
dialog. Objective: Experiment with
language and non-verbal elements
(eg. gesture) to achieve an effect
for a particular purpose and
audience.

2. Backward Build Up: Students

repeat each part of the sentence


starting at the end of the sentence
and expanding backwards through
the sentence adding each part in
sequence.
Objective: Participate in a
variety of shared language

3. The Alphabet Game: The teacher picks


a category, such as the supermarket. Then
the first student says, "I am going to the
supermarket. I need a few apples." (The first
student names something beginning with A.)
The second student says, "I am going to the
supermarket. I need a few apples and I need
a few bananas." The game continues in this
manner with each consecutive student
adding an item beginning with the next letter
after repeating the items named before their
own.
Objectives: Participate in shared

4. Dictation: Using any piece of words


at the students' reading level, read the
piece aloud several times. Have the
students write down what they hear.
The idea is to write what they have
heard as literally as possible.
Objective: Listen purposefully to
determine main ideas and

REVIEW

THE AUDIOLINGUAL METHOD


SOURCES

1. A linguistic theory: Structuralism


Speech is predominant over writing
Influence of phonetics
Language is a system of systems
2. A theory of learning: behaviourist psychology
Language is verbal behaviour
Mechanical habit formation
Stimulus-response-reinforcement
3. Contrastive analysis between languages
Interference between the L1 & L2

THE AUDIOLINGUAL METHOD


BEHAVIOURISM

Three crucial elements for any kind of


learning:
stimulus,
response
reinforcement
Reinforcement makes behaviour occur
again and become a habit.
Importance of repetition: learning is
mechanic.
Mistakes= imperfect learning: the formation
of the habit is not complete.

THE AUDIOLINGUAL METHOD


BEHAVIOURISM

Language is a behaviour (antimentalist)


We learn by habit-formation
Influences of behaviourism on ALM:
Learning must start with spoken language
(Aural-oral training)
Language = behaviour. Therefore,
explanations of rules are not given until
SS have had plenty of practice.

THE AUDIOLINGUAL METHOD


STRUCTURALISM

Attention to the different levels of a


language (phonetics, phonology,
morphology, and syntax). Language is
viewed as structured in a pyramid
Speech = language. Oral language is
prioritised over writing.
Influence on Audiolinguism:
Begin with the phonological level and
focus on the mastery of speech.
Writingshould be postponed.
Focus on the structure. Vocabulary will be
learnt later.

THE AUDIOLINGUAL METHOD


MAIN CHARACTERISTICS

Teaching focuses on the external manifestations


of learning (observable behaviours)
Learners simply respond to stimuli. They are not
encouraged to initiate to avoid mistakes
Extensive oral instruction. Intensive drills and
repetition
Training of the ear and tongue. No use of written
symbols until later
Grammatical explanations are avoided.
Mechanical learning.
Focus on immediate and accurate speech
The target language is always used.

THE AUDIOLINGUAL METHOD


TEACHING ACTIVITIES

1. SS listen to a model dialogue. Then repeat


each line (individually or in chorus)
Focus on accurate pronunciation & grammar
2. Key structures from the dialogue are
selected: substitution drills
3. Follow-up activities from the dialogue are
introduced (reading, writing, vocabulary
activities)
4. Follow-up can take place in the laboratory