The audio-lingual method, like the direct method just discussed, has a very different purpose than the grammatical translation method. The audio-linguistic method was developed in the United States of America during World War II. At that time, it was necessary for people to learn foreign languages ​​quickly for military purposes. As we have seen, the grammatical translation method did not prepare people to use the target language. While communication in the target language was the goal of the direct method, exciting new ideas about language and learning were emerging at this time from the disciplines of descriptive linguistics and behavioral psychology. These ideas led to the development of the audio-linguistic method. Some of the principles are similar to the direct method, but many are different because they are based on conceptions of the language and on learning these two disciplines.

After World War II, in the 1940s and 1950s, foreign language teachers and educational authorities became interested in the techniques used in the military method. The emergence of the audio-lingual method resulted from the great attention paid to the teaching of foreign languages ​​in the United States of America at the end of the 1950s. Fries and R, Side, the development of contrasted linguistics, the new language laboratory technology and conditioning theories from behavioral psychology have contributed to the development of audio-linguism. The term “audio-lingual” was coined by Nelson Brooks (1964: 263).

Audio-linguistic theory was probably the first theory of language teaching that he openly claimed to derive from linguistics and psychology. But audio-linguists have not only claimed to have placed language teaching on a scientific basis; they endeavored to demonstrate that principles derived from scientific disciplines could be applied in a concrete and usable form in language teaching materials and in daily practice.

Brief introduction of Audio-Lingual teaching Method:

Audio-Lingual is a style of teaching used in teaching any target languages. It is based on behaviorist theory, which professes that certain straits of living things and in this case humans could be trained through a system of reinforcement, correct use of trait would receive positive feedback while incorrect use of that trait would receive negative feedback. Audio-Lingual is an oral based approach. It drills students in the use of grammatical sentence pattern.

The distinctive features of Audio-Lingual Teaching:

Stern (1983: 462) listed the following distinctive features of the audio-linguistic method:

1.      Separation of skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing and the primacy of audio-linguistic skills over graphics;
2.      The use of dialogues as the main means of presenting language;
3.      Emphasis on certain practice techniques, imitation exercises, memorization and patterns;
4.      Use of the language laboratory;
5.      Establish a linguistic and psychological theory as the basis of the teaching method.
Audio-Lingual`s five Hypothesis:
William G. Moulton (1963: 462-3), linguist and professor of foreign languages, described the characteristics of the methods that developed under the influence of American structural linguistics according to the following five hypotheses:
                                i.            Language is speech, not writing.
                              ii.            A language is a set of habits.
                            iii.            Teach the language, not the language.
                            iv.            A language is what its native speaker says, not what someone thinks it should say.
                              v.            The languages ​​are different.
Wilga Rivers (1968: 37-41) examines these principles to see how they relate to the foreign language teaching techniques advocated by the pioneers of the audio-linguistic method. 
1.     Language is speech, not writing;
Proponents of the audio-linguistic method have emphasized the primacy of speech on the grounds that all normal children learn to speak long before they learn to read or write. Its pedagogical implication is that the oral presentation must precede the written presentation. This shift in emphasis from reading and writing to speaking has led to a radical change in the type of material chosen as the basis of teaching in the early stages.
2.      A language is a set of habits;
BF Skinner characterized language as "verbal behavior" influenced by Skinner's "operant conditioning" theories, exponents of the audio-linguistic method have come to believe that, like social behavior, the linguistic behavior of the child is also editable. Language learning was thought to be the process of habit formation. In foreign language teaching, this belief has taken the form of mimicry, memorization and pattern drilling.

3.     Teach the Language and not about the language;

This assumption reflects the revolt of the Audio-lingual teachers against the Grammar-Translation Method. For the Audio-Lingual teacher Grammar is a means to an end.

 As Moulton says:

“The real goal of instruction was an ability to talk the language and not to talk about it”

 (In Mohrnann 1961: 88)

4.     A Language is what its native speakers say, not what someone thinks they ought to say;

This assumption represents an attack on the prescriptive school grammar. The expressions students learn from audio-lingual materials are those that they would hear around them in the country where the language is spoken. In the textbooks of an earlier period, the language used was artificially constructed to teach certain points of grammar, or was drawn from literary texts accepted as classics. Such language has proved to be of little practical use in the dat-t-day experiences.

5.     Language are different;

Leonard Bloomfield (1942: 1) stresses the point that the learner must “tart with a clean slate” because “the sound, constructions and meanings of different languages are not the same”. The major difficulties for the language learner are to be found at the points where the foreign language differs most radically from the native language. Therefore, the audio-lingual materials are designed to present the problems of a specific foreign language. The materials emphasize and give special drilling in the major contrasts between the two languages.

In audio-lingual teaching listening and speaking skills occupy the central position. While reading and writing are not neglected, listen and speaking are given priority and in the teaching sequence precede reading and writing. In the early years learning is based on dialogues containing basic structures of high frequency. These dialogues are learnt by a process of mimicry and memorization. After the dialogues individual structures are taken up and pattern drills based on the structures in the dialogues become the main activity. However, the use of the first language in the language class or in learning materials is not as severely restricted in the audio-lingual method as it was in the direct method for its lack of a linguistic basis and its failed to grade language data with sufficient scientific care.

The Main Strength of Audio-Lingual Teaching Method:

The main strengths of the Audio-lingual teaching method can be summed up as follows:

1.      Audio-lingual teaching materials are more scientifically and systematically designed than most one- author texts. Structural patterns are more systematically introduced and practiced than in other methods.

2.      Student motivation which is very important in learning is very high in Audio-Lingual classes. Students enjoy learning to use the target language. It gives them satisfaction to find that what they are learning is of practical use.

Techniques And Activities of Audio-lingual teaching Method:

The audio-lingual method has a different technique in contrast with the Grammar-translation Method and the Direct Method. It lays emphasis on mimicry as a main technique. This done through the following activities:

1.      Memorization of the dialogues.

2.      The use of chain drill.

3.      Backward build up drill.

4.      Repetition drill.

5.      Single-slot substitution drill.

6.      Multiple-slot substitution drill.

7.      Transformation drill.

8.      Question and answer drill.

9.      Use of minimal pairs.

10.  Complete the dialogue.

11.  Grammar game.

The principles of audio-Lingual Teaching Method:

1.      Language forms don`t occur by themselves: they occur most naturally with in a context.

2.      Particular parts of speech occupy particular “slots” in sentences. In order to create new sentences, students must learn which part of speech occupies which slot.

3.      Each language has a finite number of patterns. Pattern practice helps students to form habits which enable the students to use the patterns.

4.      Students should “overlearn” i.e. learn to answer automatically without stopping to think.

5.      The teacher should be like an orchestra leader… conducting, guiding, and controlling the students` behavior in the English language teaching.

6.      The major objectives of English language teaching should be for students to acquire the structural patterns; students will learn vocabulary.

7.      The native language and the English language have separate linguistics systems. They should be kept apart so that the students` native language interferes as little possible with the students` attempts to acquire the English language.

8.      One of the language teacher`s major roles is that of a model of the English language. Teachers should provide students with a native-speaker like model. By listening to how it is supposed to sound, students should be able to mimic the model.

9.      English Language learning is a process of habit formation. The more often something is repeated, the stronger the habit and the greater the learning.

10.  It is important to prevent learners from making errors. Errors lead to the formation of bad habits. When errors do occur, they should be immediately corrected by the teacher.

11.  The purpose of English language learning is to learn how to use the language to communicate.

12.  The learning of English language should be the same as the acquisition of the native language. We don`t need to memorize rules in order to use our native language. The rules necessary to use the English language will be figured out or induced from examples.

13.  The major challenge of English language teaching is getting students to overcome the habits of their native language. A comparison between the native and English language will tell the teacher in what areas her/his students will probably experience difficulty.

14.  Speech is more basic to language than the written form. The “natural order” –the order children follow when learning their native language—of skill acquisition is: observing, listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

15.  Language can`t be separated from culture. Culture is not only literature and the arts, but also the everyday behavior of the people who use the English language. One of the teacher`s responsibilities is to present information about the culture.

Student Roles in Audio-Lingual Teaching Method: In the Audio-Lingual Teaching Method, students play passive roles because they have no control over the content or the way they learn. Students imitate the teacher’s model. Their sole purpose is to follow the teacher’s instructions and respond accurately and quickly.


Teacher Roles in Audio-Lingual Teaching Method:Teachers have an active role in the in Audio-Lingual Teaching Method, as they have the authority to control and manage the entire learning program. Monitors and corrects students’ performance. It is also responsible for providing a good example for students to follow. The teacher tries to get the attention of the students by selecting the relevant exercises and tasks and relevant situations to implement the structure.






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