full version Audiolingual Method Essay

Audiolingual Method

Category: English

Autor: fonta 07 December 2009

Words: 915 | Pages: 4

This will guide their use of the language.
In addition, various techniques can be applied in using this method to tea Since the day human beings began to learn foreign languages they have to confront the problem of how to learn it effectively. They have thought for centuries to look for a best way to teach and learn foreign languages, and there actually emerged lots of methods of language teaching. Today IЎЇd like to introduce one of them, which may not be as famous as grammar translation but is very practicable and useful in todayЎЇs language teaching. That is the Audiolingual Method.
The Audiolingual Method was developed in the U.S. during the Second World War. Originally, it was known as the Ў°informant methodЎ±, since it used a native speaker of the language, the informant, and a linguist. Later in the 1950s, Charles Fries, the director of the first English Language Institute in the U.S., applied the principles of structural linguistics to language teaching. Then there came the Audiolingual Method, a method which advocated aural training first, then pronunciation training, followed by speaking, reading and writing.
The Audiolingual Method is a combination of structural linguistic theory, aural-oral procedures, and behaviorist psychology, which endows it with its own distinctive characteristics. There are mainly five of them: a. separation of language skills into listening, speaking, reading and writing, with emphasis on the teaching of listening and speaking before reading and writing; b. use of dialogues as the chief means of presenting the language; c. emphasis on certain practice techniques: mimicry, memorization and pattern drills; d. discouraging the use of the mother tongue in the classroom; e. use of language lab.
In accordance with its features, some procedures will be observed in a typical audiolingual lesson. First, RecognitionЎЄstudents first hear a model dialogue (either read by the teacher or on the tape) containing the key structures that are the focus of the lesson and try to understand the meaning of the dialogue with the help of the teacherЎЇs gestures, mime, context or situation established in advance. Second, Imitation and RepetitionЎЄthe students repeat each line of the dialogue, individually and in chorus. The students must imitate the right pronunciation, intonation, and fluency. Third, Pattern DrillsЎЄcertain key structures from the dialogue are selected and used as the basis for patterns drills of different kinds. Fourth, Follow-up ActivitiesЎЄ the students now are allowed to look at their textbooks. They are usually asked to do some follow-up reading, writing or vocabulary activities.ch. These techniques include repetition drill which is often used to teach the lines of the dialogue. Students are asked to repeat the teacherЎЇs model as accurately and as quickly as possible; simple substitution drill which requires the students repeat the line from the dialogue which the teacher has given them, substituting the cue into the line in its proper place; question-and-answer drill which helps students practice with answering questions; expansion drill which helps students to produce longer sentences bit by bit, gradually achieving fluency; backward build-up drill which is used when a long line of a dialogue is giving students trouble. The teacher breaks down the line into several parts. The students repeat a part of the sentence, usually the last phrase of the line. Then, following the teacherЎЇs cue, the students expand what they are repeating part by part until they are able to repeat the entire line; mini-dialogue drill which helps students to learn to make an appropriate response or reply to a given utterance. Students are told in advance to respond; and use of minimal pairs which requires the teacher to work with pairs of words which differ in only one sound and students to be first asked to find the difference between the two words and later to say the two words; etc.
The general objective of the Audiolingual Method is to enable the students to use the target language communicatively. It includes training in listening comprehension, accurate pronunciation, reading comprehension and production of correct sentences in writing. In other words, the objectives of the Audiolingual Method are the development of mastery in all four language skills, beginning with listening and speaking, and using these as a basis for the teaching of reading and writing. Then the ultimate goal is to develop in the students the same types of abilities that native speakers have, to use it automatically without stopping to think.
The theory of language underlying Audiolingualism was derived from a view proposed by American linguists in the 1930s and the 1940s. The view then came to known as structural linguistics with Leonard Bloomfield and Charles Fries as its leading characters. According to Bloomfield in its famous workЎЄlanguage (1933), language is viewed as a system of structurally related elements (such as phonemes, morphemes, words, structures, and sentence types) for the expression of meaning. Bloomfield also presented in his book that language has the following characteristics in the Audiolingual Method: (1). Elements in a language are produced in a rule-governed (structured) way. (2). Language samples could be exhaustively described at any structural level of description. (3). Language is structured like a pyramid, that is, linguistic levels are system within systems.
The Audiolingual Method reached its period of most widespread use in the 1950s. But by the end of the 1960s, the Audiolingual Method became the target of criticism from all sides for its weak theoretical basis (the behaviorist psychology had never been applied in teaching method). Although it has some deficiencies, it still set a good example for todayЎЇs language teaching