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The Audio-lingual method



The audio-lingual method was widely used in the United States and other countriesin the 1950's and 1960's. It is still used in some programs today.

Theory of language

The Structural view of language is the view behind the audio-lingual method. Particular emphasis was laid on mastering the building blocks of language and learning the rules for combining them.

Theory of learning

Behaviorism, including the following principles:

  • language learning is habit-formation
  • mistakes are bad and should be avoided, as they make bad habits
  • language skills are learned more effectively if they are presented orally first, then in written form
  • analogy is a better foundation for language learning than analysis
  • the meanings of words can be learned only in a linguistic and cultural context

Here are some of the objectives of the audio-lingual method:

  • accurate pronunciation and grammar
  • ability to respond quickly and accurately in speech situations
  • knowledge of sufficient vocabulary to use with grammar patterns.
The syllabus

Audiolingualism uses a structural syllabus

Types of learning techniques and activities
  • dialogues
  • drills

Here is a typical procedure in an audio-lingual course

  • Students hear a model dialogue
  • Students repeat each line of the dialogue
  • Certain key words or phrases may be changed in the dialogue
  • Key structures from thedialogue serveas the basis for pattern drills of different kinds.
  • The students practice substitutions in the pattern drills

Context for this page:

Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 3.5, published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 1999. [Ordering information.]

Page content last modified: 21 March 1999

© 1999 SIL International