Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Audiolingual Method

The theory of language underlying Audiolingualism was derived from a view proposed by American linguist in the 1950s- a view that came to be known as structural linguistis. Linguistics had emerged as a flourishing academic discipline in the 1950s and the structural theory of language constituted its backbone.
The language teaching theoreticians nd methodologists whjo developed Audiolingiualism not only had a convincing and powerful theory of language to draw upon but they were also working in a eriod when a prominent school of American pyshcology known as behavioral psychology, claimed to have tapped the secrets of all human learning, including language learning.The psychological foundation of audilingualism and came to shape its methodological practices among the more central are the following:

  • Foreign language learning is basically a proceses of mechanical habit formation. Good habits are formed by giving correct response raher than by making mistakes. By memorizing dialogues and performing patterns drills the chances of producing mistakes are minimized. Language is verbal behaviour, that is the automatic production and comprehension f utterances and can be learned by inducing the students to do likewise.
  • Language skills are learned more effectively if the items to be learned in the target language are presented in spoken form before they are seen in written form. Aural oral training is needed to provide the foundation for the development of other language skills.
  • Analogy provides a better foundation for language learning than analysis. Analogy involves the processes of generalixation and discrimination. Explanations of rules are therefore not given until students have practiced a pattern in a variety of contexts and are thought to have acquired a perception of the analogies involved. Drills can enable learners to form correct analogies. Hence the approach to the teaching of grammar is essentially inductive rather than deductive.
  • The meanings that the words of a language have for the native spealer can be learned only in a linguistic and cultural context and not in isolation.. Teaching a language thus involves teaching aspects of the cultural system of the people who speak language.

The objectives of audiolingiual method are brooks distinguish between short range and long range. Short range objectives include training in listening comprehension, accurate pronunciation, regocnition of speech Long range objectives must be language as the native speakers use it… there must be some knowledge of a second language as it is possessed by a true billingualist.Types of learning and teaching activities are dialogues and drills. Dialogues provide the means of contextualizing key structures and illustrate situations in which structures might be used as well as some cultural aspect of the target language. After a dialogue has been presented and memorized, specific grammatical patterns in the dialogue are selected and become the focus of various kind of drill and pattern practices exercises.
Learner roles in audiolingual method are the learner viewed as organism that can be directed by skilled raining techniques to produce correct responses.
Teacher roles in audiolingual method is teacher as a central and active, it is a teacher dominated method.
Instructional in audiolingual method assist the teacher to deveop language mastery in the learner. They are primarily teacher oriented. A student textbook is often not used in the elementary phases of course where students are primarily listening, repeating and responding.
In a typically audiolingual lesson, the following procedures would be observed :
  • Students first hear a model dialogue containing the key structures that are focus of the lesson.
  • The dialogue is adapted to the students interests or situation, through changing certain keywords or phrases.
  • Certain key structures from the dialogue are selected and used as the basis for pattern drills of different kinds.
  • The students may refer to their textbook, and follow up reading, writing or vocabulary activities basd on the dialogue may be introeduced.
  • Follow up activities may take place in the language laboratory where further dialogue and drill work is carried out.

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