The audio-lingual method grew into prominence in the 1950s in the USA. The two world wars led to innovative approaches to teaching English s a second language, particularly in the USA. They were seen as little modifications made in the Direct Method. During the Second World War, US officials felt the need for translators and interpreters who were fluent in major foreign languages. In 1942, a special training program was organized to train fluent foreign speakers in a short time which is why this method is also referred to as the Army Method. This method started with a focus on grammar and pronunciation through oral drills and practice. It has a strong connection with structural linguistics.
Features of Audio-lingual Method
Focus on Four Skills
The teacher focuses equally on all the four skills – reading, listening, writing, and speaking and teaches them separately.
Focus On Language Laboratory
In this method, there is a lot of focus on the language laboratory too and it is an important teaching aid.
No Use Of Mother Tongue
Similar to the direct method, there is no use of mother tongue in this method either.
Importance of Dialogue
In this method, dialogue plays a highly dominant and important role.
This method is highly teacher-dominated as the teacher plays an important role.
Aims Of Audio Lingual Method
The major aims of the audio-lingual method include the following:
Oral learning is the main focus of this method and the main aim of this method is to enhance the speaking and listening skills of learners.
This method aims to improve the development of the learner’s communication skills.
Practice is Important
It aims to enable learners to practice more which is considered to be the main aspect of learning a foreign language.
The audio-lingual method can be used for teaching a large group of learners. It demands drilling, memorization, and pattern practice.