the audiolingual method alm
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
The Audiolingual Method ALM

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 70

The Audiolingual Method ALM - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

The Audiolingual Method ALM. Definition. [Lat.  audire  ‘to hear ,’  lingua‘tongue ’] ( also  audio- lingualism ).

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'The Audiolingual Method ALM' - draco

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

[Lat. audire ‘to hear,’ lingua‘tongue’] (also audio-lingualism)

The Audiolingual Method is a method of foreign language teaching which emphasizes the teaching of listening and speaking before reading and writing. It uses dialogues as the main form of language presentation and drills as the main training techniques. Mother tongue is discouraged in the classroom.


The Audiolingual Method was founded during World War II (1939-1945 ) for military purposes in the USA: The U.S. military required people to speak and understand foreign languages.

At that time, the U.S. government found it a great necessity to set up special language-training programs for military personnel .

The method was popular in the 1950s and 1960s especially in the US but also widely used in many other parts of the world. The method died out in the 70s.

It adapted many of the principles and procedures of the Direct Method in part as a reaction against the lack of speaking skills of the Reading Approach.

Charles Fries(1945) ledtheway in applyingprinciplesfromstructurallinguistics in developingthisapproach.

In 1957 principlesfrombehavioralpsychology (Skinner) wereincorporated.

the purpose

The Purpose

The purpose of language learning is to attain conversational proficiency in the foreign language andto use it communicatively.

Teacher’s goal: Focus on students’ pronunciation, and train their ability of listening and speaking through dialogues and drills and enabling them to acquire new habits.

  • The audiolingual method is influenced by ideas in other disciplines (fields of thought).
  • It is based on the principles of behaviorism (behavioral psychology) and linguistics (in particular structuralism.
  • This linguistic and (behavioural) psychological base contains the following beliefs about language and language learning:
principles of structural linguistics
NATURE OF LANGUAGE: Principles of Structural Linguistics
  • Speech = language. (priority of speech over writing). Why?
  • A child first learns how to speak
  • Most people speak more than write
  • Some lgs have no writing system

Spoken language comes before written language

= orallanguageisprioritised over writing. Writingshouldbepostponed.

  • Each language has its own unique structure and rule system. (the theory of Structural linguistics)
  • Focus on the structure. Vocabularywillbelearntlater.
underlying approach the influence of linguistics
Underlying approach, the influence of linguistics

Skills are sequenced:

  • Listening,
  • speaking,
  • reading
  • and writing.

Attention to the differentlevels of a language (phonetics, phonology,morphology, and syntax)

Developed in this order

underlying approach the influence of linguistics1
Underlying approach, the influence of linguistics
  • Teaching points are determined by contrastive analysisbetween L1 and l2.
  • Arabic: VSO
  • English: SVO
  • Arabic: الخيل و الكلاب والقطط
  • English: horses, dogs and cats


principles linguistics and behavioural psychology
NATURE OF LANGUAGE LEARNING: BEHAVIOURISMPrinciples (Linguistics and BehaviouralPsychology)

1 Language learning (as a process of habit-formation) is learned through forming habits, through conditioning & reinforcement.

2 Positive Reinforcement (of correct responses) makesbehaviouroccuragain and become a habit. Three crucial elements for anykind of learning:

  • stimulus,
  • response
  • reinforcement

3 Forming new target language habits means overcoming native language habits. The major challenge of foreign language teaching is getting students to overcome the habits of their native language: their influence

principles behaviorism

Principles - Behaviorism

The more often something is repeated, the stronger the habit and the greater the learning, hence, the importance of repetition and drills.

Positive reinforcement helps the students to develop correct habits. Thus, the method fosters dependence on mimicry, memorization of set phrases and over-learning: learningismechanic.

  • New structural patterns and vocabulary are presented through conversations. (vocabularyisstrictlylimited and learnt in context.)
    • Great importance isgiven to precise native-likepronunciation. (accuracy or fluency? What about error correction?)
  • Emphasis on mastering grammatical patterns.
  • Little or no grammatical explanations are provided; grammar is taught inductively.
  • Explicit teaching of grammar is avoided.
  • The grammar point is taught ONLY in well-constructed contexts.
  • The grammar point is taught through well-chosen clear examples.
  • The grammar point is over-taught creatively through drills and repetition.
She is a witch.

I am a student.

He is a prince.

He isn’t a cowboy.

She……… a caveman.

I …………….. a spy.

They are students.

You are students.

They are football players

You …football


They aren’t football players.

They ……… students.

Structures are sequenced and taught one at a time.

The teacher insures that all of the utterances which students make are actually within the practiced pattern. In the previous example, only ONE grammatical structure is being taught: BE in simple present. Similarly, the use of the AUX verb have should not suddenly switch to have as a main verb

  • A repetitive drill is used: A model is given and then students are asked to practice the model.
  • The use of pictures and highlighting the relevant constructions make it unnecessary to explain grammar explicitly /
the techniques
The Techniques

Typical Procedure / strategies/ activities in an ALM Course

Drills and pattern practice are essential in the Audiolingualmethod. (Richards, J.C. et-al. 1986).

Hereis a typicalprocedure in an audio-lingual course.
  • Usually, a lessonsbeginswith a model dialog.
  • Studentshear the dialogue.
  • Studentsrepeateach line of the dialogue.
  • Certain keywords or phrases maybechanged in the dialogue.
  • Key structures from the dialogue serve as the basis for pattern drills of differentkinds.
  • The students practice substitutions in the pattern drills

More details:

(2) repeat the dialogue (a repetition drill ),

Objective: listen carefully and attempt to mimic (imitate) the teacher's model as accurately as possible.

Repetitive drills can also be used to teach structural patterns.Studentrepeat an utterance as soon as theyhearsit (individually or in chorus). In a repetitive drill , a model is given and then students are asked to practice the model focussing on on accuratepronunciation & grammar.

(1) Listen to the dialog,

(3) Memorize dialogue (DialogMemorization),

(4) Act / perform the Dialog (Role playing)

Students use mimicry and appliedroleplaying to present the dialog and experimentwithlanguage and non-verbal elements (eg. Gesture)..


Example of the use of the "backward buildup" technique

BackwardBuildUp, alsocalledExpansion drill:

The purpose of this drill is to break down a long and/or difficult sentence into smaller parts starting with the end of the sentence and having the class repeat just the last two words. Since students can do this, the teacher adds a few more words, and the class repeats this expanded phrase building the phrases little by little until the entire sentence is being repeated.

Target Pattern: Those boys will be eating in the cafeteria tomorrow.

TEACHER Repeat after me:


in the cafeteria tomorrow

will be eating in the cafeteria tomorrow

Those boys will be eating in the cafeteria tomorrow.

Exercises in Backward Building)

Target Pattern: I'm going to the post office. TEACHER Repeat after me: post office.

CLAS S Post office.

TEACHER To the post office.

CLASS To the post office.

TEACHER Going to the post office .

CLASS Going to the post office.

TEACHER I'm going to the post office.

CLASS I'm going to the post office.


A chain drill gives students an opportunity to practice (the lines in a dialog) individually

Chain Drill:

A chain of conversation formsaround the classroomas the teachergreets or questions a student and the latter respondsand thenturns to the nextstudentandgreets or askshim a question and the chain continues.

Teacher: 'Good morning, Jose’.

Student: 'Good morning, teacher.‘

Teacher: ‘greet your neighbor.‘

The student then turn to the one sitting beside him and greet her


Very similar to a شتي الديب game in Moroccan culture


Teacher : He boughtthe car for half-price.

Teacher: the book

Student: He boughtthe book for half-price.

Alternatively the pattern couldbe:

Teacher: He boughtthe car for half-price. He boughtitfor halfprice.

Teacher : television

Objective: practice creating new sentences and learn which parts of speech occupy which positions (slot).

Substitution / Replacement drills:

one key wordor phrase in a sentence or pattern (froma dialogue) isselected andreplaced by another

There are

Simple Substitution Exercises (Single-slot substitution)


Multiple Substitution Exercises (Multiple-slot substitution)


Transformation / Restatement Drill:

Studentschange one type of sentence into another – an affirmative sentence into a negative or an active sentence into a passive, for example.


From statements to questions:

The teacherprovides a statement : "She is going to the post office."Thentransformsitinto a question. "Is she going to the post office?”

Teacher: “They are going to the theatre” Students:

From questions to statements:

An extension of thisactivityisturning a statementinto an order:

Teacher : He makes a lot of noise. Student : Don'tmake a lot of noise!

Examples: fill in the gap using am, is or are/ am not, isn’t and aren’t:

Fill in the blanks,

Studentsfill in the blanks in the sentences provided by inserting the proper English words. This activityismuchlike a close activity.

They are students.

They aren’t football players

They are football players

They ……… students

He is a prince.

He isn’t a cowboy.

I am a student.

I …………….. a spy

dialog completion
Dialog completion

Completing Conversations

An alternative exercise could be to have students write complete sentences following specific patterns on sequences of words such as I, go , supermarket and he, need, butter.

  • the teacher can erase a number of selected words from a dialog and ask the students to supply the missing words which they have probably already memorized.

Complete the Dialog:



Usinganypiece of literatureat the students' readinglevel, the teacherreadsthe piecealoudseveral times. The studentsthenwritedown whattheyhear. The ideais to writewhatthey have heard as literally as possible.

Listenpurposefully to determine main ideas and important details.



A flashcard or flash card is a piece of paper that is used as a learning aid.


The Alphabet Game:

The teacherpicks a semanticfield, such as the supermarket. And says: "I amgoing to the supermarket. I need a few apples." (The teachernamessomethingbeginningwithA.) The first studentsays, "I amgoing to the supermarket. I need a few apples and I need a few bananas." The game continues in thismannerwitheachconsecutivestudentadding an item beginningwith the nextletterafterrepeating the items namedbeforetheirown.

Participate in sharedlisteningexperiences. Shareideas and experiences in large and small groups.

Use of minimal pairs
  • Examples:
  • pair word s, such as
  • 'sheep,' 'ship' ;
  • ' leave,' 'live'; and
  • 'he's,' ' his‘

Minimal pairs are words that are similar in pronunciation except for one sound

  • Objective:
  • Enabling the students to hear the difference in pronunciation between the words in each pair and drill them in saying the two sounds
Other Techniques

The followingexampleillustrates how more than one sort of drill canbeincorporatedinto one practice session :“Teacher: There's a cup on the table ... repeatStudents: There's a cup on the tableTeacher: spoonStudents: There's a spoon on the tableTeacher: BookStudents: There's a book on the tableTeacher: On the chairStudents: There's a book on the chair

dm and alm
DM and ALM

The audiolingual approach to language teaching has a lot of similarities with the direct method.

direct method alm

Direct Method & ALM


Both were considered as a reaction against the shortcomings of the Grammar Translation method,

both reject the use of the mother tongue and advocate teaching language directly without using L1,

both are oral-based approaches that stress that speaking and listening competences precede reading and writing competences.

direct method alm1
Direct Method & ALM


  • But there are also some differences.
  • The direct method focuses on the teaching of vocabulary while the audiolingual method focuses on grammar drills with sentence patterns.
Direct Method & ALM

It also, unlike the Direct Method, has a strong theoretical base in linguistics and psychology. Principles from behavioral psychology (Skinner, 1957) were incorporated into the theory.

It was thought that the way to acquire the sentence patterns of the target language was through conditioning - helping learners to respond correctly to stimuli through shaping and reinforcement.

Learners could overcome the habits of their native language and form the new habits required to be target language speakers.

teacher student role
Teacher/student role:
    • Most of the interaction is initiated by the teacher.
  • The teacher is a model of the target language to be imitated, he exerts control over the student
    • By listening to how it is supposed to sound, students should be able to mimic the model.
    • Students should ‘overlearn’, learn to answer automatically without stopping to think.
materials in an audio lingual lesson
Materials in an Audio-Lingual Lesson
  • Use of lab, audio tapes and visual aids
  • Flashcards (A flashcard or flash card is any of a set of cards bearing information, as words or numbers, on either or both sides, used in classroom drills or in private study. One writes a question on a card and an answer overleaf. ...(
what aspects of language and culture are emphasized
What aspects of language and culture are emphasized?

The method

  • Emphasizes the teaching of speaking and listening before reading and writing (Priorities in the Abilities Hierarchy: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) -the order children follow when learning their native language
  • Uses dialogues and drills.
  • Emphasis on structure; oral/aural skills, pronunciation through lab setting, minimal pairs. Everyday speech is emphasized in the Audio-lingual Method. The level of complexity of the speech is graded, so that beginning students are presented with only simple patterns.
    • Vocabulary is kept to a minimum while the students are mastering the sound system and grammatical patterns.
language culture
Language & Culture
  • Language cannot be separated from culture. Culture is not only literature and the arts, but also the everyday behavior / lifestyle of the people who use the target language. One of the teacher’s responsibilities is to present information about that culture.
role of mother tongue
Role of Mother tongue
  • Discourages use of mother tongue in classrooms (Use of the mother tongue by the teacher is permitted, but discouraged among and by the students. )
  • The idea is that the native language and the target language have separate linguistic systems. They should be kept apart so that the students’ native language interferes as little as possible with the students’ attempts to acquire the target language.
what about errors how does the teacher respond to student errors
What about errors? How does the teacher respond to student errors?
  • Successful responses are reinforced; great care is taken to prevent learner errors.
  • Errors lead to the formation of bad habits. When errors do occur, they are immediately corrected by the teacher.
  • Mistakes= imperfectlearning: the formation of the habit is not complete.
how is evaluation accomplished

How is evaluation accomplished?

Students might be asked to distinguish between words in a minimal pair, for example, or to supply an appropriate verb form in a sentence.

Pros and Cons:

Advantages Vs. Drawbacks Of theAudiolingualMethod

advantages with using alm

Advantages with using ALM

1) Students are taught a foreignlanguagedirectly, withoutusing the students’ native language in the classaroom.Theytry to explain new words or grammar in the targetlanguagedirectly.

2) Students become good at pattern since theyget a chance to practice and master a number of audiolingual techniques such as repetition, inflection, replacement and restatement.

3. The audiolingualmethodissaid to be a self- teachingmethod.

4. It aimsatdevelopinglistening and speakingskillsthroughrepetititionwhichis a stepawayfrom the Grammar Translation method..

5. It gives the learner the ability to communicatequicklybecause of the emphasis on speaking and listening

6. There is an abundant use of languagelaboratories, tapes and visualaids.

disadvantages with using alm

Disadvantages with using ALM

Audiolingualism stresses the mechanistic aspects of language learning and language use. It turn Students into parrots whoproducemanythings but nevercreateanything new or spontaneous : Dialogues recited and Memorized

Boring and mindless - Mimic native speakers

dependence on mimicry and memorization

Emphasize the “Form”, not the “Meaning”.

Emphasis laid on correction and not on understanding the message.

It was also known as the Mim-Mem method because students would mime and memorize dialogues before going on with drills.

    • The audiolingualmethoddoesn’t focus on teachingvocabulary, the teacher drills studentsprimarily in the use of grammar.
  • This type of lessonishighlyteachercentererd.
  • The Audiolingualapproach came undercriticismfromdifferentsides:
  • -Jeremy Harmer « Audiolingualmethodologyseems to banish all forms of languageprocessingthat help students sort out new language information in theirownminds »
  • -Rebecca Domar « Reading iseasierthanunderstanding the spokenword…, because in reading one canproceedat the speed whichsuitshim best, one canre-readthatwhichhedid not understandat first reading, one can look up unfamiliarwords. All thisis impossible whenlistening to someone talk. For similarreasonswritingiseasierthanspeaking. »
A drill is an instructionalexerciseaimedatperfecting a skill by regular and repeted practice.
  • Introduce the drill in this way:
  • a. Focus (by writing on the board, for example)
  • b. Exemplify (by speaking model sentences)
  • c. Explain (if a simple grammatical explanation is needed)
  • d. Drill
  • What are drills?
  • Why are drills essential in in the audiolingual method? (What theoretical bases of linguistics or psychology make drills essential in the audiolingual method?)
  • Drills are presented in the order of increasing complexity of student response.
  • Thus: imitation first, single-slot substitution next, then free response last.
a mechanical drill
A mechanical drill
  • A mechanical drillis one where only one answer is acceptable and where comprehension is not required in order to produce a correct response.
  • Example:

book --> this is a book.

pen --> this is a pen.

What techniques is this one? Substitution, replacement

A meaningful drillis one where only one answer is acceptable, but understanding is required in order for the student to produce a correct response.

Meaningful drill


What technique is represented by this drill? Multiple choice selection

Communicative drill

A communicative drillis one where more than one answer is possible but the choices open to students are rather limited and understanding is essential.


What type of technique is represented by this drill? Sentence completion

Another type of drill could called creative “drill”? requiring a free response as in questions requiring students to: comparearguecommentanalyzeetc.
language teaching in practice
  • An audio-lingual lesson
  • Audio-lingual class-room activities
  • Conduct oral/aural drills and pattern practice.
  • We shall see two lessons from ......................Program.
  • Observing each lesson, answer the following questions:
  • How are the theoretical guidelines of the audiolingual method applicable in the classroom?
  • How many vocabs are used in each listening material?
  • What are the grammar points in each lesson?
  • Which types of drills are used in each lesson?
  • How are the vocabs of the first lesson enforced in the second one?
  • Are there any drills in the lessons where grammar is taught non-inductively?
the decline of audioligualism

The decline of Audioligualism

Audiolingualism reached its period of most widespread use in the 1960s and was applied both to the teaching of foreign language in the United States and to the teaching of English as a second or foreign language.

the international phonetic association
The International Phonetic Association
  • The International Phonetic Association lays emphasis on the teaching of oral language. Created in 1886, its declaration of principles is compiled in six articles:
  • “1. Foreign language study should begin with the spoken language of everyday life.
  • 2. Pupils must be familiarized with the sounds of the FL. Conventional spelling is postponed.
  • 3. The most common sentences and idiomatic phrases must be introduced at a first stage. Dialogues, descriptions and narratives will follow in a natural, easy way.
  • 4. Inductive way for first levels. Grammar must be postponed.
  • 5. The FL meaning must be explained with direct reference to objects or concepts and not to the native language.
  • 6. When writing is introduced, a sequence is recommended from reproduced texts to free composition. Translation belongs to the most advanced stage of the course. “
activities diane larson freeman
ACTIVITIES (Diane Larson-Freeman)
  • A Check your understanding of the Audio-lingual Method.
  • 1 Which of the following techniques follows from the principles of the Audio- Lingual Method, and which ones don't? Explain the reasons for your answer.
  • a The teacher asks beginning-level students to write a composition about the system of transportation in their home countries, If they need a vocabulary word that they don 't know, they are told to look in a bilingual dictionary for a translation.
  • b Toward the end of the third week of the course, the teacher gives students a reading passage. The teacher asks the students to read the passage and to answer certain questions based upon it. The passage contains words and structures introduced during the first three weeks of the course.
  • c The teacher tells the students that they must add an 's' to third person singular verbs in the present tense in English. She then gives the students a list of verb s and asks them to change the verbs into the third person singular present tense form.
activities diane larson freeman1
ACTIVITIES (Diane Larson-Freeman)
  • 2 Some people believe that knowledge of a first and second language can be helpful to learners who are trying to learn a third language. What would an Audio-Lingual teacher say about this? Why?
activities diane larson freeman2
ACTIVITIES (Diane Larson-Freeman)
  • B Apply what you have understood about the Audio-Lingual Method.
  • Read the following dialog. What subsentence pattern is it trying to teach ?
  • SAM Lou 's going to go to college next fall .
  • BETTY Where is he going?
  • SAM He's going to Stanford.
  • BETTY What is he going to study?
  • SAM Biology. He's going to be a doctor.
  • Prepare a series of drills (backward build- up, repetition , chain, single slot substitution, multiple slot substitution, transformatinon, and question-and -answer] designed to give beginning level EFl students some practice with this structure. If the target language that you teach is not English, you may wish to write your own dialog first. It is not easy to prepare drills. so to check yours, you might want to try giving them to some other teachers.
2 Prepare your own dialog to introduce your students to a sentence or subsentence pattern in the target language you teach.