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Audio Lingual Method

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Chapter Six The Audiolingual Method

Ⅰ. Key points(学习要点)
1. Definition
The Audio-lingual 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. 2. Background

The Audio-lingual Method was developed in the U.S. during the Second World War. At that time, the U.S. government found it a great necessity to set up a special language-training program to supply the war with language personnel. Therefore, the government commissioned American universities to develop foreign language program for military personnel. Thus the Army Specialized Training Programme (ASTP) was established in 1942.The objectives of the army programme were for students to attain conversational proficiency in a variety of foreign languages. The method used was known as the “informant method” since it used a native speakers of the language, the informant, and a linguist. The informant served as a source of language for imitation, and the linguist supervised the learning experience. The intensive system adopted by the army achieved excellent results. Linguists and applied linguists during this period were becoming increasingly involved in the teaching of English as a foreign language. In 1941 the first English Language institute in the U.S. was established to in the University of Michigan. The director of the institute was Charles Fries(弗里斯), who applied the principles of structural linguists to language teaching. The result is an approach which advocated aural training first, then pronunciation training, followed by speaking, reading and writing. The emergence of the Audiolingual Method resulted from the increased attention to foreign language teaching in the U.S. towards the end of the 1950s.The need for a radical change and rethinking of foreign...