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 language teaching methodology made language teaching specialists set about developing a method that was applicable to conditions in U.S. college and university classrooms. They drew on the earlier experience of the army programmes and the Aural-Oral or structural Approach developed by Fries and his colleagues, adding insights taken from behaviorist psychology. This combination of structural linguistic theory, aural-oral procedures, and behaviourist psychology led to the Audiolingual Method, which was widely adopted for teaching foreign languages in North American colleges and universities. 3. Theoretical Basis

1) Theory of language
The theory of language underlying Audiolingualism was derived from a view proposed by American linguists in the 1930s and 1940s. The view then came to be known as structural linguistics with Bloomfield and Fries as its representatives. Structural linguistics views language as a system of structurally related elements for the expression of meaning. These elements are phonemes, morphemes, words, structures, and sentence types. The grammatical system consists of a list of grammatical elements and rules for their linear combination into words, phrases, phrases and sentences. According to a structural view, language has the following characteristics: 1) Elements in a language are produced in a rule-governed (structural) way. (语言成分是以一定规则(结构)出现的) 2) Language samples could be exhaustively described at any structural level of description. (语言实例可以在任何结构层次上进行详尽的描述) 3) Language is structural like a pyramid, that is, linguistic level is system within system. (语言结构像金字塔,即语言层次的大结构系统里有小结构系统) 4) Language is speech, not writing. (语言是口头的话语,不是笔头的文字) 5) Languages are different. (语言各不相同)

The views of language above offered the foundation for the Audio lingual Method. 2) Theory of learning(学习理论)
(1)Behaviourist psychology(行为主义心理学)

The learning theory of Audiolingualism is behavioral psychology...
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