Language teaching has been an enigmatic field of study firstly for linguists and later for psycho-linguists who always tried day in and day out to investigate the very process of language acquisition on the grounds of which second language learning could be modeled. In this way two major schools of thought emerged amongst them first was based on structural and superficial perspective while other was based on intensive and complicated system of psychological intrigues of mental working while assimilating language input and producing a vast outcome of language use.
The more utilization of the language acquisition principles is used in the second language teaching/ learning methods, the more natural and authentic methods is considered by the view points of the linguist. All the language methods are based on the process involved during acquisition of first language as described in the following figure: [pic] Audio-lingual Method Grammar Translation Method has reigned the language teaching for centuries, which has translation of the target language into mother language. But with the evolution of structural and psychological analysis, this obsession lessened in the horizons of language teaching.
ALM method is an effort in this regard. It is a way to teach foreign languages. Its origin is attributed to world war II, nominating it also army method, when heterogeneous people belonging to different nationalities and languages came closer for military objective, facing the barrier of mutual consensus of a common language. It was the time when ALM was introduced, which embodied the repetition of target language practices having some specific structures which could be used in interaction of the people. It is also called aural oral approach.
It is based on structural approach of language and behaviorist ideology. The Structural view of language includes particular emphasis on mastering the building blocks or units of language and learning the rules for combining them. It also includes the concept of sign, signified and signifier of structuralism approach. Behaviorism is the approach in psychology, which takes human mind as blank slate which can be written according to systematic habit formation process gained as a result of repetitive practice of target language. It is followed by motivation and reinforcement, positive and negative one.
Behaviorism has following principles: 1. Language learning is habit-formation 2. Mistakes are bad and should be avoided, as they make bad habits 3. Language skills are learned more effectively if they are presented orally first, then in written form 4. Analogy is a better foundation for language learning than analysis 5. The meanings of words can be learned only in a linguistic and cultural context There are some of the objectives of the audio-lingual method strictly followed and expected as a result of mechanical practices, much away from natural ones.
It lays emphasis on: 1. Accurate pronunciation and grammar 2. Ability to respond quickly and accurately in speech situations 3. Knowledge of sufficient vocabulary to use with grammar patterns. The procedure of ALM is based on repetition drills of structural practices. The typical procedures in an audio-lingual course are: 1. Students hear a model dialogue 2. Students repeat each line of the dialogue 3. Certain key words or phrases may be changed in the dialogue 4. Key structures from the dialogue serves the basis for pattern drills of different kinds. 5.
The students practice substitutions in the pattern drills | | Features of Audio-Lingual method Here is a summary of the key features of the Audio-lingual Method according to Brown (1994) and adapted from Prator and Celce-Murcia (1979). Some features are also adapted from Bushra Noori (2001). New material is presented in dialog form. ? There is dependence on mimicry, memorization of set phrases, and over learning.
Structures are sequenced by means of contrastive analysis and taught one at a time. Structural patterns are taught using repetitive drills. There is little or no grammatical explanation. Grammar is taught by inductive analogy rather than Deductive explanation. Vocabulary is strictly limited and learned in context. This is a social context. There is much use of tapes, language labs, and visual aids. Great importance is attached to pronunciation. Very little use of the mother tongue by teachers is permitted. Successful responses are immediately reinforced. There is great effort to get students to produce error-free utterances.
There is a tendency to manipulate language and disregard content. The instructions can be given in the target language. Students’ native language interferes as little as possible in this process. Students are required to enjoy native –speaker like model Analogy provides a better foundation for language learning than analysis ? Students are encouraged to learn to respond to verbal and non-verbal stimuli. Teacher is regarded as an orchestra leader conducting , guiding and controlling thestudents’ behaviour in the target language. Learning foreign language is treated on par with the native language. Language is not seen separated from culture. Culture is everyday behaviour of people who use the target language. One of the teacher’s responsibilities is to present information about that culture in context. The dialogue is the chief means of presenting vocabulary, structures and it is learned through repetition and imitation. The meanings of the words are derived in a linguistic and cultural context and not in isolation. Audio-visual aids are used to assist the students’ ability to form new language habits. Typical Techniques of Audio Lingual method
Larsen-Freeman, in her book Techniques and Principles in Language Teaching 1986:45-47 provides expanded descriptions of some common/typical techniques closely associated with the Audio-lingual Method.
1. Dialog Memorization Students memorize an opening dialog using mimicry and applied role-playing. This process is repeated.
2. Backward Build-up Expansion Drill Teacher breaks a line into several parts; students repeat each part starting at the end of the sentence and "expanding" backwards through the sentence, adding each part in sequence.
3.Repetition Drill Students repeat teacher's model as quickly and accurately as possible. Backward build-up drill: to teach long lines of dialogues: break down the line into several parts repeat a part of the sentence follow the teacher, students expand what they repeated part by part until they are able repeat the entire line.
4. Chain Drill Students ask and answer each other one-by-one in a circular chain around the classroom.
5. Single Slot Substitution Drill. Teacher states a line from the dialog, then uses a word or a phrase as a "cue" that students, when repeating the line, must substitute into the sentence in the correct place.
6. Multiple-slot Substitution Drill Same as the Single Slot drill, except that there are multiple cues to be substituted into the line.
7. Transformation Drill Teacher provides a sentence that must be turned into something else, for example a question to be turned into a statement, an active sentence to be turned into a negative statement, etc.
8. Question-and-answer Drill Students should answer or ask questions very quickly.
9. Use of Minimal Pairs Using contrastive analysis, teacher selects a pair of words that sound identical except for a single sound that typically poses difficulty for the learners - students are to pronounce and differentiate the two words.
10. Complete the Dialog Selected words are erased from a line in the dialog - students must find and insert.
11. Grammar Games Various games designed to practice a grammar point in context, using lots of repetition Advantages It aims at developing listening and speaking skills which is a step away from the Grammar translation method.
The use of visual aids has proven its effectiveness in vocabulary teaching. Disadvantages The method is based on false assumptions about language. The study of language doesn’t amount to studying the “parole”, the observable data. Mastering a language relies on acquiring the rules underlying language performance. That is, the linguistic, sociolinguistic, and discourse competences. The behaviorist approach to learning is not endorsed especially in second language learning because of its distance from natural approach. Many scholars have proven its weakness.
Noam Chomsky “Chomsky, Noam 1959. “A Review of B. F. Skinner’s Verbal behavior” has written a strong criticism on the principles of the theory. Conclusion All the methods are used in English language teaching. They share many features but on the other hand they deviate from other. They are used especially in teaching certain areas and aspects of language. DM is important in teaching communication skills of the language-speaking and listening. ALM is used to memorize dialogues with spoken and structural language aspects. These methods are important in language learning.