The various "oral" and "natural" methods which developed at the turn of the century may be grouped under DM. The students learn new words and phrases from objects. Actions and mime. When the meaning of words could not be made clear, the teacher would resort to semantization but never to native language translations. From the beginning, students are accustomed to hearing complete meaningful sentences in the target language. Grammar is taught at a later stage inductively, numerous examples of a certain principle are presented and the rule is then inferred from these examples. An explicit grammar rule may never be given.
Students learn to think in the target language as soon as possible. Vocabulary is acquired more naturally if students use in full sentences, rather than memorizing long lists of words. Vocabulary is emphasized over grammar. Although work on all four skills occurs from the start, oral communication is seen as basic. Thus the reading and writing exercises are based upon what the students have orally practiced first. Pronunciation also receives due attention from the beginning of the course. Desides studying every speech the learns also do history, geography and culture of the country or countries where the language spoken.
The teacher who employs DM asks the students to self-correct their answers by asking them to make a choice between what they said and alternate answer he supplies. There are, of course, other ways of getting students to self-correct. For example, a teacher might simply repeat what a student has just said using a questioning voice to signal to the student that something was wrong with it. Another possibility is for teacher to repeat what the student said, stopping just before the error. The student then knows that the next word was wrong. There are also other options of remedial work.
The main principles of DM can be summarized under the following headings:
1. FL used throughout.
2. Audio-visual approach.
3. Speech before reading.
4. No translation-meaning conveyed through visual/mime.
1. Fluency in speech.
2. Capacity to think in target language.
3. Meaningful everyday language.
4. Grammar to be include from practice.
5. Explanations in foreign language.
1. Lively procedure in classroom.
2. Correct pronunciation.
3. Absence of rule-giving.
4. Learning through doing
1. Plunges learners too soon into unstructured situations.
2. Foreign-Language learner not like infant native-language learner.
3. Dangers of including wrong rule.
4. Tremendous energy needed be teacher.
The Audio-Lingual Method like the Direct Method we have just examined, has a goal very different from that of the Grammar-Translation Method. The Audio-Lingual Method was developed in the United States during the Second World War. At that time there was a need for people to learn foreign languages rapidly for military purposes. As we have seen G-TM did not prepare people to use the target language. While the communication in the target language was the goal of DM, there were at the time exciting new ideas about language and learning emanating from the disciplines of descriptive linguistics and behavioural psychology.
We can trace the Audio-Lingual Method rather directly to the "scientific" linguistics of Leonard Bloomfield and his followers. Both behaviouristic psychology and structural linguistics constituted a reaction against a vague and unscientific approach to the questions of human behaviour. Including the acquisition of knowledge.
Every language, as it is viewed here, has its own unique system. This system is comprised of several different levels: phonological, lexical, and syntactical. Each level has its own distinctive features.
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 forms.
The structures of the language are emphasised over all other areas. The syllabus is typically a structural one, with the structure for any particular unit include in the new dialogue. Vocabulary is also contextualized within the dialogue. It is however, limited since the emphasis is placed on the acquisition of the patterns of the language.
The underlying provision of this method include five maxims to guide teachers in applying the result of linguistic research to the preparation of teaching materials and to classroom techniques:
8. Language is speech, not writing.
a) Emphasis on correct pronunciation from the beginning;
b) Listening and speaking before reading and writing;
c) Realistic, situation utterances from start;
d) Oral mastery first; reading/writing as reinforcers; time lag will depend on sitution.
9. Language is a set of habits.
a) Based on the assumption that language learning is a habit formation process, pattern drilling and dialogue memorization are extensively used;
10. Teach the language, not about language;
a) Revolt against the grammar-translation method;
b) Grammar for the teacher not the learner;
c) Learn through doing, through active practice
d) Practice first, rules induced later.
11. A language is what its native speakers say, not what someone thinks they ought to say:
a) Emphasis on colloquial wealth of language;
b) Literary language at much later stage;
c) Traditional grammar mistrusted: functional styles (occupational, emotive, informative) studied as well as language of attitude.
12. Languages are different:
a) Universal rules of transformational grammar mistrusted;
b) Contrastive studies of language encouraged;
c) Translation accepted when necessary or possible;
d) Translation a later skill with its own techniques
1. Situational dialogues.
2. Everyday language.
3. Emphasis on speaking - aural - oral active participation.
5. Pattern-drilling-choral/individual - Role playing/Dialogue