Audiolingual Method and Communicative Language Teaching


Based on the earlier methods from the Direct method approach to reading oral approach, the method was the development of these methods improved by the linguists in America and British in teaching and learning English. They created the new method in language learning especially in English language learning. The first program was ASTP or Army Specialized Training Program in 1942 that involved fifty five universities in America. The program was like the Direct method that concerned to the target language than well-developed methodological basis. Then, there was great demand from foreign students who wanted to enter the universities in America and these students required to follow the training English before studying in the universities. These programs led to the new method which was Audio-lingual method.  The method gave attention to pronunciation and intensive oral drilling of its basic patterns. “They require drill, drill, and more drill, and only enough vocabulary to make such drills possible” (Hockett 1959). The method was the combination of structural linguistics theory, contrastive analysis, aural-oral procedure and behavior psychologist that had transformed language teaching from art to science. The basic principles of an Audiolingual method were used in Lado English series (1970) and English 900 (1964).

There were approach, design and procedure in Audiolingual method.

A. The Approach

  • The theory of language was structural linguistics or structural view of language that had developed the traditional grammar. The primary of structural linguistic used oral language as media of learning. Before learning how to write and read, the important thing is learn how to speak.
  • The theory of learning of Audiolingual method was behavioral psychology with the three elements which are stimulus – response – reinforcement.

B. The Design

  • The objectives of Audiolingual method are short and long term objectives.

The short term consists of first; the structure of sound, form and order in the new language, second; acquaintance with vocabulary items, and third; meaning especially verbal symbol.

The long term is get knowledge and competency as native speaker.

  • The Syllabus

Audiolingualism is used linguistic syllabus which contains the key items of phonology, morphology, and syntax of language.

  • Types of learning and teaching activities

Dialogue and drills form are used in learning activities. Dialogues are used for repetition and memorization. The patterns of drills are repetition, inflection, replacement, restatement, completion, transposition, contraction, expansion, transformation, integration, rejoinder, and restoration.

  • Learner roles

The learners are directed to have skill and produce correct responses. They play reactive role by responding the stimuli.

  • Teacher roles

The roles of teacher are central and active. The teacher is dominated the method of learning and models target of language.

  • The role of instructional materials

It is a guide the teacher to develop language mastery of the learner. Tape recorder and audiolingual equipment have central role in audiolingual course.

C. Procedure

  • Audiolingual method is oral approach to language learning by involving extensive oral instructions and drills in the teaching process.

CLT (Communicative Language Teaching) 

Different from Audiolingualism, CLT was developed in the British language tradition from the late 1960s. It was developed an approach to the English teaching as foreign language by these following reasons; first, the rejection of Audiolingualism in United States, then the British linguists wanted to prove the theoretical assumptions underlying Situational Teaching, second, the different approaches in foreign language teaching that came from changing educational realities in Europe. In 1971 a group of linguists tried to develop language courses on a unit credit system. A British linguist proposed a functional or communicative definition of language that became foundation of developing communicative syllabuses for language teaching. He revised and expanded to be notional – functional syllabus which had impact to Communicative Language Teaching.

  1. Approach
  • Theory of Language

The theory was developed by Hymes (1972) “communicative competence” which that contrast with Chomsky’s theory of competence. It is the functional view of language.

  • Theory of Learning

Contrast to the CLT literature about communicative dimensions of language, little has been written about learning theory. The main people in CLT which are Brumfit, Johnson, Littlewood offered discussion of learning theory. There were three elements of CLT practices; activities that involve real communication promote learning, activities in which language is used for carrying out meaningful tasks promote learning, and language that is meaningful to the learner promotes learning

  1. Design
  • Objectives

Some objectives on CLT:

  1. Use language as means of expression
  2. Use language as means of expressing value and judgements
  3. Learn the language to express the functions that as a level individual needs
  • The Syllabus

CLT uses the notional syllabus, then Brumfit (1980) the syllabus around notions, functions, and communicational activities are group. Yalden (1987) has classified a number of communicative syllabus types.

  • Types of Learning and teaching activities

CLT uses many activities to engage the learners in the real communication. Littlewood (1981) distinguished two major types of activites:

  1. Functional communication activities
  2. Social interaction activities
  • Learner roles

The role of learner is as negotiator – between the self, the learning process and the object of learning.

  • Teacher roles

The roles of teacher are as facilitator, analyst, counselor, and group process manager.

  • The role of instructional materials

The role is promoting communicative language use with the these kinds materials; text based, task based, and relia.

  1. Procedure

The methodological of procedures (Littlewood, 1981)

  1. Pre-communicative activities:
  •  Structural activities and Quasi-communicative activities

2. Communicative activities:

  • Functional communication activities and Social interaction activities

However, in CLT there are many procedures in communicative classes because of the variety of activities used.


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