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Audio Lingual Method (ALM)


Learning Principles of ALM (Jack C. Richards, 1992:51)

1.    Foreign language learning is basically a process of mechanical habit formation.

2.    Language skills are learned more effectively if the items to be learned in the target language are  presented  in spoken form before  they are seen in written form.

3.    Analogy provides a better foundation for language learning than analysis. Explanations of rules are therefore not given until students have  practiced a patterned in a variety of contexts and are thought to have acquired  a perception of the analogies involved.

4.    The meanings that the words of a language have for the native speaker can be learned only in a linguistic and cultural context and not in isolation. 


The use of drills and pattern practice in ALM (Brooks, 1964:156-61, in  Richards, 1992:54)


1. Repetition .

     - This is the seventh month. – This is the seventh month.

     - I used to know him years ago .  – I used to know him years ago .


2. Inflection

     - I bought the ticket.   – I bought the tickets .

     - He bought the candy.   -  She bought the candy


3. Replacement

     - He bought this house cheap.  – He bought it cheap.

     - Helen left early  - She left early.


4. Restatement.

      - Tell him to wait for you.  – Wait for me.

     - Ask her how old she is.  – How old are you?


5. Completion.

     - I’ll go my way and you go …  - I’ll go my way and you go yours .

     - We all have … own troubles.  – We all have ou r own troubles.


6. Transposition .

     - I’m hungry. (so).  – So am I.

     - I’ll never do it again. (neither).  – Neither will I.


7. Expansion.

     - I know him. (hardly). – I hardly know him.

     - I know him. (well).  – I know him well .


8. Contraction .

     - Put your hand on the table .  – Put your hand there.

     - They believe that the earth is flat .  – They believe it.


9. Transformation .

     - He knows my address.

     - He doesn’t know my address.

     - Does he know my address.

     - He used to know my address.


10. Integration.

     - They must be honest. This is important.  – it is important they must be honest.

     - I know that man. He is looking for you.  – I know the man who is looking for you.


11. Rejoinder.

     Be polite.

     - Thank you.  – You’re welcome.

     - May I take one?  - Certainly.


    Answer the question.

     - What is your name?  - My name is Smith.

     - Where did it happen?  - In the middle of the street.



     - He’s following us.  – I think you’re right.

     - This is good coffee.  – It’s very good.


12. Restoration.

     - student/waiting/bus  - The students are waiting for the bus.

     - boys/build/house/tree  - The boys built a house in a tree.





o   What are the goals of teachers who use the ALM?

§  Teachers want their students to be able use the target language communicatively by forming new habits and overcoming the old habits of their native language.


o   What is the role of the teacher? What is the role of the students?

§  The teacher is responsible for providing the students with a good model for imitation.

§  Students are imitators of the teacher’s model or the tapes she  supplies of model speakers.


o   What are some characteristics of the teaching/learning process?

§  New vocabulary and structural patterns are presented through dialogs.

§  The dialogs are learned through imitation and repetition.

§  Drills are conducted based upon the patterns present in the dialog.

§  Grammar is induced from the examples given; explicit grammar rules are not provided.


o   What is the nature of student-teacher interaction? What is the nature of student-student interaction?

§  There is student-to-student interaction in chain drills or when students take different roles in dialogs.

§  The interaction is teacher directed, most of the interaction is between teacher and students and is initiated by the teacher.


o   How is the language viewed? How is the culture viewed?

§  Everyday speech is emphasized in the ALM.

§  Culture consists of the everyday behavior and lifestyle of the target language speakers.


o   What areas of language are emphasized? What language skills are emphasized?

§  Vocabulary  is   kept to a minimum while the students are mastering the sound system and grammatical patterns.

§  The natural order of skills presentation is adhered  to: listening, speaking, reading, and writing

§  The oral/aural skills receive most of the attention.

§  Pronunciation is taught from the beginning.


o   What is the role of the students’ native language?

§  The habits of the students’ native  language are thought to interfere with the students’ attempts to master the target language.

§  The target language is used in the classroom, not the native language.

§  A contrastive analysis between the students’ native language and the target language will reveal where a teacher should expect the most interference.


o   How is evaluation accomplished?

§  Students might be asked to distinguish between words in a minimal pair, for example, or to supply an appropriate verb form in a sentence.


o   How does the  teacher respond to student errors?

§  Student errors are to be avoided if at all possible through the teacher’s awareness of where the students will have difficulty and restriction of what they are taught to say.





o   Dialog memorization

o   Backward build-up (expansion) drill

o   Repetition drill

o   Chain drill

o   Single-slot substitution drill

o   Multiple-slot substitution drill

o   Transformation drill

o   Question-and-answer drill

o   Use of minimal pairs

o   Complete the dialog

o   Grammar game

Wed, 1 Jun 2011 @12:39




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