What Is CLT and Audio-Lingual Method?

The teaching of foreign languages has evolved over time, with different methods and approaches emerging to cater to the diverse needs of language learners. Two such methods are the Audio-Lingual Method (ALM) and the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) approach. The Audio-Lingual Method places great emphasis on achieving native-like speech patterns by focusing on pronunciation, stress, and rhythm, and prioritizes fluency in communication. On the other hand, the Communicative Language Teaching approach aims to develop students' communication skills by focusing on comprehension and accuracy in their language proficiency. Both methods have their distinct goals for students, providing them with different pathways towards achieving linguistic competence.

What Is the Role of Students in CLT and Audio-Lingual Method?

In CLT, students are encouraged to actively participate in communicative activities such as group discussions, role-plays, and simulations. They’re expected to use the target language to express their thoughts, opinions, and ideas. The role of a student in CLT is to develop their speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills through real-life communicative tasks. They’re responsible for their own learning and are encouraged to take risks and make mistakes in order to improve their language proficiency.

On the other hand, in the Audio-lingual method, students play a more passive role. They’re primarily listeners and imitators of recorded dialogues and sentences. The focus is on accurately reproducing the target language patterns and structures without much room for personal expression or creativity. Students are expected to memorize and drill the language patterns until they become automatic.

The role of a student in the Audio-lingual method is to carefully listen to the model recordings and imitate them in order to develop accurate pronunciation and intonation. They’re also responsible for practicing the language patterns through repetition and substitution drills. Students are expected to follow the teachers instructions and pay close attention to the correct usage of grammar and vocabulary.

They’re encouraged to express their thoughts and ideas and take ownership of their learning process.

The Audio-lingual Method, also known as the Oral-Aural Method, is a language teaching approach that places a strong emphasis on developing listening and speaking skills before focusing on reading and writing. By immersing students in a target language environment and utilizing repetitive drills and dialogues, this method aims to foster oral fluency and accuracy. Let’s delve into the key features and principles of this popular language learning approach.

What Is the Audio-Lingual Method Method?

It was developed in the 1950s and 1960s as a response to the behaviorist theory of learning, which posits that language is acquired through habit formation and repetition. The method draws heavily on principles from structural linguistics, focusing on teaching the patterns and structures of the target language through intensive oral practice.

In the Audio-lingual Method, the language is presented in a highly controlled and structured manner. Students are exposed to carefully crafted dialogues and drills, which they’re expected to memorize and reproduce accurately. This repetitive practice aims to help students internalize the language patterns and develop automaticity in their use of the target language.

The use of audio materials, such as tapes and records, is integral to the Audio-lingual Method. These materials provide authentic language input for students to listen to and imitate. The method also relies on the use of visual aids, gestures, and physical movement to support comprehension and reinforce language learning.

The Audio-lingual Method places a strong emphasis on error correction. Teachers provide immediate feedback and correction to help students develop accurate pronunciation and grammatical structures. There’s a focus on accuracy rather than fluency, with the belief that once students have mastered the underlying structures of the language, they can later apply these skills to reading and writing.

Critics of the Audio-lingual Method argue that it can limit students creativity and impede their ability to communicate in real-life situations. The heavy reliance on drills and memorization may lead to a lack of understanding and critical thinking. Additionally, the method doesn’t prioritize reading and writing skills, which are essential for comprehensive language proficiency.

Despite these criticisms, the Audio-lingual Method has made significant contributions to language teaching. It’s focus on intensive oral practice and systematic grammatical instruction has been influential in shaping contemporary language teaching approaches. Many of it’s principles and techniques continue to be used and adapted in language classrooms worldwide.

Practical Techniques and Activities: Provide Specific Examples of the Types of Dialogues, Drills, and Activities Used in the Audio-Lingual Method. Give Suggestions for How Teachers Can Incorporate These Techniques Into Their Own Language Classrooms.

In the Audio-lingual Method, teachers make use of various techniques and activities to help students improve their language skills. Some examples include role-playing dialogues, pattern drills, and interactive activities.

Role-playing dialogues involve students acting out different scenarios and practicing conversational skills. For instance, they may pretend to be in a restaurant and take turns ordering food and interacting with a waiter.

Pattern drills focus on repetitive practice of language patterns. For example, students may be given a sentence structure and asked to fill in the blanks with appropriate words or phrases, using the correct grammar and vocabulary.

Interactive activities can include games, group discussions, or problem-solving tasks. These activities encourage students to interact with each other and use the target language in a meaningful way.

Teachers can incorporate these techniques by designing engaging and relevant activities. They can create role-plays based on real-life situations, provide worksheets or handouts for pattern drills, and plan interactive activities that foster communication among students.

It’s important for teachers to give clear instructions, provide ample opportunities for practice, and provide feedback to help students improve their language skills effectively. By incorporating these techniques into their language classrooms, teachers can enhance students’ speaking and listening abilities in a dynamic and interactive way.

In addition, CLT encourages students to actively participate in the learning process and engage in communicative tasks that promote language development. This approach fosters authentic exchanges and enables learners to apply their knowledge in meaningful contexts. By incorporating real-life situations and interactions, CLT not only enhances students’ language skills but also equips them with the necessary tools to navigate the complexities of the modern world.

Why Is CLT the Best Teaching Method?

One of the main reasons why CLT (Communicative Language Teaching) is considered the best teaching method is because it’s student-centred. In CLT, the focus is on the learners and their interaction with the language, rather than on the teacher and their presentation of the language. This approach empowers students to take ownership of their own learning, making them active participants in the classroom.

Group and pair work are particularly relevant and widely-used activities in CLT. These cooperative learning strategies not only provide opportunities for students to practice their language skills, but also promote social interaction and collaboration. Working in pairs or small groups allows students to engage in authentic conversations, negotiate meaning, and develop their understanding of language through meaningful interaction with their peers.

Moreover, CLT values the development of fluency over accuracy. By focusing on meaningful communication, students are encouraged to use the language creatively and with confidence, even if they make occasional errors. This helps learners to develop fluency by increasing their comfort level in using the language spontaneously.

Another advantage of CLT is it’s adaptability to different learning styles and needs. Recognizing that every learner is unique, CLT offers a variety of activities and tasks that cater to different learning preferences. Whether a student prefers visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learning, CLT provides opportunities for all learners to engage with the language in a way that best suits their individual needs.

By incorporating these principles into the classroom, teachers can create a dynamic and effective language learning environment that inspires students to become confident and competent communicators.

The Role of the Teacher in CLT: Exploring How the Teacher’s Role Shifts From Being the Center of Attention to a Facilitator of Learning in CLT.

In Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), the teacher’s role undergoes a shift from being the main focus of the classroom to becoming a facilitator of learning. This means that instead of being the center of attention and the main source of information, the teacher now guides and supports the students in actively engaging in the learning process. The teacher promotes communication and interaction among students, encourages their participation, and provides opportunities for them to practice and apply what they’ve learned. The emphasis is on creating a student-centered environment where learners take ownership of their learning and develop their language skills through meaningful interactions.

In CLT, language teaching and learning have undergone significant transformations, with a focus on communicative competence. This approach recognizes the importance of developing listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Among these skills, listening comprehension is defined as the ability to understand spoken language at the discourse level, while speaking emphasizes effective communication. Additionally, reading and writing are also emphasized in CLT to enhance language proficiency.

What Language Skills Are Emphasized in CLT?

In the CLT approach, language skills are emphasized in various ways to promote effective communication.

Listening skills are given importance in CLT as they’re crucial for understanding spoken language in real-life situations. Through activities such as listening to authentic audio materials, students learn to comprehend different accents, speech patterns, and understand implicit meanings in conversations and narratives.

Students are encouraged to actively participate in the classroom by engaging in communicative activities that encourage real-life conversations. They practice expressing their ideas, opinions, and experiences, using appropriate vocabulary and grammar, and develop fluency and accuracy in their speech.

Reading skills are another essential component in CLT. Students are exposed to a wide range of authentic written materials, such as newspaper articles, short stories, and online resources. They learn and practice strategies for reading comprehension, such as skimming, scanning, and inferring meaning from context.

Writing skills are also developed through CLT. Students are provided with opportunities to express their thoughts and ideas in written form. They learn to write various types of texts, such as emails, reports, essays, and creative pieces, while focusing on organization, coherence, clarity, and appropriate language use.

Source: Possible Alternative Approaches to CLT and Teaching … – ERIC


ALM concentrates on achieving native-like speech by emphasizing pronunciation, stress, and rhythm, ultimately aiming for fluency. On the other hand, CLT prioritizes the students' ability to communicate effectively and comprehend language accurately. While ALM primarily focuses on form and accuracy, CLT accentuates real-life language use and functional communication. Both methods have their merits and can be employed according to learners' needs and contexts for a comprehensive language learning experience.

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