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Audio-Lingual Method, by Mori Manjusri


       According to Dictionary, audio-lingual is a branch of linguistics. However in the teaching and learning, audio- lingual is a technique to teach student base on repetition or drill. Repetition or drill can describe as students follows what their teacher says or instructs. The Imagestudy of this method was started by Leonard Bloomfield. He is the first person who had studied audio-lingual method on 20th century ago. However, this method was continued by B.F. Skinner. Skinner was argue that all behavior learn throughout repetition and positive or negative reinforcement. Base on B.F. Skinner argumentation, humans learns base on their habits activities, such as to use language, speaking, and also write with a right hand. Finally, the study of audio- lingual method had applied in the American Military (ARMY), which to provide an American soldier to able speaks local language in their colony. The result of this method is successful for American soldier to communicate with local language. Hence, the audio- lingual method is called ARMY method.

     Brown (1994) state that the characteristics of audio-lingual method are the new material is presented into a dialog form, and the structure of this method is taught with repetition. If audio- lingual method is seeing from the utilities, this method is having many strength and weaknesses in teaching and learning process. The main strengths of audio- lingual method are student will be easier in learning. It is because student didn’t use the correct grammar, but they are only to repeat what teacher says and instructs. However, audio-lingual is also weakness, such as student enactive in learning. It is because students have less opportunity in express their language. 

        The existence of audio- lingual method is makes many critics from experts in the world, such as Noam Chomsky, Wilga Rivers, Philip Smith, and Jeremy Harmer. Noam Chomsky (1950) argue that “audio- lingual method have a limitations in the linguistics structural”. Besides that, Wilga River (1964) with his book “Physiologist and the foreign language teacher” had showed the explicit grammatical instruction in the first language to be more productive. Critic had also presented by Philip Smith (1965- 1969) argue that “audio-lingual method were effective than a more traditional cognitive approach involving the learner’s first language”. The last critics had showed by Jeremy Hermer, state that “audio- lingual method is same to banish all form of language processing that help student sort out the new language information in their mind”. To implement audio- lingual method in the classroom activities, teacher can uses some techniques, such as repetition, inflection, replacement, and restatement (Richards, J.C. 1986).

a). Repetition

     In audio- lingual method, repetition is useful to construct student to repeat what teacher says. In this process, teacher is conveys sentence for student, and student should to listen and follow sentences base on what student receives. For instances:

—  Teacher    : This is Mickey Mouse

Student    : This is Mickey Mouse

—  Teacher    : The capital city of Indonesia is Jakarta

Student    : The capital city of Indonesia is Jakarta

b). Inflection

     In the inflection process, student should to find out and complete word that missing in a sentence. Besides that, student should to add words that suitable with the sentence. For example:

—  Teacher    : I like watch football match.

Student    : I like watches football match.

—  Teacher    : Sonny had bought tomato in the market.

Student     : Sonny had bought tomatoes in the market.

c). Replacement

       In the audio-lingual method, replacement is a process to changes words in the sentence. Student might to find out word that would be change base on teacher’s sentence. For instance:

—  Teacher    : Every time I always miss you.

Student    : Every time I always miss it.

—  Teacher    : Mr. Yang is a professor in the University of Malaya.

Student    : He is a professor in the University of Malaya.

d). Restatement

      In the audio-lingual method, restatement is process to re-phrase the teacher’s sentence or utterance. For example:

—  Teacher    : I tell you to not smoking here!

Student    : Don’t smoking here!

—  Teacher    : I show to you not to park here!

Student    : Don’t park here!

       Base on implementation of audio-lingual in the classroom, the weakness that might occur is student not active in learning. It is because teacher is more centered in learning and not given opportunity for student to express their language. Besides that, some problems might occur when apply this method, such as student didn’t listen carefully and also teacher didn’t speak fluently. Hence, the suggestion that might give to apply this method is teacher should to use normal language, include about pronunciation, intonation, and structure of sentence. Hence, student can practice this method in their learning process correctly.

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