The objective of the audiolingual method is accurate pronunciation and grammar, the ability to respond quickly and accurately in speech situations and knowledge of sufficient vocabulary to use with grammar patterns. Particular emphasis was laid on mastering the building blocks of language and learning the rules for combining them. It was believed that learning structure, or grammar was the starting point for the student. Here are some characteristics of the method:
- language learning is habit-formation,
- mistakes are bad and should be avoided, as they are considered bad habits,
- language skills are learned more effectively if they are presented orally first, then in written form,
- analogy is a better foundation for language learning than analysis,
- the meanings of words can be learned only in a linguistic and cultural context
The main activities include reading aloud dialogues, repetitions of model sentences, and drilling. Key structures from the dialogue serve as the basis for pattern drills of different kinds. Lessons in the classroom focus on the correct imitation of the teacher by the students. Not only are the students expected to produce the correct output, but attention is also paid to correct pronunciation. Although correct grammar is expected in usage, no explicit grammatical instruction is given. It is taught inductively. Furthermore, the target language is the only language to be used in the classroom.
- It aims at developing listening and speaking skills which is a step away from the Grammar translation method
- The use of visual aids has proven its effectiveness in vocabulary teaching.