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Encouraging Spontaneous Speech in the Audiolingual Classroom


  • Fern S. Margolis Ph.D.

    1. University of California, Los Angeles, Academic Coordinator and Instructor of Hebrew Language and Jewish Studies at the Fairfax Community Adult School. Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, CA
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Abstract  Most conversational foreign language classes in American high schools and colleges adhere to some audiolingual format. Although the advantages of the audiolingual approach are many, particularly in the modified form in which it is used today, it lacks seriously in one regard: it does not provide opportunity for spontaneous speech. With its emphasis on pattern drills and dialogue memorization, it often acts as a deterrent. In this paper the author shows why the audiolingual method does not encourage spontaneous speech, and offers suggestions, in the form of oral exercises and games, to compensate for this lack.