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The audio lingual method is an outgrowth of the direct method. In the direct method, teachers focus on vocabulary through the use of drills and repetition. There is little if any interaction between teacher and student. The direct method is what we refer to when we say things like "reciting" the multiplication tables, spelling words or vocabulary words. The direct mehod taught grammer using the inductive approach. The theory was that student would figure out grammatical rules if given enough examples of a particular form. In a sense, grammar could be taught at an intuitive level without being explicitly explained. This inductive approach to grammar is the basis of the audio lingual method. Grammar is not the main focus of the direct method, vocabulary is. However, the audio lingual method switches this: it makes grammar primary and only uses vocabulary to provide numerous examples of a particular grammatical form. In recent decades, communicative language teaching (a method that emphasizes communication between teacher and student) has become much more popular.
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