What is the similarity or relationship between the direct method and the audio-lingual method? Discuss the relationship elaborately.

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The goal of the direct method of teaching a language is to have students learn how to speak the target language in the same way that they learned to speak their native language, while the goal of the audio-lingual method of teaching is that students should be able to repeat drills and learn a target language through initially memorizing and repeating grammatical forms. In both methods, the spoken target language is emphasized over the written language, and students are expected to only use the target language (not their native language).

The process of teaching using the two methods varies. In the direct method process, students learn the meaning of the target language, and the main emphasis is on vocabulary. Students develop their vocabulary by using complete sentences in lessons focused on one topic or situation. In this method, grammar is taught inductively, and students and teachers are involved in conversation. Students also learn about the culture of people who speak the target language. 

In the audio-lingual method of teaching another language, students imitate and repeat dialogues that involve everyday language to learn new vocabulary and structures. The point is to make the dialogues automatic through practice. The main focus is on listening and speaking first, followed by reading and writing. Students learn grammatical forms through the dialogues, and their later writing and reading work is based on their oral work. In this method, students engage in drills and repetition with their teacher. Students learn about the culture of the target language through studying everyday behavior presented in the dialogues. 

Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator
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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