methods in h~r~:<ir,igeeachingto the language, use it, and gs:i~iii;illy bsorb its grammatical patterns.For Fries, grammar, or "strticriirc," was the starting point. The structlireof the language was identified
irs basic sentence patterris and gram-matical structures. The langitiigi was taught by systematic attention topronunciation and by intensivc or;il drilling of its basic sentence patterns.Pattern practice was a basic clnssrooin technique. "lt is these basic pat-terns that constitute the learnerV\nsk They require drill, drill, and moredrill, and oniy enough vocab~ilary
inake such drills possible" (Hockett1959).Michigan was not the only uiiiversity involved in developing coursesand materials for teaching Englisli.
number of other similar programswere established, some
the riirliest being at Georgetown Universityand American University, Washington, D.C., and at the University
Texas, Austin. U.S. linguists \vere becoming increasingly active, bothwithin the United States and ;ibrond, in supervising programs for theteaching of English (Moultoii
In 1950 the Ainerican Council ofLearned Societies, under contract to the U.S. State Department, wascommissioned to develop textbooks tor teaching English to speakers ofa wide number of foreign langiiages. The format the Iinguists involvedin this project followed was known as the "general forrn".
lessonbegan with work on pronunciation, morphology, aiid grammar, fol-lowed by drills and exercises. The guidelines were publislied as StructzrralNotes and Corpus:
Basis for the Preparation of Maierials to TeachEnglish as a Foreigrr Language (American Council of Learned Societies1952). This became an influentinl document and together with tlie "gen-eral form" was used as a guide to developing English courses for speakersof ten different languages (the famotis Spoken Lang~tnge rrirs),
lished between 1953 and 1956 (Ivloulton 1961).In many ways the methodology used by U.S. linguists and lariguageteaching experts at this period sounded similar to the British Oral Ap-proach, although the two traditions developed independently. The Amer-ican approach differed, however, in its strong alliance with Americanstriictural linguistics and its applied linguistic applications, particularlycontrastive analysis. Fries set forth his principies in Teaching and Learn-ing English as
Foreign Lang~r~rge1945), in which the problems
learning a foreign language were nrtributed to the conflict of differentstructural systems (¡.e., differences between the grammatical and plion-ological patterns of the native toiigue and the target language). Con-trastive analysis of the two langiiages would allow potential problemsof interference to be predicted aiid addressedthrough carefully preparedteaching materials. Thus was borii
major industry in American appliedlinguistics
systematic comparisons of English with other languages,with a view toward solvingrhe iiiiidamental problems of foreign lan-guage learning.
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Richards, J.C. y T.S. Rodgers (1987). The Audiolingual Method.
En Approaches and Methods in language teaching (pp. 44-63). Reino Unido: Cambridge University Press.