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Date: 28/04/08 Audio-Lingual Method started with military purpose during the Second World War and it is based on behaviourism that Pavlov and Skinner made famous. There is the belief that a language can be acquired through language habits such as listening and repeating sentences and sounds. Total Physical response is a language learning method that started in the 60’s and 70’s and it is base on the belief that the process of learning a language has to begin with listening comprehension before production. Total Physical Response has to do with the coordination of speech and action. The teacher gives commands to the students and the pupils have to demonstrate that they understand the commands by performing them. Among these methods, there are some similarities that make them alike in some ways. One of those similarities between both methods is that the teacher is a model to be followed and imitated by the students. In the audio-lingual method, the students imitate the teacher’s pronunciation of the new vocabulary that is presented. In the TPR, the students are supposed to imitate the nonverbal language that the teacher produce in order to convey meaning. Another resemblance between them is that Listening and speaking language are emphasised over written language. In audio-lingual method, the teacher emphasises the pronunciation by making the students listen utterances and repeat them. Students have to pay attention to what the teacher say to perform the correct action in order to motivate the learners to produce oral language naturally. Even thought these methods have some characteristics in common such as the ones mentioned above, they also have differences that make both methods different from each other. One of the aspects that make each method distinct is that TPR method is a longer process to acquire oral language than Audio-lingual method. In classes with total physical response; the teacher has to wait for the student until he is prepared to produce oral language. On the other hand, Audio-lingual method forces the students to produce oral language immediately. Another difference is how the methods deal with the students’ feelings. Audio-Lingual Method doesn’t pay attention to the students’ emotions, while Total Physical Response really focuses on the learners’ feeling because it was especially developed to help people reduce the stress of learning a new language. We can also mention the way teachers respond to errors as a difference between both methods. The teacher that uses the Audio-lingual Method has to pay special attention to the students’ errors. That contrasts with TPR because the teacher has to tolerate the errors that the students make and just correct major errors unobtrusively. Even though the fact that these two methods have the aim to develop listening and speaking because they are the skills that we master first when we learn our mother
tongue they are completely different. Both methods have opposite concepts of human beings. Because of this, both methods have advantages over each other. Even though this deference they can be complemented but obviously the teacher has use a methodology according to his beliefs most of the time.