Learning & Teaching Foreign Languages

Army method


During World War 2, linguists in US universities were called upon to develop scientific methods of training personnel in foreign languages for military purposes, resulting in the linguist-informant method, where a trained linguist elicited language samples from a native speaker and drilled small groups of learners.

Combining behaviourist learning principles with structural linguistics, especially contrastive analysis, an approach was developed which is variously named the oral approach, the Michigan method, the oral-aural or aural-oral approach .

The method is associated with Charles Fries and Robert Lado.


Classroom illustration: Contrast

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