The Application of the Audio-lingual Method in Mandarin Course in Shanghai

I the social and historical background of Audio-lingual Method
During the Second World War, America government urgently needed the talents of foreign languages to communicate with allies and enemies, but the translation teaching method cannot make learners quickly acquire foreign language. Then USA government formulates an “army special training program” with the assistance of the related universities. The same time, the government also asked many famous linguists at that time, such as Sapir and Bloomfield and so on. According to the structural linguistics point of view, they advocated that language learners should be exposed to multiple languages’ materials, at the same time the training of reading should be reduced to a minimum. These language courses are extremely intensive courses, the teaching model of these courses is to design pattern drills as the main part in teaching practice. First listen with the ear, and then talk with the mouth. After repeated oral practices, eventually the learners will automatically use the language materials. This kind of method is called "military method" at that time. The proposition of this teaching method is listening first, so in the mid 50's it was renamed “audio-lingual method”.
II the problems and countermeasures of using Audio-lingual Method in teaching Chinese as a foreign language
In fact, every teaching method has its advantages and disadvantages, Audio-lingual Method is no exception. The following lists the problems and countermeasures of using Audio-lingual Method in Mandarin course in Shanghai.
1.Partial emphasis the ability of listening and speaking, ignore reading and writing. Listening, speaking, reading and writing these four basic skills are the essential parts in Mandarin course in Shanghai. The theory of structural linguistics repeatedly emphasizes the first place of oral language and words should be placed at the second place. In Mandarin course in Shanghai the main part should be listening and speaking supplemented by reading and writing. In the real class, if we only focus on listening and speaking, and not pay attention to the positive auxiliary role of reading and writing, the reading and writing ability of students will just stay on the income materials, once the materials change, their ability of reading and writing will not follow. Teachers of Mandarin course in Shanghai can be consciously guide the students to get the useful things what can be used in reading and writing in the listening materials; also can let students write down the sentences they say in listening and speaking class. The teachers in Mandarin course in Shanghai analyze and modify the sentences and let the students read after writing and discuss with each other about the sentences. This can improve the students' oral level; also can train the students’ ability of reading and writing.
2.Pay attention to the perceptual knowledge and look down on rational knowledge. Audio-lingual Method pays attention to listening and speaking therefore in teaching settings, the grammar rules, phrases and sentences will not be taught before listen to the materials or during the listening process. According to the current Mandarin course in Shanghai course number and the number of students, it’s difficult for all the students to do imitation, memory, repeat and talk these four links. In the limited time, if a teacher in Mandarin course in Shanghai doesn’t explain some related grammar, vocabulary and Chinese cultural background, the student will only "know the how, not the why”. With unresolved doubts and keep doing other training of listening and speaking, can only lead to more and more doubts and confusions. Teachers in Mandarin course in Shanghai must pay attention to teaching arrangements and teaching steps, let the learner gradually to accept new knowledge. In this way, the students will not only have the impression of the listening materials. Next time when there is similar knowledge, they can learn it by analogy.
3.Ignore the positive role of mother tongue in Chinese learning. The two theories that Audio-lingual Method relies on all advocate absolute exclusion of mother tongue. The usage of the target language is put in the primary position. This point of view is caused by emphasizing too much of the negative transfer of the mother tongues. In Mandarin course in Shanghai, the students that we faced with have already learned their mother tongue and their native mode of thinking in their minds will not disappear because of our intended avoid. In the group class, if teachers in Mandarin course in Shanghai can assist with a small amount of the student's native language interpretation, students can better understand. When explaining some complex language point, the best way is using the mother tongue to compare and comprehensive analysis, this can help students better understand and use the target language.
4.Pay attention to mechanical practice, lack of flexibility. According to the structural theory Audio-lingual Method advocates, to use 85% of the time in repeated imitation, memory, repeat and conversation practice link. The result is the students who are taught in Mandarin course in Shanghai with this method can only write mechanically and lack of flexibility in the use of the target language. The use of language is inseparable from a certain context, and the context is continuously changing with time, the objective conditions, so we must strength the summarization of the grammatical rules when we use Audio-lingual Method in Mandarin course in Shanghai. At the same time, to increase the system grammar lessons as a supplement in the curriculum. During the language teaching, we need not only pay attention to the necessity of practice, but also can’t lose flexibility. Students' ability of language interpretation requires not only imitate, but also more flexible master the use of the language.
III conclusion
I think the advantages and disadvantages of Audio-lingual Method in teaching Chinese in Mandarin course in Shanghai should be divided into two. The Practice of second language teaching make people realize that, due to the factors in the teaching process is various, complex and changeable, it is almost impossible to attempt to find a completely suitable method of teaching Chinese in Mandarin course in Shanghai. Each approach are the summarize of real teaching experience from different angles and different starting points, so between the various teaching methods should not be mutually exclusive, more should be complementary to each other, complementary strengths and weaknesses. What we can do in Mandarin course in Shanghai is from the real teaching practice use all the methods flexibly, so it can obtain actual effect in the practice of teaching Chinese in Mandarin course in Shanghai.