AUDILINGUAL METHOD AND REFLECTIVE LEARNING: STUDENTS´ PERCEPTIONS

D. Cecic Mladinic

Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (SPAIN)
This abstract focuses on reflective teaching and learning and more precisely on teaching by using the audiolingual method. In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of reflection in the process of teaching/learning we have done an experiment at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. One of the main objectives was to measure and define learners’ beliefs about learning and teaching, therefore an unknown language was taught to a group of 25 pre-service teachers and the sessions were recorded. All students were Spanish with no knowledge of Croatian, even more importantly they did not know which language they were going to experience. As the investigation method an open - question questionnaire was used, inspired on the Trinity College of London Unkown Language Experience. Students´ answers showed a deep analysis of teaching/learning conceptions, strategies, techniques and methods. These data were grouped according to similarities and common traits as to analyze learners’ contribution towards the main goal of proving the effectiveness of critical reflection in pre- service teacher training. Also, students/future teachers reflected upon their own learning experience after lessons where they had actively participated as unknown language learners. They expressed their previous experiences and beliefs and compared them to this new exposure. Not only they answered questions, but also they manifested their thoughts and feelings in diary entries.
Two open questions out of 12 were chosen to be analysed in this abstract: How challenging were the demands made on you during the lesson? How did you feel about the value and the effectiveness of this type of teaching? From learners´ perspective and from teachers´ perspective. For the question number one: 65% not very challenging ( 23 replies in total) and for the question number two: 93% effective and positive ( 25 replies in total). Surprisingly, neither the audiolingual method put them off nor they considered it challenging. To teach for 90 minutes using audio lingual approach is very demanding for learners and for teachers. This was a very first time that they experience an AL lesson and there were able to come away with the following: language patterns, guessing the meaning in spite of having very few prompts, learning grammar in an easy and unconscious way, practicing phonology, testing memory by creating an intense concentration and achieving very accurate pronunciation.