a method of foreign or second language teaching which (a) emphasizes the teaching of speaking and listening before reading and writing (b) uses DIALOGUEs and DRILLs (c) discourages use of the mother tongue in the classroom (d) often makes use of CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS. The audiolingual method was prominent in the 1950s and 1960s, especially in the United States, and has been widely used in many other parts of the world. The theory behind the audiolingual method is the aural–oral approach to language teaching, which contains the following beliefs about language and language learning: (a) speaking and listening are the most basic language skills (b) each language has its own unique structure and rule system (c) a language is learned through forming habits. These ideas were based partly on the theory of STRUCTURAL LINGUISTICS and partly on BEHAVIOURISM. Criticism of the audiolingual method is based on criticism of its theory and its techniques (Richard & Schmidt 2002, p. 39).