The theory or practice of teaching foreign languages through a system of drills, in which model sentences are read or played aloud, and the student is expected to respond either by repeating or adapting these.
This approach (originally called the ‘Army method') became popular during WWII as a quick method of training service personnel. From the 1950s it came under challenge from linguistic theorists such as Noam Chomsky, and from the 1960s from research findings suggesting it was less effective than rival methods. Since the 1970s it has been little used as a core approach to language teaching.
1960s; earliest use found in Hispania. From audio-lingual + -ism.