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A.I.M. Language Learning French As A Second Language Grades 4, 5 & 6

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Presentation on theme: "A.I.M. Language Learning French As A Second Language Grades 4, 5 & 6"— Presentation transcript:

1 A.I.M. Language Learning French As A Second Language Grades 4, 5 & 6

2 The Accelerative Integrated Methodology A.I.M. comes to us from the well-known and award winning French teacher Wendy Maxwell, who after years of research and practice teaching French, has formulated an approach, a paradigm shift and a very comprehensive program called “ Histoires en Action”. A.I.M. has been piloted and adopted in over 1200 schools in Canada, and many school boards have endorsed this program. A.I.M. addresses the findings of the National Core French Study, (1993) and those of H.Stern, that underline the importance of making French a multidisciplinary study, and that of needing to increase oral fluency of FSL graduates. A.I.M. is an engaging methodology which increases the level of participation from all students, and permits students to be the speakers of French in the class. A.I.M. differentiates from other programs in its use of “ gestures” to teach vocabulary, in the use of “Pared Down Language” as the vocabulary base, and the use of story, drama, and song and dance as the content of study. It includes language manipulation activities which support reading and writing development.

3 What does an A.I.M language class look like? You would see the teacher speaking in French only and insisting that all students to this as well. You would see the teacher gesturing every word that she/he uses in such a way that the students would know exactly what the teacher is saying This is called TLSE or Teacher Led Self Expression. You would see students gesturing and saying the vocabulary and sentences with the teacher when prompted by “ Tout le monde” or “ tout le monde fait les actions et dit les mots.” You would see many activities designed to pleasantly review known vocabulary, and intentional introduction of new vocabulary on a regular basis. You would see the class organized into groups, and students interacting cooperatively so as to gain points for their group. You would see the practice of plays using gestures, and then using puppets and/ or drama, You would see students working in small groups on rehearsals, and language manipulation activities, and independently on writing activities.

4 What are the key components of A.I.M.?  Pared Down Language  Story, Music and drama  Scaffolded Language Manipulation Activities  The Gesture Approach   Pleasant Repetition   Nonverbal Communication

5 Key Components Pared Down Language To ensure continuity and sequence for the development of a language base Emphasis on verbs, including more complex but highly communicative verbs, regularizing the stem to simplify irregular conjugation Cognates, i.e. words that most resemble the English words All essential irregular verbs are conjugated fully i.e. avoir, être, faire, aller… Use “ Est-ce que…? Only when questioning One word per meaning High frequency words should be well known before use.

6 Story, Music, Drama In order to develop both literacy and thinking skills; Program is literature-based, a language rich experience In-depth study of a story The language is contextualized, this being important in developing word- concept Promotes small group and cooperative learning Students take responsibility for their own learning and evaluation of efforts and progress Story/drama is highly motivational This is an integrated approach, including kinesics This method responds to a variety of learning styles Stories from various cultures bring to the fore meaningful ideas Parent participation is a natural extension of the program Story/theatre/drama/music ensures maximum production of the language, both oral and written

7 Key Components Scaffolded Language Manipulation Activities Activities are structured from to more complex written responses Over 100 questions are answered using complete sentences allowing students to form complete thoughts Higher order thinking skills are addressed when students, especially Gr.5 and 6, learn to retell the story in their own words, and in time write extensions to the story lines on their own, after modeling by the teacher in whole group sessions. All the activities are based on and surround the text allowing for ample practice of acquired vocabulary in a meaningful context. A unique point is that all students are expected to orally produce all activities through the use of gesture.

8 Key Components The Gesture Approach Studies have shown that the use of gesture increases the receptivity of students to the subject matter and makes the teacher appear more approachable, and personable ( Bancroft 1997) Allows teachers to visually and kinesthetically teach vocabulary. This approach accelerates language acquisition which in turn motivates students due to their successes Most gestures are natural signs for words, some have been selected by trail and error with the help of students. Sometimes students are invited to come up with their own sign to convey a word meaningfully. The gestures are taught as PDL words and are seen repeatedly in such a way that after 90 hours of instruction 9 more or less) students achieve a basic level of fluency in French ! Gesture is effective because, basically research has proven that providing the meaningful, concrete, representation of words makes it easier for the brain to process these same words. ( A right-brain to left-brain movement) Other programs such as “ Jolly Phonics” taught in primary to gr 3 has been proven, because of its use of gesture, to develop encoding and decoding skills in reading in English.

9 Key Components Pleasant repetition; In a nutshell, the repetition found in this program is presented in pleasant, up-beat ways. Keeping in mind that there is a lot of emotional expression and humour introduced with the gestures and vocabulary, students find that they are engaged. As well all the acquired vocabulary is encountered without fail in the stories, songs and activities explored and developed in class. As well, learning any skill requires practice. Imagine trying to play the piano for the first time without any practice. In many ways practice with language production is like learning to play and instrument

10 Key Components Nonverbal Communication Learning is enhanced if the instructor appears positive and caring If the teacher is excited about her /his subject, the climate of the class becomes positive and fun. “ Teachers who foster politeness, humour, concern, caring, enthusiasm and consideration… truly make teaching “GO” ( p.63) Bennett, Rolheiser, Stevahn ( 1991)

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