With AIM, the students « learn vocabulary through visual, auditory and kinesthetic tools. They participate in all activities in the target language based on literature and drama and they learn to think and write creatively, while practicing oral communication. »
Jérôme Paul: How did you come up with the idea of AIM?
Wendy Maxwell: In 1984 I started as a French teacher – inspired to share my passion for language with my students. But after several years I became frustrated to see, that by using the conventional method of language instruction, my students were not becoming proficient in the target language. And that’s when it hit me:
If students weren’t learning the way they were being taught, I had to teach the way they learned.
I created a list of the students’ most frequently used words and expressions. I used this ‘pared-down language’ to develop plays, songs and stories that the students participated in, and worked on, collaboratively. This resulted in higher student engagement, reduced anxiety, as well as a more sophisticated level of response – right from day-one.
Next, simple gestures were attached to each word in the pared-down-language. My teaching was now multi-sensory. Students were simultaneously listening, seeing, reading, writing, speaking and ‘doing’ the target language. This was the beginning of the Accelerative Integrated Method!
Jérôme : What is the great strength of AIM?
Wendy : To rapidly develop proficiency successfully among learners – both oral and written.
Jérôme : What are you most proud of in the AIM adventure?
Wendy : The fact that teachers have embraced the methodology and that it has transformed their classroom – for themselves and their students.
Jérôme : What despairs you most in foreign language teaching ?
Wendy : That teachers continue after many years of teaching, teaching students the same way, so that they leave without having developed proficiency.
Jérôme : What do you enjoy in the videos / the approach of the Français illustré ?
Wendy : I would have to look a little more deeply into the methodology – but I do really think that the visuals are a fantastic support for students as, like the gestures, they pass directly to meaning without translation!
Jérôme : How do you imagine the future of teaching / learning foreign languages?
Wendy : It will depend on the willingness of teachers to be open to change. I am hopeful that this will happen and that teachers will not be satisfied with lack of proficiency among their students. There are options out there for teachers! 🙂
Merci beaucoup à Wendy Maxwell…
For more information about AIM : http://www.aimlanguagelearning.com/
à bientôt, Jérôme