Wim Gombert

114 CHAPTER 7 METHOD PARTICIPANTS In the rst three years of Dutch pre-university education (as the highest form of Dutch secondary school education), French L2 is compulsory. At age 15, students opt whether or not to continue with the subject in the nal three years and prepare for the nal exams in the sixth year. In order to measure e ectiveness a er the full six years of instruction, this study focused on students who opted to continue with French at a school based on the North of the Netherlands; it included 133 students (36 male; 97 female). 55 students were instructed in the SB program and 78 in the DUB program. e students’ rst language was Dutch, and all learners received instruction at the same educational level: pre-university education. All students started their six years of instruction at the age of 12 in 2009-2013 and completed their nal exams at the age of 18 in 2015-2019. At the age of 12, all participants presumably had the same high scholastic aptitude as re ected by a score obtained by the Dutch national curriculum test ( e CITO-test) at the end of primary education. Students with dyslexia were excluded from the current study. THE SB TEACHING PROGRAM For the participants in the SB condition, commonly used CLT coursebooks were used: “Grandes Lignes” (Bakker et al., 2005) for the rst three years and “Libre Service” (Breek et al., 2003) for the nal three years. In Dutch education, this type of course book aims to promote mostly grammatical and lexical development. at is why, in this condition, a substantial amount of time was spent on the acquisition of grammatical and lexical knowledge, through explicit rules being o ered and word lists having to be memorized, reminding us very much of a focus on forms approach (Long, 2000). Furthermore, there was a focus on reading, writing and listening activities. e target language in general was limited because much time was spent on explaining grammar, on teaching reading and listening strategies, and on testing reading and listening comprehension. THE DUB TEACHING PROGRAM For the participants in the DUB condition, two complementary CLT-based methods with a strong “using to learn” component were used. In the rst three years, the accelerative integrated methodology (AIM; Maxwell, 2001) was used. is story-based program focuses on meaningful use and repetition of language input in the absence of any explicit grammar instruction, reminding us of focus on form approach (Long, 2000). e method is based on workbooks with various stories, starting with fairy tales early on and moving to short narratives about travelling, school, friends and family at a later