Wim Gombert

CHAPTER 3. This study 43 CHALLENGES IN DESIGNING THE STUDY DESIGNING A DYNAMIC USAGE-BASED TEACHING PROGRAM e rst challenge in this study was designing a 6-year French as a foreign language teaching (FFL) program in the context of the Netherlands that aligned with Dynamic Usage-Based (DUB) principles (see Chapter 2 for an elaborate discussion of DUB). Regular coursebooks for L2 French in the Netherlands usually provide teaching materials for the full six years of pre-university secondary school and can be considered the equivalent of a curricular teaching program, as they are designed as a fully- edged program intended to meet curricular demands. Hence, a consistent, structurebased (SB) FFL teaching program in the Dutch context can be equated with a regular coursebook. Usage-based approaches, like the Accelerative Integrated Methodology (AIM) and Teaching Pro ciency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS), usually do not provide fully- edged coursebooks but provide principles for teaching with speci c course materials and rely heavily on the teacher as the architect of the program (see Chapter 2 for details). erefore, the rst goal of this study was to create a consistent 6-year DUB FFL teaching program, suitable for this e ect study. In their description of the history of foreign language teaching in the Netherlands, Hulshof et al. (2015, p. 401) mention TPRS and AIM as two innovative approaches which came to occupy a niche without truly in uencing foreign language teaching at large. AIM was chosen as the basis of the 6-year DUB program for two reasons: (1) AIM is a complete method worked out in detail and one that has been in use in di erent schools in the Netherlands since 2007, while TPRS is used mainly as a supplementary activity to a regular coursebook and (2) AIM relies on two fundamental principles--exposure and active use--while TPRS relies more on one fundamental principle only--comprehensible input. Developing all four skills is the central goal of commonly used CLT coursebooks that, by consequence, generally aim to o er both exposure in developing receptive skills (reading and listening) and promote active productive language use (through writing and speaking), AIM was thought to be a better candidate than TPRS to compare e ectiveness of this DUB approach vis-à-vis its more traditional structure-based counterpart. However, as AIM was originally designed for very young children and as a method only o ers materials to be used in the rst three years of secondary school, a followup of this approach, referred to as AIM extended (AIMe) had to be developed for the nal three years, using the same DUB principles. Indeed, the underlying premise of the current study was to compare an SB and DUB approach across the full six years of preuniversity Dutch secondary education.