Wim Gombert

48 CHAPTER 3 TABLE 5. Main characteristics of the SB approach · Activities target the development of all four L2 skills. · Intensive reading and listening activities are embedded in a focused comprehension approach. · Writing skills are expected to develop through translation and closed writing exercises targeting specific linguistic elements. · Oral practice is usually confined to closed-type exercises or in L1 scripted dialogues. · Focused practice for the acquisition of separate lexical, phonological and grammatical knowledge. · A thematic approach to vocabulary learning, with word lists to be memorized. · Regular use of the L1 to explain grammatical rules, give classroom instructions and discuss activities targeting comprehension skills. · Vast amounts of instruction and practice on verb conjugation and tense use. · In terms of writing instruction, grammatical accuracy and structure are emphasized. · A lot of time is spent on the development of test-wise strategies to adequately prepare students for the final reading and listening exams. THE DYNAMIC USAGE-BASED METHOD e DUB method in this study was realized using the Accelerative Integrative Methodology (AIM) which is an FFL method created by Wendy Maxwell (www. aimlanguagelearning.nl). Unhappy with the method she used as a French teacher in which learners were not actually using the language very much, she developed this method which could be considered a strong version of CLT that is in line with DUB principles in that it provides a great deal of meaningful interaction in the target language. It focuses on Form Use Meaning Mappings (FUMMs) (short phrases with a speci c meaning in a speci c context – see Chapter 2 for a more detailed account), builds in a great deal of repetition through playful drills, and focuses on form in the broadest sense: pronunciation, intonation, multi-word expressions and other common sequences. To use the AIM method as it is meant to be, teachers need speci c training for the method and buy toolkits for the di erent modules. ese contain scripted lessons that the teacher can apply in class. As the target language and language of the classroom is French only, the materials are not context-speci c and can be used in French classrooms around the world where novice learners rst learn French. A DYNAMIC USAGE-BASED DESIGN A list of approximately 2000 words (the so-called pared-down language – PDL) is at the heart of the design. e selection of words and expressions for this PDL was not only based on the relative frequency but also on the usefulness for beginning language learners (functional vocabulary for naming objects and activities in the language classroom), on the scope of a word (words that have a wider scope can be used in more contexts and will be better activated in the mind) and on the reliability of a word (the PDL avoids the diversity of written French verb-forms by o ering only one oral verb-