Wim Gombert

CHAPTER 3. This study 49 form that can be used reliably in basic interaction. is PDL is used to develop plays, songs, and stories for students to participate in and work on collaboratively. As a next step, simple gestures were attached to each word in the pared-downlanguage, making the teaching multi-sensory; thus, as part of the AIM method, students learn vocabulary during class through visual, auditory and kinesthetic tools, making strong associations between form (the sound and the gesture), use (the context) and meaning.  e use of high-frequency vocabulary items and chunks, introduced with gestures and contextualized in stories, drama, songs and dance, are supposed to help students make strong associations between form, use and meaning (Arnott, 2011). Grammar is rst treated as chunks and practiced orally. Once students master a speci c rule, this rule is inductively highlighted as part of the oral practice. A DYNAMIC USAGE-BASED PROCEDURE All linguistic items (words, chunks, grammar rules) are learned through routinization activities (playful drills) in the classroom, with students facing the teacher in a circle for playful drills. Students sit in small groups for collaborative, creative and communicative tasks aiming at developing speaking and writing skills. No activity lasts longer than 10 minutes, so there is lots of movement and excitement throughout the lesson. Students participate in all activities in the target language, and they learn to think and write creatively while practicing oral communication primarily. e method helps students feel comfortable to express themselves in the target language from the rst lesson onwards. AIM has originally been developed for use in L2 French classes in Canada (students aged 8-14) and the vocabulary involved in the four AIM-modules is limited (as a result of the choice for a pared down language, which facilitates input and output repetition). Students in the nal three years of Dutch secondary school need more vocabulary as well as authentic input to further develop their skills and prepare for the nal exams. erefore, AIM extended (AIMe) was created based on similar AIM principles for the nal three years. As the learners had achieved enough basic vocabulary with the help of gestures, they were not really needed anymore for comprehending new words. e lessons therefore consisted of meaningful, multi-modal authentic exposure by means of video material to be watched several times at home and discussed in detail in class. Table 6 provides an overview of the main characteristics of the AIM method in terms of a DUB approach, design and classroom procedures. e table also lists the characteristic of the extended AIMe method that was created speci cally for the purpose of the current investigation.