The French program that we use at St. Patrick’s Elementary School is called AIM (Accelerative Integrated Method).  It is a highly successful program designed to achieve fluency quickly among second language learners.  It employs, among other things, the Gesture Approach, which involves students learning a gesture for every word they are taught in French.  The high-frequency vocabulary taught is verb-based rather than noun-based and is designed to help children with oral fluency.  Reading and writing are also taught early on.  Each unit uses a play as the basis for all instruction.

As the teacher speaks with the children in class they use hand gestures that match the words that are being said.  Every time the teacher gestures a word or phrase, the students are expected to say the words.  This helps them connect that word to its meaning.  Students are expected to speak only in French at all times in class.  Initially, this may mean they are fairly quiet, but they will quickly pick-up the words and begin to be able to have simple to complex conversations.  

Second language learning can be daunting for many children and I hope to eliminate this barrier to learning through games, humour, creativity and a positive environment.  I encourage students to play with the language and believe that learning comes a lot easier with a smile.  

Thank you for supporting your child’s French language acquisition.  If you have any questions regarding our program please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Ms. McBride

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