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When I started teaching, two years ago, I used textbooks and created innovative exercises to help my students deepen their knowledge of the French language.  Last year, I used a method called Accelerated Integrative Methodology (AIM).  Through this method, authentic learning is achieved through scaffolding techniques which use story-telling, gestures, active collaboration and repetition. The use of high-frequency vocabulary, introduced with gestures and contextualized in stories, drama, songs and dance, allows students to rapidly achieve levels of oral and written proficiency rarely seen with conventional methods (What is AIM, AIM Learning Language, 2017).  For seventh and 8th grade, I intend to use this method.

For older grades, my intention is to use another method that has been proven highly successful with students.  This method is called Neurolinguistic Approach.

The Neurolinguistic Approach (NLA) to second language learning is a new way to teach and acquire a second language for the purposes of communication, in a regular classroom situation. It is based on recent research in neurolinguistics that has provided a better understanding of how we learn to speak a second language.

Traditionally, it has been assumed that, to learn a second language in school, students must first learn vocabulary and grammar rules, then practice using these in various exercises, before being able to participate in communicative activities, eventually speaking spontaneously. Basically, in this approach, knowledge learned about the language, with practice, becomes the ability to speak the language. Recent research shows that this is not the case.

In order to learn to speak a language, two separate aspects have to be developed. Knowledge of verb forms, and some rules, is necessary in order to write a second language accurately. This is the grammar that we associate with learning a second language in school. However, this is only a small part of the process of learning to communicate in a second language. In order to speak a second language, it is necessary to develop pathways in the brain, called neuronal connections, which link together quickly all the aspects necessary to carry on a conversation. Neurolinguistic research tells us that these pathways can only be developed by using the second language for extended periods of time in real communication. The connections develop automatically, or non-consciously, while using the language to express our thoughts. Without this internal, or mental, grammar, students cannot speak with spontaneity in the second language (M. Paradis, McGill University; N. Ellis, Michigan University). For more information on the Neurolinguistic approach, please visit






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Sylvie Levesque
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Last Updated: March 19, 2018
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