STLHE 2015 has ended
Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
Back To Schedule
Friday, June 19 • 8:30am - 9:15am
CON10.08 - Gesture-based teaching in the undergraduate L2 classroom

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

“Tuning into practice” for second language learners means functioning in the second language from the earliest possible stages of learning. This challenge is addressed in the beginning classroom by the AIM (Accelerative Integrated Method), an innovative second language teaching method which employs codified gestures to support L2-only interaction in the beginner classroom. In this interactive presentation, participants with an interest in undergraduate and adult L2 can experience a theoretical and practical introduction to the AIM, originally designed by B.C. Educator, Wendy Maxwell, for the teaching of French, Spanish, Mandarin and ESL in the K-12 system. The presenter will explore how and why one might want to adapt a K-12 approach to undergraduate and adult L2 learners and report on the presenter’s experience pioneering the AIM at the post-secondary level. Participants will experience the method as authentic beginners using a fictitious language. They will learn a limited inventory of codified gestures to use with other participants in a teaching role-play. They will be given a brief introduction to AIM theory and resources for illustrative and discussion purposes. The presentation will be supported by available research, which so far has focussed on K-12 (Mady, Arnott, Lapkin, 2009; Bourdages & Vignola, 2009, etc.). Participants will also hear preliminary results of groundbreaking research being conducted by the presenter on the use of the AIM in the presenter’s undergraduate classrooms. There will be an opportunity to reflect upon and discuss how the AIM might be adapted for use in participants’ own classrooms and disciplines. 


Arnott, S. (2011). Exploring the dynamic relationship between the accelerative integrated method (AIM) and the core french teachers who use it: Why agency and experience matter. The Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 14(2), 156-176.

Bourdages, J. S., & Vignola, M. (2008). Évaluation des habiletés de communication orale chez des élèves de l'élémentaire utilisant AIM. The Canadian Modern Language Review / La Revue Canadienne Des Langues Vivantes, 65(5), 731-755. 

Goldin-Meadow, S. (2003). Hearing gesture: How our hands help us think. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press. 

Mady, C., Arnott, S., & Lapkin, S. (2009). Assessing AIM: A study of grade 8 students in an Ontario school board. The Canadian Modern Language Review / La Revue Canadienne Des Langues Vivantes, 65(5), 703-729.

Friday June 19, 2015 8:30am - 9:15am PDT
Director Room

Attendees (0)