Accelerative Integrated Method

Posted on | July 25, 2013 | 6 Comments

“It is a wonderful system. Kids love it! Not a single word of English from day one. You cannot imagine how fast they can progress. Kids are already reading materials that are 2 levels above them. There is a grade 6 student who did her research work, completely in French. All parents are happy. The schools are already replacing their core French programs with AIM”.

I was interviewing this candidate to help out in our summer camp. I already heard about AIM and the good reviews that come with it. But whatever this AIM teacher was selling me, my gut-feeling is that – it is too good to be true. She was basically claiming that AIM is the ultimate solution to the problem.

Accelerative Integrated Method (AIM) is a foreign language teaching methodology that uses gestures to help students learn. When you watch an AIM teacher teaching her class, you will see everybody doing a lot sign language as they speak. Basically, there is a sign for every word. Judging from the reviews, this method seems promising.

But I do have problems with some claims this teacher made. She claimed that AIM students perform the same if not better than French Immersion students. I thought to myself, no way! I don’t have any proof to refute her. But common sense tells us that if you spend only a few hours a week in the language, there is no way that you can become better than those who spend hours every day in the language . If this turns out to be true, I can only say there must be something wrong with the implementation of French Immersion. One thing I agree with her is that French Immersion students sacrifice time from learning English, whereas AIM students don’t.

Another claim she made is that it is very effective to build up their French using their existing English knowledge, since both languages have similar linguistic structures and vocabulary. I am not sure if this is something that comes with AIM. My impression is that AIM, like TPR, attempts to bypass our native language by using gestures and signs, so that we understand the message without translating it in our brains. Anything that triggers our native language is going to slow down the process.

I did not hire this teacher at the end, not because of her claims. She was simply over-qualified. I was just looking for an assistant helper for our camp. Overall it was a helpful session to me to learn about AIM from someone working in the field.


6 Responses to “Accelerative Integrated Method”

  1. Keith
    July 26th, 2013 @ 8:13 am

    I haven’t heard of this before. I will check it out. Thanks!

  2. Keith
    July 27th, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    I looked at the AIM page. It appears the kids do a lot of memorizing of stories since they are practicing in unison. But it does look like they are having great success with the program.

  3. edwin
    July 28th, 2013 @ 3:08 am

    Hi Keith. This program has been around for some years. I am surprised that I can virtual find no negative comment about the program on the web. It is very unusual.

  4. Chris
    August 9th, 2013 @ 2:51 am

    Thanks a lot for sharing this! We all have different languages but having an integrated method on how to learn it is a must. From what I’ve seen, the program has an overwhelming positive response.

  5. webpage
    May 19th, 2014 @ 2:59 pm


    Accelerative Integrated Method : Tower of Confusion

  6. Carolyn
    May 23rd, 2014 @ 12:10 am

    I’ve been a French teacher for 24 years, and once I learned AIM I knew I would never return to teaching French any other way. It truly is amazing and I never had results with any of my Core French students like I do when I teach using AIM.

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