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Educational Thought Leaders



“In her outstanding research thesis, Jen McKinney revealed how successful gesture based approaches like AIM can be in supporting language teaching.  Her research highlighted the importance of LOTE teachers being professionally aware of how gesture based approaches can reinvigorate their teaching and support engaged student learning.”

Dr Paul Molyneux, (2013)
Melbourne Graduate School of Education,
University of Melbourne, Dept of Language and Literacy Education.


“If I had to choose one thing that distinguishes AIM classrooms from the more typical core French classes it’s the level of emotional investment that the kids have in the process, and the fun that they are having,

that’s fuel that drives the learning process.”

Dr. Jim Cummins (2008)
Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)
University of Toronto, Dept of Language and Literacy.
d-booth.jpg“This exciting program, with its extensive and creative use of story and drama, provides second language teachers with opportunities to both motivate and engage students. It offers educators authentic means for not only developing the fluency levels of their students beyond what has been usually experienced in core French, but also ensures that students respond personally and creatively. Many of the language and literacy skills that students acquire in this program may transfer to other areas of the curriculum, thus making this program not only beneficial for the acceleration of their second language skills, but significant for their learning in general.”
Prof. David Booth (2008)
Professor Emeritus at the University Of Toronto,
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.


“What was my teaching life like pre-AIM? I cringe when I now look back and realise how little productive language my students had. Now my students love French and the parents too. I could never return to the old method of teaching!”
Debbie Summers, Teacher – Sydney, Australia

“I attended your workshop in Victoria in August. I purchased Histoires en Action 1 and in September I began using it with students from grades 1 to 6. The results have been amazing. We have been doing AIM for just three months now and I have heard so much wonderful feedback from the parents! Siblings in different grades are speaking French to each other at the dinner table. Children spontaneously greet me on the playground in French. Two of my grade three students got together for a play date the other day. Their moms tell me that they played Barbies, and for the whole time, their Barbies spoke French. Bravo Wendy for your fabulous program!”

Roberta MacDonald, Teacher

I have taught languages for years but no method I have ever used can compare with the AIM! The ingenious use of hand gestures for every word and the careful choice of high-frequency words embedded in the context of stories transfers spontaneously into everyday use. The language becomes part of the children. They are speaking with proper syntax and grammar without any effort.”
Maryse West, Teacher


“I am so excited about AIM. I know that I enjoy teaching more now than ever before. You have helped me to reinvent myself as a teacher. It is an absolutely amazing approach to teaching French. Thank you so much!”

Darlene Bond, Core French Teacher, Gosford Park P.S., Toronto, ON


“I have been most excited by the way in which they write the creative stories after working on a play. The quality is very high. The students’ knowledge, comfort and comprehension with the language they are using surpassed all my expectations. They are proud of themselves too! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Jennifer de Boer, Core French teacher, Saanichton, BC


“I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful new approach to French instruction. I honestly can’t believe the improvement in my class in such a short time. I’ve been using les questions totales, but the kids told me that they are too easy. I am now asking much more advanced questions like qui, o’, qu’est-ce que, etc. They amaze me with their understanding and with their ability to formulate answers. This is not the same class that I had before.”
Dianne Dachyshyn, Core French teacher, Grades 8/9, Edmonton, AB


“Parents were telling me that their children are practising the gestures at the dinner table, in the bathtub, in the car on the way home!!!! The parents are amazed at how “into it” the kids are. I’m especially pleased with my Special Ed classes. They’re working at the same level as all the others!!! I’m a happy, happy teacher!”
Emma Tilbury, Teacher, Crestwood School, Toronto, ON


“From an administrator’s standpoint, I embrace the AIM program. Research tells us that students need to be actively involved in engaging material in order to make sense of and retain new material and AIM does just that!”
Linden Gray, Principal


“The gesture method is so effective, it’s almost unbelievable. I used to stagger in with a big bin of props after hours of prep, and stand on my head trying to keep the kids focused. This is quick and easy, and I’m very happy with the results thus far.”
Debbie Soroczan, , Teacher, Ottawa

“I was almost moved to tears (of joy!) when I watched the demonstration class! The students were focused, interested and were participating actively in the lesson – I heard no English! It was encouraging and energizing to see this in core French. The workshop was a thoroughly positive experience.”
Laura Little, Teacher, The Country Day School

“J’ai un grand enthousiasme pour ce projet, cette ann’e. ‘a me semble d’’tre un programme effectif et j’ai h’te de voir les r’sultants. Merci beaucoup!”
Louise Cholette-Rees, Teacher, Havergal College

“The workshop was good in helping me figure out how to improve now that I’ve done AIM for one year. This programme is absolutely revolutionary (you made me a “born again” French teacher, Wendy!) Thank you for another inspirational workshop!”
Shelley Zorzit, Teacher, Claude Watson School for the Arts




“Within two short years, my son can speak, write and understand French. He has even composed short plays in French! In fact, he had recently visited Montreal for a school hockey tournament and billeted for three days with a family there. He was able to speak to the family and others in French. This program is truly incredible. Looking back at my experience in French, I can say that it took me much longer to get to where he is now. I see now that learning French does not have to be such a struggle. It can actually be enjoyable – as I am witnessing every day with my son.”
Angie Ng, Parent, Toronto, ON



“I am more than pleased and most surprised at the success and rapid learning that this program has provided to Robert’s grasp of French.”
Sharon Fielding Parent, Toronto, ON



“To my utter amazement, my son is flourishing in French in Ms. Duckworth’s class where Wendy Maxwell’s programme is taught. He loves French class and comes home talking to me in French. We are so pleased with his progress.”
Darla A. Wilson, Parent, Toronto, ON



“My daughter is in grade 3. Her French teacher is Madame Jill White. This year, Mme. White introduced the AIM program to the grade 3 and grade 6 classes. I had the privilege of volunteering in this class last week. I was amazed how the Victoria’s class was able to sign and say so many words and phrases! She has been practising them at home but when you have 24 students all signing and saying the words together, it was amazing.”



“They are now practising “Les Trois Petits Cochons” and we bought the DVD. Victoria practises it two or three times a night. She does the play and the song. What is really amazing is that her six year old brother (who’s in grade one at the same school but his teacher does not teach this program!), has been doing the play and the dancing and singing along with her! He even sings the song in the car and does all the gestures!”