ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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ELT Dogme

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I realize that I’m late to the party on this one, but I just became aware of the dogme approach to English language teaching. It’s a stripped down, learner-centered approach that seems to mirror my own classes in a lot of ways. A few highlights:

The content most likely to engage learners and to trigger learning processes is that which is already there, supplied by the “people in the room.”

Learning is a social and dialogic process, where knowledge is co-constructed rather than “transmitted” or “imported” from teacher/coursebook to learner.

Rather than being acquired, language (including grammar) emerges: it is an organic process that occurs given the right conditions.

Providing space for the learner’s voice means accepting that the learner’s beliefs, knowledge, experiences, concerns and desires are valid content in the language classroom.

Texts, when used, should have relevance for the learner, in both their learning and using contexts.

Teachers and learners need to unpack the ideological baggage associated with EFL materials – to become critical users of such texts.

Those quotes all come from this article in Humanising Language Teaching. If you’re interested, there’s a Yahoo group dedicated to ELT Dogme that’s worth checking out.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bex // Nov 9, 2007 at 1:09 am

    I read about this a few years ago and was delighted that it seemed to mirror my classes too. While a lot of me believes this to be the most natural way for ss to learn in a teacher-learner scenario, I can’t deny there’s also a part which feels like it’s a bit of a lazy cop-out, and I’m going to get rumbled! In these classes (especially 1-2-1), loads of language emerges, but how do you recycle it enough so that more than just the odd thing sticks? THanks for the yahoo link – I’ll check that out.

  • 2 Dave // Nov 9, 2007 at 6:38 am

    I totally agree. I certainly don’t walk into my classes without doing any preparation. I do, however, try to have as much of the content that we use in class come from the students.

    As far as recycling language, one thing I do is try to cover the same content in a variety of ways. For example, I might have students do a reading, then a discussion, then listen to something, discuss again, and possibly do a roleplay. I give an example of this in Podcast #16.

    And, so far, I’ve been kind of disappointed by the Yahoo email group…

    Thanks for the comment!

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