Friday, 29 April 2011

Dogme still has its bone! The saga continues...

As titled in my previous post, dogme is indeed like a dog with a bone. The recent IATEFL 2011 Conference in Brighton seems to have started it off on a roller coaster ride once again. The weekly Twitter #ELTchat featured it for the second time, prompting a lively hour-long session, and with that in mind, Scott Thornbury decided to respond to five of the most common issues surrounding dogme.
  1. Dogme is nothing new - we've always been doing it. Scott's answer: It wasn't so much that dogme was an idea whose time had come, but more that it was an idea which needed labelling.
  2. It's OK for some, but it won't work in our context. Scott's answer: No single methodology is universally applicable, but comments from teachers applying dogme in a wide variety of situations suggest that it might be more elastic than some critics would have us believe.
  3. Dogme is prescriptive; it imposes its rule of conversation-driven, materials-light, and emergent language top-down. Scott's answer: It isn't so much prescriptive as descriptive.
  4. Dogme is evil! It's irresponsible and unprofessional. Scott's answer: We aren't suggesting that teachers go into the classroom without having a clue of what they are going to do and just hoping that something will just come up; we're actually suggesting that they go in with a very clear idea of how and where they want things to go, in relation to that particular class and the needs of that particular class.
  5. To end the video, Scott addresses some positive comments such as 'It's changed the way I feel about teaching', 'One of the reasons why I like dogme is because it fights conservatism and laziness', and 'we overestimate the value of branded materials and underestimate the potential of ordinary people'. Scott's answer: What has been extraordinarily encouraging has been the responses of teachers saying things like how dogme has changed their way of teaching, how it's made them feel good about teaching, how it's given them professional self-esteem, and how it's given them a boost and often at a time when they needed it most.
There is life left in DOGME!

Related posts:

To be like a dogme with a bone

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