Monday 24 February 2014

Dogme in TEFL

English Language Teaching has seen a variety of methods over the years, from quirky, to normal, and even downright odd. There's been translation, the Silent Method, PPP (Present, Practice, Produce) Communicative Language Teaching, and more; TEFL is constantly evolving. What was once new and in-fashion quickly becomes passe.

Dogme is a branch of Communicate Language Teacher and has become a word that's being thrown around more and more these days. It was started by Scott Thornbury and has ten principals.
  • Interactivity
  • Engagement
  • Dialogic processes
  • Scaffolded conversations
  • Emergence
  • Affordance
  • Voice
  • Empowerment
  • Relevance
  • Critical use
Dogme focuses on having the students speak and use the language. It wants students to be able to function in the language. Secondly, dogme teachers tend to shun books and materials created by teachers and try to use materials created by the students. This can be great, but it can also easily backfire. Lastly, they believe that the language should come about naturally through the activites and with the teacher's help. Dogme also tries to use some technology in the classroom, in particular web 2.0.

Of course, not every method is perfect. Many people criticise dogme due to the fact that teachers don't use books that much or at all. While I understand that teachers know their students better than the textbook writers, I still believe textbooks have their place in the classroom. They are a good foundation that teachers can build upon and adapt to their students' needs. In addition, textbooks are useful markers when showing other teachers where their students are and what they've learned. Especially if another teacher needs to take over your class. lastly, the majority of us are teachers, not textbook writers.

If you want to find out more information about dogme, check out the links below.


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