Dogme in transition?
Friday 1 May 2009
Welcome to Teaching Unplugged on the Delta Development Blog.I’m Scott Thornbury, co-author, with Luke Meddings, of Teaching Unplugged: Dogme in English Teaching. Our book attempts to articulate the theory and practice of the “Dogme ELT” movement, now in its tenth year. (To get a flavour of what Dogme is all about, visit the discussion list. Over the next four weeks, I will be using this blog to review the development of Dogme, and to discuss its present significance, as well as responding to comments and questions that arise. Later in the year, Luke will take over and will continue the dialogue.
First some caveats! Because Dogme has been a collaborative, eclectic and evolving experience, the book represents only a facet of its diversity, and does not pretend to be THE definitive dogme book. In fact, it’s unlikely that such a book will ever materialise. For a start, dogme is not a method, in the sense of being a codified set of practices that purport to be maximally effective in a wide range of contexts. Dogme is more an attitude, or a set of beliefs and values, whose realisation in practice will vary from person to person and from context to context. (In our book, we’ve tried to show how dogme might apply to specific teaching situations, such as teaching one-to-one, exam classes, young learners, and so on. But these are not prescriptions, simply suggestions).
What’s more, dogme – if it is to have any future relevance – will continue to evolve and transform itself. A recent poster on the list asked:
“Is dogme constantly in transition or are we taking what was once a set of basic principles and altering them to fit a new paradigm?”
My answer might be: a bit of both. That is, there is a set of basic principles, but these are being adapted (rather than altered) to fit new contexts and circumstances. A good instance of this is the emergence of the concept of Dogme 2.0, i.e. the fusion of Dogme principles with the kind of technologies that simply weren’t around ten years ago. On this website for a virtual learning environment Howard Vickers reviews some basic Dogme principles, such as
Learning happens most directly through interactivity …
Learning takes place through communication and conversation, through which language emerges…
Content should engage learners to enable learning
and concludes: “…perhaps we are looking here at an opportunity for the Dogme ELT approach to evolve into a “Dogme 2.0”, where the “2.0” tag represents the ability for students to engage, interact and create online.”
I particularly welcome this attempt to map Dogme principles on to online learning, not least because it gives the lie to the (widely held) view that Dogme teachers are unreconstructed Luddites, resistant to innovation and technology. In fact, a very long time ago (in Dogme history) I posted this quote from a paper by Mark Warschauer:
“For electronic learning activities to be most purposeful and effective, it would seem that they should (a) be learner-centred, with students having a fair amount of control over their planning and implementation, (b) be based on authentic communication in ways rhetorically appropriate for the medium, (c) be tied to making some real difference in the world or in the students’ place in it, and (d) provide students an opportunity to explore and express their evolving identity”.
(Warschauer, M. 2000. On-line learning in second language classrooms: An ethnographic study. In Warschauer, M. and Kern, R. (eds) Network-based Language Teaching: Concepts and Practice, CUP, p. 57)
It seems to me that these are all Dogme principles, but they are not always principles that proponents of certain technologies seem to subscribe to. This is why I reject the claims made by proponents of interactive whiteboards (IWBs) for example, the typical use of which seems to fail on all four counts.
So, yes, Dogme is in transition, and always has been – which is, I trust, one of its strengths.
Delta Development Blog
This blog will be updated at least once a week, so add it to your bookmarks. You can also subscribe to the feed to be notified when it's updated.
Meet the Bloggers
- Bob Dignen & Steve Flinders (February to April 2013)
- Hania Kryszewska & Paul Davis (April to June 2012)
- Louis Rogers (January to March 2012)
- Ken Paterson (December 2011 to February 2012)
- Richard Brown & Lewis Richards (September to November 2011)
- Liz Walter & Kate Woodford (September to October 2011)
- Kyle Mawer & Graham Stanley (April to August 2011)
- Nik Peachey (from November 2010)
- Nicky Hockly (September & October 2010)
- Julie Pratten (July & August 2010)
- Gill Johnson (April 2010)
- Chaz Pugliese (March 2010)
- Luke Meddings (August 2009)
- Lindsay Clandfield (July 2009)
- Duncan Foord (June 2009)
- Scott Thornbury (May 2009)
DIGITAL PLAY - 2012 ELTONS WINNER IN INNOVATION IN TEACHER RESOURCES! Digital Play is a pioneering book on the use of computer games in language teaching. Authors Kyle and Graham are experts in teaching with technology and training teachers in innovative classroom practice.
Culture in our Classrooms
Part of the Delta Teacher Development Series. Culture in our Classrooms acknowledges the role of culture in the English Language Teaching classroom and provides lesson content which is relevant, useful and engaging for students.
The Business English Teacher
From the multi-award-winning DELTA TEACHER DEVELOPMENT SERIES. The Business English Teacher is a book not only for teachers who are thinking of making a career move into the field of business English teaching but also for those who would like to increase their skills and develop their potential.
Part of the Delta Teacher Development Series. Being Creative takes you on a journey that reveals how all teachers have the potential to become creative. Whether you are experienced or new to the classroom, Being Creative allows your teaching to take flight.
The Book of Pronunciation
Part of the multi-award-winning Delta Teacher Development Series. The Book of Pronunciation is a definitive account of the key role pronunciation plays in teaching and learning, providing a highly authoritative but hugely accessible overview of the essential elements of English pronunciation as well as a wide range of classroom practice.
Teaching Online is essential reading for any teacher interested in online teaching and course delivery. It deals comprehensively with both the tools and the techniques necessary for online language instruction.
The Developing Teacher
The Developing Teacher has been awarded the 2009 Duke of Edinburgh/ESU Award for Best Entry for Teachers. The Developing Teacher suggests that teachers themselves are the most powerful agents of change and development in their own professional career.
The Company Words Keep
Part of the multi-award-winning Delta Teacher Development Series. The Company Words Keep is a practical and thought-provoking guide for language teachers, showing how the latest insights into “language chunks” can lead to learners acquiring natural and fluent English.
Teaching Unplugged was awarded the British Council 2010 ELTons UK Award for Innovation. Teaching Unplugged is the first book to deal comprehensively with the approach in English Language Teaching known as Dogme ELT.
11 Feb 16
8 Jan 16
2 Jul 15
16 Jun 15
2 Jun 15
29 Apr 15
10 Apr 15
8 Apr 15
1 Apr 15
13 Mar 15
13 Feb 15
30 Jan 15
16 Jan 15
11 Dec 14
27 Nov 14