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Dogme language teaching


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dogme language teaching is considered to be both a methodology and a movement.[1]


Dogme is a communicative approach to language teaching and encourages teaching
without published textbooks and instead focusing on conversational communication
among the learners and the teacher. It has its roots in an article by the language education
author, Scott Thornbury.[2] Although Dogme language teaching gained its name from an
analogy with the Dogme 95 film movement (initiated by Lars von Trier), the connection is
not considered close.[3]

Contents
1 Key Principles of Dogme
2 Main Precepts of Dogme
2.1 Conversation driven teaching
2.2 Materials light approach
2.3 Emergent language
3 Pedagogical Foundations of Dogme
4 Dogme as a Critical Pedagogy
5 Dogme, Technology and Web 2.0
6 Criticism of Dogme
7 References

Key Principles of Dogme


Dogme has ten key principles.[4]

1. Interactivity: the most direct route to learning is to be found in the interactivity


between teachers and students and amongst the students themselves.
2. Engagement: students are most engaged by content they have created themselves
3. Dialogic processes: learning is social and dialogic, where knowledge is

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Dogme language teaching - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dogme_language_teaching&pri...

co-constructed
4. Scaffolded conversations: learning takes place through conversations, where the
learner and teacher co-construct the knowledge and skills
5. Emergence: language and grammar emerge from the learning process. This is seen
as distinct from the ‘acquisition’ of language.
6. Affordances: the teacher’s role is to optimize language learning affordances
through directing attention to emergent language.
7. Voice: the learner’s voice is given recognition along with the learner’s beliefs and
knowledge.
8. Empowerment: students and teachers are empowered by freeing the classroom of
published materials and textbooks.
9. Relevance: materials (eg texts, audios and videos) should have relevance for the
learners
10. Critical use: teachers and students should use published materials and textbooks in
a critical way that recognizes their cultural and ideological biases.

Main Precepts of Dogme


There are three precepts that emerge from the ten key principles.

Conversation driven teaching

Conversation is seen as central to language learning within the Dogme framework,


because it is the “fundamental and universal form of language” and so is considered to be
“language at work”. Since real life conversation is more interactional than it is
transactional, Dogme places more value on communication that promotes social
interaction. Dogme also places more emphasis on a discourse-level (rather than sentence-
level) approach to language, as it is considered to better prepare learners for real life
communication, where the entire conversation is more relevant than the analysis of
specific utterances. Dogme considers that the learning of a skill is co-constructed within
the interaction between the learner and the teacher. In this sense, teaching is a
conversation between the two parties. As such, Dogme is seen to reflect Tharp’s view
that “to most truly teach, one must converse; to truly converse is to teach”.[5]

Materials light approach

The Dogme approach considers that student produced material is preferable to published
materials and textbooks, to the extent of inviting teachers to take a ‘vow of chastity’ and
not use textbooks.[6] Dogme teaching has therefore been criticized as not offering

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Dogme language teaching - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dogme_language_teaching&pri...

teachers the opportunity to use a complete range of materials and resources.[7] However
there is a debate to the extent that Dogme is actually anti-textbook or anti-technology.
Meddings and Thornbury focus the critique of textbooks on their tendency to focus on
grammar more than on communicative competency and also on the cultural biases often
found in textbooks, especially those aimed at global markets.[8] Indeed, Dogme can be
seen as a pedagogy that is able to address the lack of availability or affordability of
materials in many parts of the world.[9] Proponents of a Dogme approach argue that they
are not so much anti-materials, as pro-learner, and thus align themselves with other forms
of learner-centered instruction and critical pedagogy.[10]

Emergent language

Dogme considers language learning to be a process where language emerges rather than
one where it is acquired. Dogme shares this belief with other approaches to language
education, such as task-based learning. Language is considered to emerge in two ways.
Firstly classroom activities lead to collaborative communication amongst the students.
Secondly, learners produce language that they were not necessarily taught. As such, the
teacher's role, in part, is to facilitate the emergence of language. However, Dogme does
not see the teacher's role as merely to create the right conditions for language to emerge.
The teacher must also encourage learners to engage with this new language to ensure
learning takes place. The teacher can do this in a variety of ways, including rewarding,
repeating and reviewing it.[11] As language emerges rather than is acquired, there is no
need to follow a syllabus that is externally set. Indeed, the content of the syllabus is
covered (or ‘uncovered’) throughout the learning process.[12]

Pedagogical Foundations of Dogme


Dogme has its roots in Communicative language teaching (in fact Dogme sees itself as an
attempt to restore the communicative aspect to communicative approaches).[13] Dogme
has been noted for its compatibility with reflective teaching and for its intention to
“humanize the classroom through a radical pedagogy of dialogue”.[14] It also shares many
qualities with task-based language learning[15] and only differs with task-based learning in
terms or methodology rather than philosophy.[16] Research evidence for Dogme is limited
but Thornbury argues that the similarities with task-based learning suggest that Dogme
likely leads to similar results. An example is the findings that learners tend to interact,
produce language and collaboratively co-construct their learning when engaged in
communicative tasks.[17]

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Dogme language teaching - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dogme_language_teaching&pri...

Dogme as a Critical Pedagogy


Although Thornbury notes that Dogme is not inherently seeking social change and
therefore does not fulfill generally held criteria for a critical pedagogy, Dogme can be
seen as critical in terms of its anti-establishment approach to language teaching.[18]

Dogme, Technology and Web 2.0


Although Dogme teaching has been seen to be anti-technology,[19] Thornbury maintains
that he does not see Dogme as being opposed to technology as such,[20] rather that the
approach is critical of using technology that does not enable teaching that is both learner
centered and is based upon authentic communication. Indeed, more recent attempts to
map Dogme principles on to language learning with web 2.0 tools (under the term
“Dogme 2.0”) are considered evidence of Dogme being in transition[21] and therefore of
being compatible with new technology. However, although there is not a clear consensus
among Dogme teachers on this issue (see discussions on the ELT Dogme Yahoo Group
(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dogme/) ), there is a dominant view that the physical
classroom will be preferable to attempts to substitute physical presence with
communication via digital technology.[22]

Criticism of Dogme
Dogme has come under criticism for its perceived rejection of both published textbooks
and modern technology in language lessons. Furthermore the initial call for a ‘vow of
chastity’ is seen as unnecessarily purist and that a weaker adoption of Dogme principles
would allow teachers the freedom to choose resources according to the needs of a
particular lesson.[23] Maley also presents Dogme as an approach that “[increases] the
constraints on teachers”.[24] Christensen notes that adoption of Dogme practices may
face greater cultural challenges in countries outside of Europe, such as Japan.[25]
Questions have also been raised about the appropriateness of Dogme in low resource
contexts and where students are preparing for examinations that have specific syllabi. [26]

References
1. ^ Luke, Meddings (2004-03-26). "Throw away your textbooks". The Guardian.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2004/mar/26/tefl.lukemeddings. Retrieved on

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Dogme language teaching - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dogme_language_teaching&pri...

2009-06-22.
2. ^ Thornbury, Scott (2000). "A Dogma for EFL". IATEFL Issues, 153, 2..
http://www.thornburyscott.com/assets/dogma.pdf. Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
3. ^ Thornbury, Scott (2009-06-10). "Dogme: nothing if not critical". Teaching
English. http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/articles/dogme-nothing-if-not-
critical. Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
4. ^ Thornbury, Scott (2005). "Dogme: Dancing in the dark?". Folio. 9/2, 3-5.
http://www.thornburyscott.com/assets/dancing%20in%20dark.pdf. Retrieved on
2009-06-23.
5. ^ Meddings, Luke; Thornbury, Scott (2009). Teaching Unplugged: Dogme in
English Language Teaching. Peaslake UK: Delta. pp. 8-10. ISBN 9781905085194.
6. ^ Thornbury, Scott (2005). "Dogme: Dancing in the dark?". Folio. 9/2, 3-5.
http://www.thornburyscott.com/assets/dancing%20in%20dark.pdf. Retrieved on
2009-06-23.
7. ^ Gill, S (2000). "Against dogma: a plea for moderation". IATEFL Issues, 154.
http://blogs.ihes.com/glt/?p=10. Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
8. ^ Meddings, Luke; Thornbury, Scott (2009). Teaching Unplugged: Dogme in
English Language Teaching. Peaslake UK: Delta. pp. 13. ISBN 9781905085194.
9. ^ Templer, B (2004). "Reflective Teaching in the Low-Resource Classroom".
Humanising Language Teaching, 6, 3. http://www.hltmag.co.uk/sept04
/mart3.htm#10. Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
10. ^ Thornbury, Scott (2009-06-10). "Dogme: nothing if not critical". Teaching
English. http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/articles/dogme-nothing-if-not-
critical. Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
11. ^ Meddings, Luke; Thornbury, Scott (2009). Teaching Unplugged: Dogme in
English Language Teaching. Peaslake UK: Delta. pp. 18-20. ISBN
9781905085194.
12. ^ Meddings, Luke; Thornbury, Scott (2002). "Dogme and the Coursebook".
Modern English Teacher, 11/1, 36-40. http://www.thornburyscott.com
/tu/MET3coursebook.htm. Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
13. ^ Thornbury, Scott (2009). "Scott Thornbury". Delta Publishing Blog.
http://www.deltapublishing.co.uk/author/scott-thornbury. Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
14. ^ Templer, B (2004). "Reflective Teaching in the Low-Resource Classroom".
Humanising Language Teaching, 6, 3. http://www.hltmag.co.uk/sept04
/mart3.htm#10. Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
15. ^ Thornbury, Scott (2009-05-11). "Where’s your evidence?". Delta Publishing
Blog. http://www.deltapublishing.co.uk/development/wheres-your-evidence.
Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
16. ^ Meddings, Luke; Thornbury, Scott (2009). Teaching Unplugged: Dogme in
English Language Teaching. Peaslake UK: Delta. pp. 17. ISBN 9781905085194.
17. ^ Thornbury, Scott (2009-05-11). "Where’s your evidence?". Delta Publishing

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Dogme language teaching - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dogme_language_teaching&pri...

Blog. http://www.deltapublishing.co.uk/development/wheres-your-evidence.
Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
18. ^ Thornbury, Scott (2009-06-10). "Dogme: nothing if not critical". Teaching
English. http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/articles/dogme-nothing-if-not-
critical. Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
19. ^ Gill, S (2000). "Against dogma: a plea for moderation". IATEFL Issues, 154.
http://blogs.ihes.com/glt/?p=10. Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
20. ^ Meddings, Luke; Thornbury, Scott (2009). Teaching Unplugged: Dogme in
English Language Teaching. Peaslake UK: Delta. pp. 12. ISBN 9781905085194.
21. ^ Thornbury, Scott (2009-05-01). "Dogme in Transition?". Delta Publishing Blog.
http://www.deltapublishing.co.uk/development/dogme-in-transition. Retrieved on
2009-06-23.
22. ^ Thornbury, Scott (2009-06-10). "Dogme: nothing if not critical". Teaching
English. http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/articles/dogme-nothing-if-not-
critical. Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
23. ^ Gill, S (2000). "Against dogma: a plea for moderation". IATEFL Issues, 154.
http://blogs.ihes.com/glt/?p=10. Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
24. ^ Maley, A (2003). "Creative Approaches to Writing Materials". in Tomlinson, B.
Developing Materials for Language Teaching. Continuum. pp. 190. ISBN
9780826459176.
25. ^ Christensen, T (2005). "Dogme in language teaching in Japan". The Language
Teacher, 29(1), 15-18. http://www.jalt-publications.org/archive/tlt/2005
/01_2005TLT.pdf. Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
26. ^ "Online Forum Report: Dogme". ELT Journal, 59/4: 333-335. 2005.
http://eltj.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/pdf_extract/59/4/333. Retrieved on 2009-06-23.
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