My concern about all these role plays is that they seek to shock
teachers into a sense that learning a foreign language is unlike
anything they or their students have ever done - as if it is a sort of
force-field of embarrassment and error peculiar to itself. I would think
dogme would want to position language teaching as something less unique
and return it to the sphere of ordinary human interaction. Which,
parlour games and the privacy of the bedroom notwithstanding, tends not
to involve role play.
] On Behalf Of
Sent: 29 July 2005 23:30
Subject: [dogme] pretending to be a learner and role plays
Dr E wrote: "Were you ever asked to *pretend* to be X learner? If yes,
did you find it?"
Yes of course, but I think that a bunch of people pretending to be
is not the real thing. When you pretend, you mimic the manner that
students speak in, and then laugh when somebody intentionally generates
hideous common mistake. In my opinion this is totally artificial and
unnatural, but it has a real entertainment value. However, having said
I experienced an exercise in my recent CELTA course that was very
had to explain invented words to each other in order to practice
meaning, so were forced to put ourselves in the position of a real
who would not know the word being defined by the teacher. Obviously
are ways that pretending to be students can be arranged, so that it can
simulate a natural experience and usually CELTA trainers are very good
I always feel the limitation of "pretending" when I give students role
cards, because they are expected to perform something that they don't
passionately believe in. We run the risk of turning them into mimicking
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