Re: [dogme] Re: the last class
- Ha-ha, yes - don't they all like telling stories about themselves! Well, some cultures do, others are not so keen. Here in the Emirates, my students would much rather speak than write, and one of my favourite lessons is one I adapted from a Rinvolucri book (at least I think so; but I've been doing it for so many years now I don't know where I got the original idea from!).
Basically, I tell them a story about when I was a naughty boy and went 'fishing' in my neighbour's pond at midnight. Oh yes, and before I start, I tell them to pay close attention, as I want them to ask me questions about the tale to discover if it 's True or False.
When the story's done, I ask them for their questions. In my experience they don't need much prompting, even to ask 'difficult' questions, sort of unrelated to the (f)actual story but to actually verify if it was at possible in the first place - "How big/.deep was the pond?" ... "Wasn't there a loud splash if you really did fall in?" and such.
Then I get them to tell their naughty story, and the other class members have to ask the questions. They can prepare in pairs, alone, or just go straight into it - you will know what your students are capable of. And then they can write up the story, and do some grammar work before / after.
Much better than struggling through a few pages of Headache Intermediate!
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- Thanks to everyone who sent me accounts of their "last class", both
on and off-list.
Just to fill you in a bit: I'm giving a plenary talk at a conference
hosted by the University of Canterbury, whose general theme is
approaches and methods, the state of the art etc. My talk is
titled "Dogme: Nothing if not critical". The abstract for the talk
"Dogme" teachers claim to be "looking for ways of exploiting the
learning opportunities offered by the raw material of the classroom,
that is the language that emerges from the needs, interests,
concerns and desires of the people in the room." But is it a
method? Is it a technique? Is it hokum? Seven years on, I will
briefly review the dogme story, and attempt to situate its
(emergent) principles within the orbit of critical pedagogy.
I figured it would be nice to have some up-to-the-minute accoutns of
how so-called dogme teachers teach, and, perhaps more interesting
still, how they TALK about teaching.
This latter focus also relates to a plenary I'm giving in Brazil in
July, the details of which are:
Teaching: Culture and counterculture
Teachers, like other professionals, form "communities of practice".
In the way that they talk about their teaching, they co-construct
discourse communities with shared values and practices: these values
and practices constitute the local teaching "culture". I conducted
some small-scale research into the way that one teaching community
talks about its practice, and I will share the results with you,
including my own tentative inferences about the shared beliefs that
underpin their particular teaching culture. I will then contrast
these discourses and theories with those of another teaching
culture, the teachers who comprise the Dogme ELT on-line community.
(I can already hear Dennis wincing at some of the "newspeak" here!)
Finally I'm down to teach a two week MA course on "Critical
Pedagogy" in NZ, also in July - and one session of this will be
devoted to Dogme, for which, again, accounts of current practice
will be useful. I'll provide more details when this gets written up.
SO - thanks to everyone who contributed - it's not too late to keep
sending data. In case you missed the brief, it was:
1. Provide an account of the last lesson you taught (not important
what, who to, or how long the account is - can be twenty words or
two hundred - just has to be your last lesson prior to reading this)
2. Tell me how long you have been teaching, and where you are
Incidentally, and while i'm on this self-promotional riff, for those
of you out there who might be considering an MA in TESOL, as of July
1st I'll be on the academic staff of the New School University in
New York, writing for, and teaching on, an on-line MA that starts in
September. The website is: http://www.newschool.edu/matesol/
Well, that's enough of me for a bit!