Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

A dogme lesson on the DELTA

Expand Messages
  • diamond_fingerz
    Dear all, I just completed the DELTA myself, at IH Barcelona. I ve no idea if I passed yet, I still have to take the exam in December. But I d like, firstly,
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 2, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear all,

      I just completed the DELTA myself, at IH Barcelona. I've no idea if I
      passed yet, I still have to take the exam in December. But I'd like,
      firstly, to say a big thank you to the group because without all the
      discussions I've been lucky enough to be a part of, I'd probably never
      have made it... and secondly I'd like to describe one of the classes I
      taught.
      This class came quite late in the course – my final unassessed lesson,
      right before the externally assessed one. Everyone was low on time and
      patience, and I decided to fall back on dogme so that I didn't have to
      spend time making a detailed plan! But I also had in mind that the
      course had taught me a great deal about some of the things that get
      mentioned on this site – mediation, scaffolding, real people talking
      about real things etc. I wanted to see if I could implement some of my
      new found principles into a class more akin to how I teach in "real"
      life.
      As I said, I didn't make a plan, but I did see the previous teacher's
      class, and made some notes about directions my class might possibly
      take with reference to that. So I sat down and started to grin. The
      students looked at me expectantly. My grin grew. Finally, they offered
      some hello's and how are you's. We began to chat about what they'd
      done during the break, and I asked them if they preferred to study
      before or after the break. They seemed confused so I told them my
      afternoon classes were always more of a struggle than the morning
      ones. From here we started to discuss our favourite times of day. I
      taught them "morning person" and "evening person". In pairs, I got
      them to discuss which one they are.
      While they did this, I had a quick think about where I might try to
      take the lesson. I always seem to get to a point in dogme lessons were
      I sort of think "OK, this is it: I either have to find an aim, a
      purpose; or else the lesson falls on it's arse and we'll have to have
      a look at the textbook or something". Generally speaking, I pull
      something out of the hat, but not really anything that would
      constitute a communicative aim. More like asking them to write down
      something about the conversation we'd had, etc. I didn't want to let
      that happen now, especially with my tutor watching.
      I brought the students out of their chat, we did some quick feedback,
      and the students guessed that I was a morning person. Sometimes I am,
      I said; and sometimes I'm not. Then I asked them which was more
      healthy – to be a morning or an evening person. Morning, they said. I
      taught them the phrase "Early to bed, early to rise, keeps you
      healthy, wealthy, and wise".
      By now we'd been chatting for about 15 or 20 minutes. "OK", I said.
      "You all agree that getting up and going to bed early are both
      healthy. What other things do you think make a healthy lifestyle?" We
      had our aim. In pairs, the students made a quick list and we boarded
      it. Then, in groups of three, the students chose their top five, in
      order. So now they were forced to do a bit of negotiating, a bit of
      disagreeing, a bit of compromising. All good for pushing them,
      linguistically. All this while I was monitoring, correcting mistakes,
      and feeding in little bits of helpful language - about health, about
      agreeing and disagreeing, etc.
      They came up with more or less the same answers – enough sleep,
      healthy food, exercise, no drinking and smoking etc – although there
      was some enjoyable disagreement on the topic of love. One group
      pointed out that love was essential for good health. No, said another
      group: making love is much more important than just love.
      After this little chat, I asked the students to work again in
      pairs and decide which of each pair had the healthiest lifestyle,
      using their top 5 as the criteria. Most of them turned out to be
      healthy devils, with the exception of one who said (in all
      seriousness) that she was very healthy "except for the smoking,
      drinking, late nights and lack of exercise" (to paraphrase).
      That brought the fifty minutes nicely to a close. One of the students
      told me he'd enjoyed the lesson. Another said he thought the topic was
      very good.
      I was pretty happy with the lesson too. I had managed to push it
      towards something genuinely purposeful, rather than the somewhat
      aimless normality of my dogme classes. Some of the principles I learnt
      on the course, like making sure that the lesson has communicative aims
      and outcomes, independent of any linguistic ones; making sure the
      students are being pushed, linguistically; making sure lots of
      interaction is going on, and that the students have time to rehearse
      and/or repeat tasks – and that the interaction is varied in terms of
      it's outcomes and the type of language it's likely to make use of;
      scaffolding interaction so that it's "do-able", and providing
      appropriate language to help if it's necessary... I don't think I've
      taught a dogme class that achieved most of those things before, but I
      think this class did.
      Hope you all enjoyed it, and thanks again!

      Peter
    • Tom Walton
      Nice description of the class, Peter. I wonder what an external assessor would have thought... and whether you would have failed ,-) ?! Tom diamond_fingerz
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 3, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        Nice description of the class, Peter. I wonder what an external assessor would have thought... and whether you would have "failed" ,-) ?!

        Tom

        diamond_fingerz <diamond_fingerz@...> wrote: Dear all,

        I just completed the DELTA myself, at IH Barcelona. I've no idea if I
        passed yet, I still have to take the exam in December. But I'd like,
        firstly, to say a big thank you to the group because without all the
        discussions I've been lucky enough to be a part of, I'd probably never
        have made it... and secondly I'd like to describe one of the classes I
        taught.
        This class came quite late in the course – my final unassessed lesson,
        right before the externally assessed one. Everyone was low on time and
        patience, and I decided to fall back on dogme so that I didn't have to
        spend time making a detailed plan! But I also had in mind that the
        course had taught me a great deal about some of the things that get
        mentioned on this site – mediation, scaffolding, real people talking
        about real things etc. I wanted to see if I could implement some of my
        new found principles into a class more akin to how I teach in "real"
        life.
        As I said, I didn't make a plan, but I did see the previous teacher's
        class, and made some notes about directions my class might possibly
        take with reference to that. So I sat down and started to grin. The
        students looked at me expectantly. My grin grew. Finally, they offered
        some hello's and how are you's. We began to chat about what they'd
        done during the break, and I asked them if they preferred to study
        before or after the break. They seemed confused so I told them my
        afternoon classes were always more of a struggle than the morning
        ones. From here we started to discuss our favourite times of day. I
        taught them "morning person" and "evening person". In pairs, I got
        them to discuss which one they are.
        While they did this, I had a quick think about where I might try to
        take the lesson. I always seem to get to a point in dogme lessons were
        I sort of think "OK, this is it: I either have to find an aim, a
        purpose; or else the lesson falls on it's arse and we'll have to have
        a look at the textbook or something". Generally speaking, I pull
        something out of the hat, but not really anything that would
        constitute a communicative aim. More like asking them to write down
        something about the conversation we'd had, etc. I didn't want to let
        that happen now, especially with my tutor watching.
        I brought the students out of their chat, we did some quick feedback,
        and the students guessed that I was a morning person. Sometimes I am,
        I said; and sometimes I'm not. Then I asked them which was more
        healthy – to be a morning or an evening person. Morning, they said. I
        taught them the phrase "Early to bed, early to rise, keeps you
        healthy, wealthy, and wise".
        By now we'd been chatting for about 15 or 20 minutes. "OK", I said.
        "You all agree that getting up and going to bed early are both
        healthy. What other things do you think make a healthy lifestyle?" We
        had our aim. In pairs, the students made a quick list and we boarded
        it. Then, in groups of three, the students chose their top five, in
        order. So now they were forced to do a bit of negotiating, a bit of
        disagreeing, a bit of compromising. All good for pushing them,
        linguistically. All this while I was monitoring, correcting mistakes,
        and feeding in little bits of helpful language - about health, about
        agreeing and disagreeing, etc.
        They came up with more or less the same answers – enough sleep,
        healthy food, exercise, no drinking and smoking etc – although there
        was some enjoyable disagreement on the topic of love. One group
        pointed out that love was essential for good health. No, said another
        group: making love is much more important than just love.
        After this little chat, I asked the students to work again in
        pairs and decide which of each pair had the healthiest lifestyle,
        using their top 5 as the criteria. Most of them turned out to be
        healthy devils, with the exception of one who said (in all
        seriousness) that she was very healthy "except for the smoking,
        drinking, late nights and lack of exercise" (to paraphrase).
        That brought the fifty minutes nicely to a close. One of the students
        told me he'd enjoyed the lesson. Another said he thought the topic was
        very good.
        I was pretty happy with the lesson too. I had managed to push it
        towards something genuinely purposeful, rather than the somewhat
        aimless normality of my dogme classes. Some of the principles I learnt
        on the course, like making sure that the lesson has communicative aims
        and outcomes, independent of any linguistic ones; making sure the
        students are being pushed, linguistically; making sure lots of
        interaction is going on, and that the students have time to rehearse
        and/or repeat tasks – and that the interaction is varied in terms of
        it's outcomes and the type of language it's likely to make use of;
        scaffolding interaction so that it's "do-able", and providing
        appropriate language to help if it's necessary... I don't think I've
        taught a dogme class that achieved most of those things before, but I
        think this class did.
        Hope you all enjoyed it, and thanks again!

        Peter






        ---------------------------------
        Sick sense of humor? Visit Yahoo! TV's Comedy with an Edge to see what's on, when.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • nickbilbrough
        Dear Peter, Lovely lesson description Mr Diamond Fingers (and Diamond Brain too perhaps to be thinking on your feet so well!) Sounds like the students learnt
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 3, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          Dear Peter,

          Lovely lesson description Mr Diamond Fingers (and Diamond Brain too
          perhaps to be thinking on your feet so well!)

          Sounds like the students learnt something, they interacted usefully
          and they enjoyed it. What more could you want?

          Nick
          --- In dogme@yahoogroups.com, "diamond_fingerz"
          <diamond_fingerz@...> wrote:
          >
          > Dear all,
          >
          > I just completed the DELTA myself, at IH Barcelona. I've no idea if
          I
          > passed yet, I still have to take the exam in December. But I'd like,
          > firstly, to say a big thank you to the group because without all the
          > discussions I've been lucky enough to be a part of, I'd probably
          never
          > have made it... and secondly I'd like to describe one of the
          classes I
          > taught.
          > This class came quite late in the course – my final unassessed
          lesson,
          > right before the externally assessed one. Everyone was low on time
          and
          > patience, and I decided to fall back on dogme so that I didn't have
          to
          > spend time making a detailed plan! But I also had in mind that the
          > course had taught me a great deal about some of the things that get
          > mentioned on this site – mediation, scaffolding, real people talking
          > about real things etc. I wanted to see if I could implement some of
          my
          > new found principles into a class more akin to how I teach in "real"
          > life.
          > As I said, I didn't make a plan, but I did see the previous
          teacher's
          > class, and made some notes about directions my class might possibly
          > take with reference to that. So I sat down and started to grin. The
          > students looked at me expectantly. My grin grew. Finally, they
          offered
          > some hello's and how are you's. We began to chat about what they'd
          > done during the break, and I asked them if they preferred to study
          > before or after the break. They seemed confused so I told them my
          > afternoon classes were always more of a struggle than the morning
          > ones. From here we started to discuss our favourite times of day. I
          > taught them "morning person" and "evening person". In pairs, I got
          > them to discuss which one they are.
          > While they did this, I had a quick think about where I might try to
          > take the lesson. I always seem to get to a point in dogme lessons
          were
          > I sort of think "OK, this is it: I either have to find an aim, a
          > purpose; or else the lesson falls on it's arse and we'll have to
          have
          > a look at the textbook or something". Generally speaking, I pull
          > something out of the hat, but not really anything that would
          > constitute a communicative aim. More like asking them to write down
          > something about the conversation we'd had, etc. I didn't want to let
          > that happen now, especially with my tutor watching.
          > I brought the students out of their chat, we did some quick
          feedback,
          > and the students guessed that I was a morning person. Sometimes I
          am,
          > I said; and sometimes I'm not. Then I asked them which was more
          > healthy – to be a morning or an evening person. Morning, they said.
          I
          > taught them the phrase "Early to bed, early to rise, keeps you
          > healthy, wealthy, and wise".
          > By now we'd been chatting for about 15 or 20 minutes. "OK", I said.
          > "You all agree that getting up and going to bed early are both
          > healthy. What other things do you think make a healthy lifestyle?"
          We
          > had our aim. In pairs, the students made a quick list and we boarded
          > it. Then, in groups of three, the students chose their top five, in
          > order. So now they were forced to do a bit of negotiating, a bit of
          > disagreeing, a bit of compromising. All good for pushing them,
          > linguistically. All this while I was monitoring, correcting
          mistakes,
          > and feeding in little bits of helpful language - about health, about
          > agreeing and disagreeing, etc.
          > They came up with more or less the same answers – enough sleep,
          > healthy food, exercise, no drinking and smoking etc – although there
          > was some enjoyable disagreement on the topic of love. One group
          > pointed out that love was essential for good health. No, said
          another
          > group: making love is much more important than just love.
          > After this little chat, I asked the students to work again in
          > pairs and decide which of each pair had the healthiest lifestyle,
          > using their top 5 as the criteria. Most of them turned out to be
          > healthy devils, with the exception of one who said (in all
          > seriousness) that she was very healthy "except for the smoking,
          > drinking, late nights and lack of exercise" (to paraphrase).
          > That brought the fifty minutes nicely to a close. One of the
          students
          > told me he'd enjoyed the lesson. Another said he thought the topic
          was
          > very good.
          > I was pretty happy with the lesson too. I had managed to push it
          > towards something genuinely purposeful, rather than the somewhat
          > aimless normality of my dogme classes. Some of the principles I
          learnt
          > on the course, like making sure that the lesson has communicative
          aims
          > and outcomes, independent of any linguistic ones; making sure the
          > students are being pushed, linguistically; making sure lots of
          > interaction is going on, and that the students have time to rehearse
          > and/or repeat tasks – and that the interaction is varied in terms of
          > it's outcomes and the type of language it's likely to make use of;
          > scaffolding interaction so that it's "do-able", and providing
          > appropriate language to help if it's necessary... I don't think I've
          > taught a dogme class that achieved most of those things before, but
          I
          > think this class did.
          > Hope you all enjoyed it, and thanks again!
          >
          > Peter
          >
        • lada_rus
          ... Dear Peter and all, I ve also just completed the intensive DELTA, at IH in Moscow, and did dogme as `experimental practice assignment too. Looking back to
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 4, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            --- In dogme@yahoogroups.com, "diamond_fingerz" <diamond_fingerz@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Dear all,
            >
            > I just completed the DELTA myself, at IH Barcelona. I've no idea if I
            > passed yet, I still have to take the exam in December. But I'd like,
            > firstly, to say a big thank you to the group because without all the
            > discussions I've been lucky enough to be a part of, I'd probably never
            > have made it... and secondly I'd like to describe one of the classes I
            > taught.
            > This class came quite late in the course – my final unassessed lesson,
            > right before the externally assessed one. Everyone was low on time and
            > patience, and I decided to fall back on dogme so that I didn't have to
            > spend time making a detailed plan! But I also had in mind that the
            > course had taught me a great deal about some of the things that get
            > mentioned on this site – mediation, scaffolding, real people talking
            > about real things etc. I wanted to see if I could implement some of my
            > new found principles into a class more akin to how I teach in "real"
            > life.
            > As I said, I didn't make a plan, but I did see the previous teacher's
            > class, and made some notes about directions my class might possibly
            > take with reference to that. So I sat down and started to grin. The
            > students looked at me expectantly. My grin grew. Finally, they offered
            > some hello's and how are you's. We began to chat about what they'd
            > done during the break, and I asked them if they preferred to study
            > before or after the break. They seemed confused so I told them my
            > afternoon classes were always more of a struggle than the morning
            > ones. From here we started to discuss our favourite times of day. I
            > taught them "morning person" and "evening person". In pairs, I got
            > them to discuss which one they are.
            > While they did this, I had a quick think about where I might try to
            > take the lesson. I always seem to get to a point in dogme lessons were
            > I sort of think "OK, this is it: I either have to find an aim, a
            > purpose; or else the lesson falls on it's arse and we'll have to have
            > a look at the textbook or something". Generally speaking, I pull
            > something out of the hat, but not really anything that would
            > constitute a communicative aim. More like asking them to write down
            > something about the conversation we'd had, etc. I didn't want to let
            > that happen now, especially with my tutor watching.
            > I brought the students out of their chat, we did some quick feedback,
            > and the students guessed that I was a morning person. Sometimes I am,
            > I said; and sometimes I'm not. Then I asked them which was more
            > healthy – to be a morning or an evening person. Morning, they said. I
            > taught them the phrase "Early to bed, early to rise, keeps you
            > healthy, wealthy, and wise".
            > By now we'd been chatting for about 15 or 20 minutes. "OK", I said.
            > "You all agree that getting up and going to bed early are both
            > healthy. What other things do you think make a healthy lifestyle?" We
            > had our aim. In pairs, the students made a quick list and we boarded
            > it. Then, in groups of three, the students chose their top five, in
            > order. So now they were forced to do a bit of negotiating, a bit of
            > disagreeing, a bit of compromising. All good for pushing them,
            > linguistically. All this while I was monitoring, correcting mistakes,
            > and feeding in little bits of helpful language - about health, about
            > agreeing and disagreeing, etc.
            > They came up with more or less the same answers – enough sleep,
            > healthy food, exercise, no drinking and smoking etc – although there
            > was some enjoyable disagreement on the topic of love. One group
            > pointed out that love was essential for good health. No, said another
            > group: making love is much more important than just love.
            > After this little chat, I asked the students to work again in
            > pairs and decide which of each pair had the healthiest lifestyle,
            > using their top 5 as the criteria. Most of them turned out to be
            > healthy devils, with the exception of one who said (in all
            > seriousness) that she was very healthy "except for the smoking,
            > drinking, late nights and lack of exercise" (to paraphrase).
            > That brought the fifty minutes nicely to a close. One of the students
            > told me he'd enjoyed the lesson. Another said he thought the topic was
            > very good.
            > I was pretty happy with the lesson too. I had managed to push it
            > towards something genuinely purposeful, rather than the somewhat
            > aimless normality of my dogme classes. Some of the principles I learnt
            > on the course, like making sure that the lesson has communicative aims
            > and outcomes, independent of any linguistic ones; making sure the
            > students are being pushed, linguistically; making sure lots of
            > interaction is going on, and that the students have time to rehearse
            > and/or repeat tasks – and that the interaction is varied in terms of
            > it's outcomes and the type of language it's likely to make use of;
            > scaffolding interaction so that it's "do-able", and providing
            > appropriate language to help if it's necessary... I don't think I've
            > taught a dogme class that achieved most of those things before, but I
            > think this class did.
            > Hope you all enjoyed it, and thanks again!
            >
            > Peter
            >
            Dear Peter and all,
            I've also just completed the intensive DELTA, at IH in Moscow, and did
            dogme as `experimental practice assignment' too. Looking back to my
            DELTA, I must say that those two weeks I spent writing dogme
            assignment was the most exciting time of the whole course. Your
            brilliant class, Peter, inspired me to briefly describe mine.
            It was my 3rd lesson with a group of 13 upper-intermediate learners.
            As the group was of somewhat mixed abilities in speaking and 2 shy
            girls didn't contribute in lockstep at all, I had prepared some
            writing activities in order to involve all of them and as you, Peter,
            said, `push the students linguistically'. I also had some lexis up my
            sleeve because the topic of discussion was obvious (well, 90 %) – a
            terrorist act which caused train derailment near Moscow a day before
            the lesson.

            I started the lesson saying how I got there – by bus, then train, then
            metro and asked about them – 2 people said `by train' and I just asked
            them whether they were scared or not (not reminding of the attack – I
            wanted them to remember what had happened). One girl exclaimed: `Why
            scared?' and someone remembered the tragedy. Then something, I usually
            see in dogme lessons, happened – `a spiral effect' how 2-5-9-all
            people are getting involved into discussion. They were talking about
            different aspects of the tragedy, I was putting all vocabulary they
            were asking for on the WB (a part was from my `sleeve').

            Then they chose to write a newspaper article as journalists (the
            choice was: an e-mail/a letter/ a police report as a witness/an
            article) in groups of 3-4.

            When they finished, I told them that their boss had a peculiar taste –
            he hates a letter `a' and in order to help the colleagues to be
            published, they had to change a headline and a couple of phrases to
            avoid 'a' in their articles. They swapped their articles with each
            other and tried to paraphrase the headlines and some sentences.

            At the end, I asked the learners to sort out all the phrases on the WB
            into 4 groups according to their criteria (V+N, Adj+N, etc).

            I was happy to read their notes in `Student Questionnaire' I had asked
            them to fill after the lesson. They studied a lot of words, they said,
            and enjoyed discussing news.
            Finally, I join Peter to say a big thank to all people in the group
            and, in particular, Scott, Luke, Rob, Sue, Linda, Diarmuid, Fiona, who
            influenced my teaching a lot.
            I didn't have too much to say, but I was a very attentive listener so
            a part of my `distinction' is yours.
            Lada
          • Julian Bamford
            Hi everyone, Peter s post way back on September 3 (about his DELTA lesson) got me thinking. At the end, Peter listed principles taught in the DELTA course
            Message 5 of 6 , Sep 10, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi everyone,

              Peter's post way back on September 3 (about his DELTA lesson) got me
              thinking.

              At the end, Peter listed principles taught in the DELTA course (lessons
              should have communicative aims and outcomes; lots of interaction should
              go on...). And the description of his lesson made it clear that the
              DELTA course had given him the skills to make dogme work. Peter's
              training helped him avoid a dogme lesson of "aimless normality" and
              come up with one that put the DELTA principles to work.

              People say there's nothing new or unique in dogme. That the DELTA
              training is compatible with it shows that's true on one level--dogme
              depends on or exemplifies the state-of-the-art principles of good
              teaching. But DELTA can lead to a life of New Headway or a life of
              dogme, so there is a difference. Why I prefer dogme over textbooks is
              not at the level of teaching principles. It's only because a dogme
              lesson is more likely to produce student engagement, and is thus more
              effective at teaching language.

              If students are together for a purpose apart from learning the
              language, then dogme can simply work. The activities or needs of the
              students structure the lesson. An example is when I was teaching farm
              trainees who were out in the fields all day. We dealt with the
              communicative needs that came up out in the fields; I made notes and we
              went over things in the evenings.

              But there are relatively few language classes of such students. Almost
              all classes have students who are there (just) to learn the language.
              Without a context to do that in, teachers must pick up on and develop
              good and relevant ideas like talking about health.

              Textbooks are full of units about health (because it's a good and
              relevant idea). Many textbooks would include the very activities (pair
              and group work; ranking what makes a healthy lifestyle...) that Peter
              came up with. But Peter's lesson was engaging in a way that turning to
              Unit 9, page 47: Health, and listening to a conversation about health
              and tick the boxes... might not be. Though Peter's students might, at a
              certain point, have enjoyed and benefitted by listening to a
              conversation about health if it had been available.

              As Peter said, lessons need an aim. But isn't it too much to expect the
              students and teacher to come up with one each class? There isn't, thank
              goodness, an attack on the railroad that gave Lada (Sept 4 post) her
              topic for the day. And if, as Peter said, he can't come up with an aim
              and has to "look at the textbook or something," it would be helpful to
              have guidance in how to pick up a textbook while keeping students front
              and center.

              It's sort of been axiomatic that there can't be a dogme textbook
              because dogme and textbook is a contradiction in terms. Certainly dogme
              and New Headway are a contradiction in terms.

              But can't there be a book, a tool box, a training between covers, that
              guides teachers in tapping the needs and interests of the students, and
              guides teachers in using a textbook as a resource in a student-centered
              lesson, and guides teachers in applying DELTA-like principles so an
              aimless lesson becomes a rich learning opportunity?

              --Julian
            • mistercardigan
              Thanks for that Peter I am seriously considering using dogme for my PA2 lesson in the DELTA coming up in October. You have given me great confidence that I can
              Message 6 of 6 , Sep 18, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                Thanks for that Peter
                I am seriously considering using dogme for my PA2 lesson in the DELTA
                coming up in October. You have given me great confidence that I can
                make it work. I need to, having failed both parts of my PA1! And hey,
                my name's Peter too! Maybe the writing is on the wall...
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.