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Dogmetic BELF or BELFacious Dogme…..?

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I mean these are all made-up words, making made-up phrases, using commonly accepted suffixes and root words that have some meaning to those of us who may float past and read them. These are what? Jargon? TEFL-speak? nudge-nudge-wink-wink-know-what-I-mean code for something only “those in the know” will get?

What’s clear is that there are people out there who will know what I’m on about and so we can sort of chat away and discuss which one is what and what makes one different from the other and what they both mean and why. And it’s interesting and engaging and thought-provoking and could possibly lead to all sorts of investigation and research. But….

“What MEANS this, teacher?”

I honestly don’t know, but in the scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that every day – well most every day – we as BE teachers are faced with some bit or piece of BELF that really means something to someone else and we need to ponder it and deconstruct it and negotiate its meaning with the person who presented it to us. But what you won’t be able to do is find it in a book, in a chapter with a lesson built around it that we can slam on to the photocopier and rush into class and “teach”.

BELF is profoundly student-centred. It and all instances of it come from the student. And therefore, we have to approach any lesson that has Business communication as its goal with a dogme attitude. Listen to the people in the room, note down examples of their language, ask them about it and deal with what emerges…..

I don’t really want to burble on about it now. It’s Friday, we’re all headed to Glasgow at some point and time is tight. Just think about it……and thanks for stopping by.


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