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What’s Wrong with Dogme? after Scott Thornbury

After a week of fairly volatile mental meanderings and random outbursts, I ambled around Facebook this morning and came across this.

Scott points out in his video that there may be – and he blames himself partly – a problem of interpretation with regard to some of the dogme terminology: namely “emergent language”. It is not the language that emerges, but the syllabus. That leads to the other weaknesses he identifies which are that a conversation-driven class runs the risk of not being challenging enough in terms of new language use to cover the almost endless varieties of discourse that we need, and can and how does the teacher capitalise on the learning opportunities presented thus.

I suggest that the word “conversation” is also being misinterpreted. A conversation is not just chatting: it encompasses every possible type of discourse. It is analysis, description, evaluation, summary, opinion, lie, oath, explanation, excuse, argument, negotiation, introduction, joke, speech and story – to name but a few.

And the teacher deals with this by listening and asking – not only to her students, but to everything that is spoken and heard all the time, anywhere.


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