Czech EFL

Let the Czech check it out

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Dogme

I came across the whole idea of Dogme some time back in Humanistic Language Teaching and have just subscribed to its very lively discussion group. Both the magazine and the group contain wealth of information and excellent ideas - highly recommended!

My take on Dogme is this: we spend about half of the time speaking on general topics (eg. work or learning) while practising functional language (eg. How do you get on with your boss? or How do you find the book?) in a meaningful, personally related context using the teacher and student as a resource. The amount of new language at this level is quite large and there's lots of pressure on the students as this session is conducted in a highly interactive/communicative way. Therefore, the students are required to give simple answers or speak Czech if necessary. I then try my best to model what they wanted to say in English by putting the phrase on the board and repeating it twice or three times. After that, I repeat the question and the student reads the answer from the board. As a sort of equal opportunities policy, I also encourage the student to ask me and then tell a short story in the form of carefully controlled comprehensible input.

Of course, I've got the topic and some bits and pieces of the functional language prepared as a sort of framework but the whole session also turns out lots of student-generated language.

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